Joss Whedon’s past and the future of “Dollhouse”: Conclusion

April 30, 2009

Please click through to see this post on harrysaxon.com.

Sorry for the inconvenience!



  1. This is not an analyis I can agree with, on several fronts. First, the final season of Buffy was positioned in the context of the Bush administration, and she mirrored the attitudes of that administration with its “I am the law” approach to crisis management. Second, the addition of Kennedy was not just something that affected “smarting” people who were suffering the loss of Tara; it was a pragmatic decision by Joss Whedon and Marti Noxon to keep Willow gay after having discussions about whether they should. While this was the only decision they could make, that they even had to have the sonversation is an indication about how badly they had read their audience in S6 and prior. I cannot stomach Andrew, who is not funny, sucks the air out of any scene he is in, and reduces the show from something that seems real to just a show, albeit a good one. Finally, there is no way Willow’s “white magic” is atonement for what she did; you do not get absolved of committing murder simply by doing a good deed; that stain remains with you. The fact that Willow has intrinsic goodness is irrelevant; this is far too easy a solution to what she did- and she is my favorite character.

    I will agree with you on the Felicia Day love, on teh idea that Joss uses the long arc better than anyone else (though in its short season, In Treatment also does this incredibly well- though it is not SciFi). As to DH, I am leaning toward the idea it will be renewed; however, I am not completely sure it has earned it, since it will almost certainly not answer most of the questions it set out to ask in its beginning. There will be no resolution about Echo, and we know one doll will die- I am betting most people think it will be Mellie, but I am next to certain it has to be Sierra, because that is how Joss works. There is no one to invest in; without that, I cannot care. Some people can watch for the story and its complexities; I am not one of them. I need a character to identify with, like I did with Willow and with Tara. There is no one here I like, outside of Sierra, and she gets little screen time and almost no back story. Plus, she’ll be killed off, so I believe. Sigh. I wanted to like DH, I really did, but I just sat there watching and sighing in disappointment.

  2. Thanks for reading & commenting, agree with me or not. You’ve an interesting point about the Bush administration, maybe there’s some truth there. I’m not American and try to avoid American politics so wouldn’t feel qualified to speak on it.

    The reaction to Kennedy had much to do with the character itself, I think, and not about development discussions over Willow’s sexual orientation. They could have kept the character gay without her getting into a sexual relationship. I disliked Kennedy, and many others did at the time, for her sexually aggressive pursuit of the still-grieving Willow. Had their love scene before the big battle been their first, I think she would have drawn less hostility.

    I’m not saying Willow was absolved of Warren’s murder; she’s not alone on the show as person with murder on their soul (Giles and Faith especially). But it redeemed her spiritually for what she spewed into the world when she tried to kill it with dark magic; it balanced her magical history and past and made her whole, ending her season-long internal struggle with herself over using magic. To go with the birth metaphor, she once tried to abort the world; she made up for it by midwifing protectors of the world. Fair enough, I say.

  3. I have to say that this IS an analysis I can agree with, but I do have to disagree with the elitist idea that “Whedon fans tend towards the young and new media savvy.” Plenty of us dinosaurs still know good writing when we see it, and even spend the money for the dvds—and those new-fangled i-tunes, as long as they have the gravitas we find in Shakespeare, Ibsen, Dostievsky,etc.

  4. Oh, don’t think it’s elitist, I didn’t mean it to come off that way. I’m not exactly a kid, and if you’re here, reading this, you’re “new-media” savvy enough by far. Nor did I mean that “young” and “new-media savvy” should be mutually inclusive terms. The next-biggest Buffy fan I know in person is my father, who’s been collecting a pension for some time and started websurfing when you had to pay money to get Netscape.

    I’m just generalizing that Whedon fans skew toward proudly geeky internet-aware blog-readers and message forum participants, who trend young, but of course are not exclusively young. This is opposed to the majority of TV viewers and Neilsen families, who seem to think that a fat guy with a cute wife is the height of comedy and the internet is something you call with your telephone that will steal your credit card number if you let it.

  5. I do agree that Whedon’s strength is in character development and clever writing. The similarities between LOST, Battlestar and Buffy may have somethign to do with the fact that they also share writers and producers. People didn’t like Kennedy mostly because there was zero sexual chemistry between her and Willow and the actress overacted the role to the point of annoyance. Most television shows don’t make it past the first season Joss had two groudbreaking series that lasted 7 and 5 seasons (Buffy and Angel respectively,) he can do it again with Dollhouse. Let’s hope he does!

  6. Interesting analysis, and one I agree with mostly. Except the part suggesting his shows might be given more leeway to succeed on The Sci Fi channel. Farscape was there flag ship show, but as soon as they got Stargate and it beat Farscape in ratings, they dropped Farscape as if it had grown thorns. So they use the same criteria for success as any other network. It’s just that by being smaller and having fewer shows it sometimes takes longer for them to make the same kind of boneheaded decision as those at Fox. But that lag is becoming smaller. Also, BSG had to finish up in their allotted time based on Sci Fi getting antsy about it’s falling ratings and not out of some sort of story integrity.

  7. […] Joss Whedon’s past and the future of “Dollhouse”: Conclusion So. Tomorrow evening Dollhouse fans look forward to a guest appearance from Whedon fan-favourite Alan Tudyk as the […] […]

  8. Arcs: Don’t forget the original scifi show arc: Babylon 5. 5 years held together.

  9. I discussed B5 and other predecessors in parts 1 and 2.

  10. Great analysis.

  11. Thanks!

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