Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Toys in the Attic

Sigh... another one bites the dust.  At least Dollhouse had the chance to go out in a classy manner.

I think that by this point I have a somewhat Pavlovian response when it comes to a Joss Whedon creation.  "Oh no, it will get canceled!  Oh no, it got canceled!  You bastards!"  I need to force myself to get some perspective: Yes, Dollhouse was a great show.  No, it wasn't as good as Firefly.  Yes, it's one of the best things on television.  No, it isn't the best thing on television.  Yes, the show's cancellation is a blow.  No, it isn't a disaster.  At least we got two good seasons, a ton of twists, some memorably characters, a denouement... life could be a lot worse.


* Favorite character: Topher, hands down.  He was amusing from the beginning, and just got more and more awesome as the show came along.  Who could have predicted his acting in the last four episodes?  He's a phenomenal character, even if it wasn't for his in-your-face nerdiness that made me identify with him.
* Favorite alum from Whedonland: Alan Tudyk.  I still giggle at the memory of his reveal.  Close second: Summer Glau.
* Favorite doll: I think that Victor was the best actor of the lot.  All of them pull off an amazing range (Sierra somewhat less so than the rest, but she makes up for it by being smokin'), but Victor is tops.  For favorite overall, though, I've got to go with Echo.
* Favorite setting: Hm... maybe Topher's den o' fun.  Oh, wait, new answer: The Attic.
* Favorite guest actor (non-Whedonland division): Patton Oswalt.
* Favorite villain: Alpha.
* Favorite imprint: Topher, as imprinted on Victor.
* Favorite episode: Gosh, hard to tell, though it's definitely from the second season.  Probably the one where they rescue Echo from D.C.
* Favorite trend: Battlestar Galactica veterans landing guest gigs.
* Favorite tech: The Attic.


I can't shake the feeling that Whedon pulled the whole Boyd thing out of his ass.  It was a surprise, but mainly because it made no damn sense.  I mean... just why, exactly, would he disguise himself as the security chief?  More to the point: why would he present himself as a low-level handler, expose himself to danger on a recurring basis, and work his way up to being a subordinate?

They try to explain it by saying that he means to be close to Caroline, to.... consume her precious bodily fluids, I guess?  Again, it just doesn't make sense.  He supposedly runs the most powerful multinational corporation in the world.  You don't get there without picking up the ability to delegate to people.

Who knows... I'm genuinely curious if Whedon had planned this from the beginning, or had just come up with it.  Even if it was in the original plan, he hadn't gotten around to laying the proper groundwork for it.  Which I can't necessarily blame him for... if he'd had two more seasons to plant clues and explain things, then maybe it would have been a totally awesome revelation, a la Season 4 of Angel, and not feel like a cop-out.

I thought that was the one really weak point in the whole show, which is pretty impressive.  There are other things that I can complain about, but they mainly come down to me whining, "More!"  I would have loved to get some context for Alpha's role in the final episode; there have to be some great stories there.  I'd like to have seen more of the machinations within the corporation.


This too had passed.  At least we got to wrap this one up.  As insanely rushed as the last few episodes felt, Whedon did (on the whole) a phenomenal job of satisfying our hunger for resolution.  And, while it does leave us wanting more... well, that's the essence of great storytelling, isn't it?  One of these days he'll learn his lesson and start making shows for cable instead of for network television.  Until then, I'll grab the gems as I can.

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