thoughts on pop culture

Dollhouse Cancelled

In a move that should surprise no one, FOX has announced the end of Dollhouse, marking their most recent cancellation of a promising sci-fi show that they banished to the Friday night lineup. I’ll admit that the concept behind Dollhouse was always more exciting than the actual episodes, but I blame a near-complete lack of support from the network for the ultimate quality of the show. After all, they only renewed the show after Joss Whedon proved he could slash the production budget by turning in the never-aired “Epitaph One” episode at the end of season one. Incidentally, that installment is worth the $1.99 at iTunes. I’m disappointed in the cancellation, but at the same time, we all need to admit this was no Firefly.

Oh, that shitty Kelsey Grammer show was cancelled too.

Full details at

November 11, 2009 Posted by | Banished, Cancelled, Comedy, New Series, Scifi, Television | , , , , , | Comments Off on Dollhouse Cancelled

2009 Fall Preview – Friday

courtesy FOX Network

courtesy FOX Network


ABCUgly Betty returns on October 9th, but it certainly doesn’t look like ABC has much faith in it. The show got much better toward the end of last season, but it can’t be a good thing that the network put the show on hiatus when it should have been building toward its finale, then banished it to Friday night ratings hell for the new season. It’s almost like they’re looking for a reason to cancel it.

Read the full post

September 25, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Drama, New Series, Premiere, Renewed, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2009 Fall Preview – Friday

Dollhouse Episode 2: The Target

The second episode of Dollhouse didn’t exactly convince me the show is going to be around for a while.  While entertaining, it pointed out a few flaws that may grow tiresome quickly.

Mild spoilers follow.

For an organization that is supposed to be so hard to find, the Dollhouse sure seems to display a lot of obvious behavior out in the world.  Perhaps our intrepid FBI agent should look for the fleet of black Dodge cargo vans driving around the city with hot girls and dudes hopping in and out of them.  Or maybe he should look for the place in LA big enough to house all the girls and dudes as well as what appears to be their own Special Forces unit complete with black helicopters.

A thought that occurred to me in the middle of the episode was–are van drivers Dollhouse’s version of Red Shirts?  When the camera pulled out to reveal the driver in the van with Langton, my first thought was, “Who the hell is this guy?”  I got my answer a few minutes later–no one important.

Last week I mentioned what a great job the premiere did with explaining the imprint technology without slowing down the pace of the episode.  This week, the flashbacks served their purpose, but gave the episode a choppy feel that just did not work for me.  And on the dialogue front, the whole “shoulder to the wheel” thing–totally lame.

Ultimately, I think Whedon and his co-creators will wish they had waited a few episodes before revealing the ‘glitches’ in Echo’s programming.  I think it would have allowed more viewers to get comfortable with the imprint technology, resulting in a bigger payoff when the process turned out not to be foolproof.

I’ll be hanging in, most likely for the duration of the series.  However, with Fox’s track record, I’m not sure that will be very long.

February 22, 2009 Posted by | Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Dollhouse Preview

I’m not cool enough to get screeners for shows that haven’t aired, so here is a link to a great preview of Joss Whedon’s new show over at

January 12, 2009 Posted by | New Series, Scifi, Television | , , , , | Comments Off on Dollhouse Preview