thoughts on pop culture

Dollhouse Episode 1: Ghost

I’ve had Dollhouse on my grid since it was first announced at last year’s upfronts, so I’m concerned I may have been anticipating the premiere too much.  

The biggest compliment I can pay about “Ghost” is the way the writers weaved the explanations about the imprint technology into the storyline without ruining the pacing of the episode.

My biggest complaint comes from the scene where the FBI agent (played by Battlestar Galactica’s Tahmoh Penikett) sneaks up on the Russian gangster dude in the bathroom.  No man enters an empty restroom and chooses the low urinal when there are several standard height ones available.  We call it the leg-splatterer for a reason, so I can only conclude that this gave them the best camera angles and shot composition for the scene.  I know this sounds petty, but bathroom design and traffic flow is kind of a hobby of mine.

When the episode ended, I was expecting to see J.J. Abrams’s Bad Robot, even though I knew Joss Whedon is behind the show.  Something tells me I’m not the first and won’t be the last person to ask if Joss took a blank series starring Eliza Dushku and imprinted Alias on it.  Admittedly, the resemblance won’t really turn me off since Alias is one of my favorite series ever.

Snide Alias remarks aside, I do think the show has potential.  It is certainly a twist on the genre, even if the twist is one that telegraphs the all-too-certain glitches that will inevitably disrupt the imprint/wipe process.  The high-quality cast is experienced in the genre and should be able to deliver on a weekly basis.  Whedon’s ability to craft a quality series is proven, even if Fox’s willingness to keep it on the air isn’t.  Ultimately, I think this was a mediocre episode, and as always, I will cut the creators some slack due to the difficulty of introducing both characters and crazy fake technology all in one hour.


February 14, 2009 Posted by | New Series, Premiere, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Dollhouse Episode 1: Ghost

30 Rock Season 3 Episode 11: St. Valentine’s Day

I haven’t written anything about 30 Rock, which is strange because it has become one of my favorite current shows.  If for some reason you haven’t found room on your schedule for it, this week’s episode makes a good case for reconsidering.

Juxtaposition is the name of the game on 30 Rock.  Tina Fey and her writing staff consistently give us the right contrast of success and failure, serious and slapstick, sincerity and farce.  Beyond that, Fey’s ability to make her character, Liz Lemon, an everywoman is what sets this show apart.  Lemon is a producer of television show, something most of us can’t really relate to, but outside that, almost everything she does and encounters could easily have happened to anyone.  I mean, who hasn’t been on a first date and accidentally been seen on the toilet?

Like most comedies, 30 Rock doesn’t require you to watch every episode to enjoy it, so give this episode a try and decide for yourself.

February 14, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Television | , , , , | Comments Off on 30 Rock Season 3 Episode 11: St. Valentine’s Day