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 Post subject: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2009, 09:40 
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Joss Whedon speaks candidly about Dollhouse and has a message for haters.

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Joss Whedon, creator of Fox's upcoming sci-fi drama Dollhouse, has a message for the haters out there: Give the show a frakkin' chance!

Responding to my questions for the first time about the swirl of buzz surrounding the much-anticipated show, Whedon said in an exclusive interview on Tuesday, Dec. 6, that the show's found its groove, that he's very happy with the way it's going and that he's confident viewers will like it.

But with characteristic candor, Whedon also admits that the negative buzz—based in part on reports of reshoots, a scrapped pilot, production halts and a Friday night "death slot"—weighs on him and that he also struggled to find the show's voice during a lengthy development process.

"You do [think about it]," Whedon said in Los Angeles during a Fox press day. "I mean, you notice things. The fact is, it's not a seamless birthing process. But ... it seldom is. For me, never. And the only difference is now everybody in the world knows everything about everything. But that doesn't really change what's going on. And it's been hard, and I've had despair, and I've had joy and excitement, and, ... ultimately, it has nothing to do with whether or not you will respond to the TV show." And he has more to say.

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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2009, 09:42 
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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 08 Jan 2009, 10:57 
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It's interesting, because my general sense of the situtation wasn't that people thought that the show would be awful, but that they thought it will be awesome, and yet not last too long because of being screwed over by Fox. But some of the commenters on that article do seem to think that the show itself will suck. I guess it is a matter of waiting and seeing, but my fears run more to things like the Friday night timeslot than anything I've heard about the show. And hey, requesting reshoots is better than just not airing the pilot, and jumping in with the second episode.


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2009, 08:11 
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Eliza Dushku pulls back the curtain to Fox's Dollhouse

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Speaking in an exclusive interview last week in Los Angeles, Dushku added that she can't wait for fans—and potential critics—to see the show, which hits the airwaves on Feb. 13 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Dollhouse tells the story of a group of people, called "dolls," whose minds have been wiped and who are implanted with artificial personalities--memories, skills, even physical abilities and infirmities--in order to perform tasks for hire by a secret organization: escort service, assassination, kidnap negotiation, etc. The show stars Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast member Dushku, former Battlestar Galactica cast member Tahmoh Penikett, Olivia Williams, Harry Lennix and former Angel star Amy Acker. It will air Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT, after Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Following is an edited excerpt of Dushku's interview with SCI FI Wire.


Tell me about some of the crazier stuff you've gotten to do.

Dushku: You mean dunking me in the National Sequoia Park river, like rolling me on the street in a motorcycle crash. They have me in a six-page ... fight scene with Tahmoh [Penikett], who, yeah, we're about the same size, so it was an even match, but we had a big fight scene ...

You kicked his ass, right?

Dushku: Yeah, totally. And then ... Joss puts me in these up-dos that really throw me for a loop. ... He's like, "I can throw you off a building, I can run you over with a car, and like, you know, while you're getting your ass kicked by like eight guys, and me putting you in an up-do is the one thing that takes you out of your comfort zone. There's something wrong with that." It's true! I'm just such, I don't know, I just grew up such a tomboy that having my hair, like, up and prim and proper just feels so foreign. Those are the weirdest days for me. Go figure.

You play different characters.

Dushku: Multiple. Every week, yes.

How's that?

Dushku: Good times. It's really good times. You never get bored. Yeah, boredom is not an option. ... I walk into my trailer, and there's 15 ... skirts and pants and tops for me to try on for the next episode, and I walk in, and there's like ... horse-riding gear or ... sky-diving gear. ... Every time I walk into my trailer and see the new wardrobe, I ... get an idea what the next episode is going to involve, and it's always exciting.

It's kind of a challenge, because you're playing different characters, but you've got to be Echo in there somewhere, right?

Dushku: Echo is ... the name ... that they've given me [in the] Dollhouse. So Caroline ... may be who I really am, but I'm also Echo. But I'm also each person I'm imprinted to be.

Are any of those people Eliza?

Dushku: I think all of them have a little bit of Eliza in them. It's about gauging and playing chemist. Yeah. Because I myself have multiple personalities. That's part of the reason Joss sat down and thought, "I know the perfect show to write for you. ... I've known you for 10 years, and I have no idea who [or] what you are, so ... let's just video it."

But no, it's awesome, it's the coolest, most humbling, and you know, truly great opportunity, experience. Because some parts are more like me, and I can kind of roll out of bed and roll into the outfit and churn them out. And other times, I mean, I've had some serious, ... challenging roles. Like the blind woman. ... They implant cameras into my eyeballs and send me into a cult as a blind woman, like [a] religious cult follower. But I believe that I'm that woman. And so there have been a number of different parts I've played that I've had to do some serious last-minute research on, and it's so fun, you know? ... It makes it all that much more interesting to go in every day and be wild.

What's the funnest thing you've had to do?

Dushku: I loved the fierce assassin that I was when I kicked Tahmoh's ass. She ... was a good egg. She was just ... highly intelligent, ... kind of quiet, but steely. Just, just kind of fierce, yeah.

You've probably read some of the reviews and heard the buzz, positive and negative, about the show. Does any of that come through, or do you try to screen it out?

Dushku: I'm proud of what we're doing, and we ... are doing what we wanted to do and telling the stories we wanted to tell. ... There's been pressure since the day we announced it, and there's been naysayers since the day we announced it, and, at this point, ... I just can't wait for the show to get on the air and for people to see it. ... Regardless of ... the hype and what people are saying, why don't people see it, and then they can decide what they feel? But I feel confident, ... because it's on the page, recorded on the stage, ... and it's working. And we're having a great time. ... Each episode is more and more intricate, and the story's unfolding. ...

I brought the first episodes home to my family to watch over the holidays, and you know what? They were freaking out. ... They were more proud and more psyched about this than most anything that [I've done]. ...

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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2009, 08:16 
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Aren't those the Nip/Tuck mannequins?

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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2009, 08:21 
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AngelTash wrote:
Aren't those the Nip/Tuck mannequins?


What mannequins?

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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2009, 08:22 
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Somehow I had missed that Tahmoh Penikett was in this. This is the first time I'm genuinely excited about this show.


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2009, 08:33 
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Apart from Eliza and Tahmoh, it also features

Amy AckerImage

Harry LennixImage

Olivia WilliamsImage

Mark SheppardImage

(Those are the most recognizable names)

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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2009, 08:45 
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I have clearly not been paying much attention to the cast here. Love Lennix, and good to see Sheppard again. Which just reminded me how excited I am about the final ten episodes of BSG. But that's for another thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2009, 08:50 
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Nunis wrote:
I have clearly not been paying much attention to the cast here. Love Lennix, and good to see Sheppard again. Which just reminded me how excited I am about the final ten episodes of BSG. But that's for another thread.


True that, so...

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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2009, 14:50 
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i cant wait to see this show. it sounds interesting


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2009, 14:12 
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Some of you boys might enjoy the new promo shots for Dollhouse. Defamer calls the link NSFW, I think it's dependant on your office environment, but probably qualifies.

Sure, she's hott and all, but it would have been nice to get something that tells us a little more about the show.


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2009, 15:49 
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Mazer wrote:

Sure, she's hott and all, but it would have been nice to get something that tells us a little more about the show.


Those photos did tell me everything i needed to know about the show...;)

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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 12 Feb 2009, 15:25 
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http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 15QISL.DTL

Tim Goodman wrote:
TV review: 'Dollhouse' is a big disappointment

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Dollhouse: Drama. 9 p.m. Fridays on Fox.

Joss Whedon is one of television's most talented visionaries, but his latest series - the highly anticipated midseason drama "Dollhouse" - is a major disappointment.

It looks as if Fox was onto something when it wanted the pilot reworked and maybe onto something bigger when it shifted the series to Friday nights, hardly the spot for a heavyweight these days. On the plus side, being out of the limelight might allow the troubled "Dollhouse" to grow. After Friday's lackluster pilot, it certainly has room to do so.

But judging from two additional episodes - one a step forward, the other a step back to the underwhelming quality of the pilot - it could be that Whedon has invested too much hope in his muse, Eliza Dushku, the star of "Dollhouse." It could also be that the premise is too flawed for anyone to elevate.

Here's Fox's description of the series: " 'Dollhouse' focuses on Echo (Dushku), a member of a highly illegal and underground group of individuals ('Actives') who have had their personalities wiped clean so they can be imprinted with any number of new personas. Hired by the wealthy, powerful and connected, the Actives don't just perform their hired roles, they wholly become - with mind, personality and physiology - whomever the client wants or needs them to be. ... After each engagement, Echo returns to the mysterious Dollhouse where her thoughts, feelings, experiences and knowledge are erased. Or are they?"

OK, then. Ambitious, yes. Implausibly hokey, yes. But Whedon was able to make "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" into a slice of genius, plus he turned Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog into an Internet sensation during the Writers Guild of America strike. You have to give the man room to work.

But "Dollhouse" doesn't work, on numerous levels - starting with Dushku. She's not a sufficiently compelling actress to pull off the various personas she's given. What's worse, "Dollhouse" wants the "dolls" to be childlike and unencumbered by thought when they're not on assignment. This doe-eyed, vacant state does not suit Dushku. She mainly walks around bemusedly, looking wan.

Issues of identity

The bigger picture - which "Dollhouse" doesn't really illustrate in the three episodes sent to critics - is that issues of identity are in play: how the Actives came to volunteer for the Dollhouse experiment in the first place and what they - specifically Echo - might be recalling from memories they're not supposed to have access to. Whedon may be after something bigger, but none of it seems especially compelling.

What the series does achieve, ever so slowly, is a much-needed bigger mystery than what's up with Echo. We learn, for example, that one of the Actives did something he shouldn't have; it seems the programming code, or "art," as its young creator, Topher (Fran Kranz), calls it, has some bugs. That's also why Echo is holding on to memories. Faulty code can be interesting (at least Fox better hope it becomes more so). And there could very well be a heretofore unknown rival to the Dollhouse - always good for drama.

The super-secret Dollhouse is fronted by Adelle DeWitt (Olivia Williams), who reports to unseen handlers. Stoic Boyd Langton (Harry Lennix) is assigned to be Echo's handler and protector. He's likable right off the bat, and his rising curiosity about the ultimate goal of the Dollhouse adds a small layer of interest. So, too, does FBI Agent Paul Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett), whose relentless pursuit to prove the existence and real story behind the Dollhouse makes him the FBI's running joke - but he adds much-needed gravitas to life outside the Dollhouse. Laurence Dominic (Reed Diamond) plays the head of security at the Dollhouse. "The dolls in their infantile state disgust him," according to Fox - and that's a sentiment that many viewers are likely to share, which brings us to the fundamental flaw of the series.

Who cares?

Why care about the Actives at all? When they're on assignment, it's not as if they're real people. They're programmed robots, essentially, doing a job, playing a role. Once they're "wiped," and they fall into that aforementioned infantile state where they loll around doing yoga and babbling, they're pretty and vacant but not exactly enthralling. Echo's backstory barely unfolds after three episodes, and that's asking for more patience than the average viewer may have. There's barely a trace of Whedon's wonderful sense of humor, and when it does come, from the boy scientist character Topher, it makes you think of him as less scientist and more boy, hardly the believable architect of this life-altering technology.

And then there's Dushku the muse - the actress who inspired the series Whedon built around her. Obviously he sees something in her. But will viewers? That's a lot of faith.

Here's hoping "Dollhouse" improves significantly or else Fox is going to wipe it clean for next season.

E-mail Tim Goodman at tgoodman@sfchronicle.com. You may read his TV blog, The Bastard Machine, at www.thebastardmachine.com.


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 12 Feb 2009, 17:58 
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:Keeping fingers crossed:

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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 13 Feb 2009, 07:39 
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Sela5 wrote:
:Keeping fingers crossed:

:green:

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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2009, 12:12 
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Underwhelming with a slew of inherent problems, but I willing to give it a chance.


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2009, 12:13 
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The first episode made me want to see a second episode. Nothing more, nothing less.

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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2009, 14:41 
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I watched it Friday night, and was kind of underwhelmed as well, so I watched it again. My two main issues with it where the lack of humour and the lack of group dynamic. I think this has been what Goodman might have been getting at, but to me, the best part about Joss's shows have always been the dynamics of the groups they portray, be it the Scoobies or Serenity's crew. So it was disappointing not to see any real connections between characters here. There are definitely some things that were intriguing, and I'm by no means giving up on it yet, but it didn't really live up to the expectations I had for it. Although there was definitely a huge build-up. Anyone have info on what type of ratings it got?


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2009, 14:54 
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Mazer wrote:
Anyone have info on what type of ratings it got?


http://scifiwire.com/2009/02/dollhouse- ... pected.php


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2009, 15:00 
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Nunis wrote:
Mazer wrote:
Anyone have info on what type of ratings it got?


http://scifiwire.com/2009/02/dollhouse- ... pected.php

Thanks, although :?. When I, um, acquired it for second viewing, it seemed incredibly popular. Too bad that doesn't count towards ratings.


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2009, 21:42 
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I can't say I'm one of Whedon's fans, since I haven't watched Buffy, Angel or Firefly, but did read some of the comic books he's written. I too was underwhelmed by the pilot, but will give it a try (Hey, I'm still watching Heroes, but can't say I'm enjoying it much). What bothered me most, was it's desire to be cool and hip, sometimes on the expense of being intelligent.
I didn't buy the easiness, in which Echo's banged up knee was brushed aside, without being taken care of. Ok, you may say that when she's not on the job, she's a borderline teletubby, but when she receives a personallity, shouldn't stuff like that bother her more, especially when she has no recollection of it? Stuff like that got handled on My Own Worst Enemy and not left for chance.
Another thing, was how Echo got to witness the memory wipe of Sierra. It was careless and stupid, especially in such a place like the dollhouse, which probably has top notch security. Whedon, or whoever rewrote that episode should have found a better way to introduce to Echo the doubts about herself. The same can be said about the client that just had to give her clues about herself, but no one addressed that, even though her handler heard the conversation.

I hope this will get a bit more intelligent as it goes on. I expected stuff like that to be in shows from the 70s or 80s.

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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 16 Feb 2009, 18:49 
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I am with everyone else... I loved his other 3 series...

But this was bordering on dull... where is the humor we come to expect?
Sure he can do action and dark and sad... but he always had a joke here or there even through it all...

Well I doubt it will be around long anyway... got pretty crap ratings and it also doomed Terminator by moving it to fridays as well.

Ah well... Right when this starts to get good and I start to like it... it will be cancelled... so I may as well try not to like it... :rant:

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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2009, 07:02 
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Enjoyed last night's episode quite a bit more than the first - I was a lot more engaged in the story. I also like that I had quite a few of my questions from the premiere answered, at least in part, which makes me think that they won't be doling out information at a miserly pace, and the meta-story will move along fairly quickly. Answering my complaint from last week about the lack of connections, I liked some of the backstory about the relationship that there is between Echo and her handler.

I still have an issue with the lack of humour. Actually, all the dialogue isn't as clever as Whedon's other stuff, in my opinion.

And did any one else think at the end that the dead accomplice was Tahmoh Penikett? Right when they flipped off the sheet, I was like, "Whoa, what happened to FBI guy?" But then from their conversation, I figured out it wasn't him that they were talking about.


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2009, 11:18 
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Finally watched the pilot on hulu...

Pretty disappointing... Can't believe there was such a lack of Whedon-humor. Dushku is hot but I don't think she's quite good enough to be a different person every week. She was decent-ish as wiped-clean Echo (just as Keanu was good as what's-going-on Neo)

Hope Ep2 is better...

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