Dear Television Gods,
Please, I ask you kindly. Save Dollhouse. It is smart and savvy and well-done. It had a rocky start, but what television show does not? What X-Files (9 seasons) or Buffy (7 seasons) or Supernatural (4 seasons and counting) or any other Smart Television Show does not experience the same? And if time has proven anything, it has proven that We Many, We Happy Many, We Band Of Whedonites will rally behind the thing we love.
And I, Gentle Reader? I love Dollhouse. I do. And this is how:
I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Dollhouse
Step One: I came to the realization that it is not Buffy, and that is okay.
Step Two: I then came to the realization that it is not Firefly, and that is okay.
Step Three: By understanding this is A New Whedon Work, I understood that this was something that existed within The Whedonverse, but not within The 'Verse, say, or within Sunnydale. This is something Wholly New.
Step Four: I recognized the smartness for what it was, not for what it was proclaimed to be. That is to say, I saw Echo and the other Dolls not as analogs for actresses, but rather as personality types and fantasy projections and failed personal dreams. That is to say, I interpreted this show. Friends, I read the show, and found it quite Readable Indeed.
Step Five: I realized that there was a core of likability among the characters, despite their revolving personalities, despite their utterly depraved and reprehensible personalities. Topher's birthday playmate who was all play and no playmate, Adelle's desperate "vacations," Sierra's fragility, Victor's vulnerability, Echo's remembrance over and over--like the Echo of myth, she breaks against herself forever--all of it led to a Prufrockian overwhelming question of why. Why dare disturb the universe? Why sign over, body and soul, to this? And ultimately, Paul's final queries regarding the mutability and permanence of a Soul are sound. They are true. There is a core that must reiterate itself, again and again, that essence, that bit part of code/self/personality/id-ego-superego that cannot be overcome.
And That, Gentle Reader, is the fascinating intelligent core of this smart, savage little show.
Let me be Perfectly Frank. It is a Joss Whedon show. I will follow it to the gates of hell or cancellation. I would watch the televised version of his Things To Do list, if followed with a "grr" and an "arg." As Constant Readers of This Humble Blog know, I am a Whedon fan, tried and true. I have written academic papers about Whedon shows, I have blogged about Whedon shows, I have taught Whedon shows (this semester, even, Friends! Both Buffy and Dr. Horrible!), I have introduced Friends and Colleagues to Whedon shows and comics and anything and everything. And I will be the first to admit it: I was not crazy about Dollhouse at first. But episode 5, "True Believer," in which Echo infiltrated the cult compound, was when I became a True Believer, Myself. This episode marks the moment I knew this show is Smart.
I do not claim to like this show more than I like Buffy, or even the short-lived, critically-acclaimed, dear-to-my-heart Firefly. But I like it as much, and I want it to have The Chance, The Opportunity to fulfill its potential.
So, please, Television Gods. Give Dollhouse a Second Season.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Dear Television Gods,