Pocket Full Of Chump Change

Thing’s I’m Excited About That’ll Probably Get Cancelled: Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse”

Joss Whedonprobably doesn’t need an introduction from a website with less traffic than a highway in Antarctica. He is personally responsible for three of my favorite television projects: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it’s (eventually superior)spin-off Angel and the gone-too-quickly western in space Firefly. He’s written critically acclaimed and best selling comic book arcs for Runaways and the X-Men. He’s got an absolute amazing gift  for creating snappy dialogue. He’s the geek’s Geek.

So it brought me pure nerdy geeked up joy to recently read that Jossis headed back to TV. Even better, he’s reuniting with Buffy-alum Eliza Dushku (who I could spent a whole other post gushing over. Man she’s gorgeous, and she’s a local, born and bred in Watertown, MA. If she told me she’d make out with me if I tossed a bag full of kittens into the Merrimack River, sayanora kitties! I’d lay even odds that she pees Nestle Quik). Here’s what Variety has to say about the upcoming project:

Joss Whedon is heading back to TV– along with his “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” ingenue, Eliza Dushku. Dushku will star in the Whedon-penned series “Dollhouse,” which has been given a seven-episode order by Fox. News came as an extra-big Halloween treat for Whedon fans, considered some of the most passionate in all of TV.Produced by 20th Century Fox TV — the studio also behind “Buffy,” “Angel” and Whedon’s late, lamented “Firefly” — “Dollhouse” follows a top-secret world of people programmed with different personalities, abilities and memories depending on their mission. After each assignment — which can be physical, romantic or even illegal — the characters have their memories wiped clean, and are sent back to a lab (dubbed the “Dollhouse”). Show centers on Dushku’s character, Echo, as she slowly begins to develop some self-awareness, which impacts her missions.

So I’m on board. the premise sounds fantastic, I love the creator and I’d steal from my grandmother if the lead actress needed a few bucks for a coffee. Still, there’s a little tingle of dread in the back of my mind that comes with “This fall on Fox Television…” These guys don’t have the best track record for letting shows find an audience. I think I’ve seen a couple of their comedies cancelled during the premier episode’s commercial break.

  • Fox Playoff Baseball Ads.I can easily foresee a scenario where “Dollhouse” ads are run back to back with year two of another round of those insufferable Dane Cook ads. Has an ad campaign ever caused more people to run screaming to the kitchen junk drawer in order to pull out a rusty screwdriver and gouge out both their eyes and eardrums. I’ve always suspected Dane Cook to be a no talent hack simply stealing pages from the “Hey if I yell this punchline REALLY LOUDLY it MUST be funny” playbook and these ads did nothing to dissuade me of this belief. I’d say the odds are pretty strong Fox will air Dollhouse series premiere teasers just after these ads but millions of people will be unable to see nor hear them due to the white hot rage spots that temporarily blind them while they shout an near-unending stream of profanities at their monitors. If there were a scenario where I only received two stations, and one of them was showing whatever show the Fox network was promoting immediately after one of those “October” Dane Cook ads, and the other station only showed one program, and that program was called “Graphic Home Videos of Mike Chuumpchange’s parents engaged in hardcore fucking”, I would opt for watching mom take one in the browneye every single time. If you take nothing else from this whole post, remember this: you can never go wrong by saying: “Fuck Dane Cook”.
  • Fox executives tell Whedon: “We really love this show, but we think the pilot episode works better in the sixth week. Let’s kick things of with the middle episode of a three part arc and then show the cliffhanger finale for that episode in week four.
  • “Dollhouse” loses the ‘Paper, Scissor, Rock’ challenge to see which show needs to get bumped in order to make room for “the television debut of  “How Many Eight Year Olds Can Your Dad Beat Up.” This show will be hosted by a not quite ready to quit the rehab clinic yet David Hasslehoff who in week three will toss off bon mots like “Well I know this guy can take down at least ONE eight year old” when introducing the contestant and his horror-stricken family. This show will go on to achieve a record breaking two decade run atop the ratings. (Hey if you think that’s insensitive, my original idea was for “Special Olympics Idol”. You KNOW some network executive has thought about pitching that at least once a sweeps season. )
  • The “Browncoats”: Okay, listen, I’m the first to admit that fandom can be a strange and wonderful thing. Still, Joss Whedon fans can go to, um, extremes when it comes to preaching the Word of Whedon. I’ve met at least one fan who claims that repeated viewings of the (admittedly brilliant) Buffy musical episode “Once More With Feeling” cured his cancer. The problem is we Joss fans sometimes don’t understand that no matter how many times we try to staple Firefly box sets into non-believers hands, we just aren’t going to win them all. I believe PART of the reason Serenity wasn’t the number one smash hit it deserved to be (I paid to see this movie six times in the theater) was the “Browncoats”-the fandom version of your Man U. hooligan-flooded website after website and messageboard after messageboard with the message that if you weren’t at the front of the line for Serenity opening night the ressurected soul of Goebbels would make its way to your home and execute you. It didn’t matter if some one was posting about their favorite variation of PB&J on a messageboard about school lunches, they were going to get 70 threads about Reavers and Captain Tightpants. Eventually this bombardment caused a lot of the core audience of SciFi geeks to pull up their stakes, cross their arms and short of getting a handie in the theater from a potential contestant on MILF Island (yea 30 Rock!) they’d REFUSE to see Serenity on moral grounds. 
  • George Bush says, “I’ve been saying Constitution-schmonstitution for seven and a half years anyways, so what’s one more thing?” He decides to call off the presidential elections, declare himself Emperor for Life, invades Iran, North Korea and every IHOP on the Eastern Seaboard all at once, then declares the Sun an enemy of freedom that must be premptively destroyed. FOX preempts all primetime shows to bring round the clock coverage and ballwashing of “the Emperor’s bold new vision”.

So while on the one hand I remain stoked to the millionth degree to get more Joss O’vision, I’ve been hurt before Fox (still no Andy Richter Controls the Universe on DVD but I can watch every episode of Murder She Wrote on Netflix Watch Now? What kind of world do we live in?) I’m hitching up my skirt and ducking out at the first sign of trouble.

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April 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment