March 3, 2009
Dollhouse: Not great.

I’d made up my mind to write this piece on “Dollhouse” even before I saw this Penny Arcade comic — largely because of people just like the ones Tycho mentioned in the attendant blog post. Well, not quite… the people who bother me most aren’t the ones who watch out of slavish devotion to Joss Whedon, but rather the ones whose slavish devotion to him leads them not only to blame FOX for any shortcomings the show exhibits at this point, but also to insist that the show will necessarily improve because hey, it’s a Joss Whedon show! Given that these are also the same people who view any negativity or criticism towards their beloved media as “spoiling their fun,” I admittedly derive some small pleasure in doing just that. 😉

Also — in case you couldn’t tell — I’ve been making a conscious effort to include less swearing and objectionable content in recent reviews. I’m not sure why, really (after all, this is a site that still features photos of bubbly phlegm loogies, not to mention a cartoonish image of Wolverine giving Nightcrawler a handjob), but here’s an excerpt from the original draft of today’s article before I decided to clean it up:

I almost feel bad for the guy — unless you’re spectacularly egotistical (and I tend to think Whedon is, though I have no concrete basis for that assumption), having throngs of smarmy fanboys typing “HALLELUJAH!” in response to your every creative effort has to not only get old after a while, but also really make you question whether your work is, in fact, good. If thousands of people in a given community had barely taken a breather from sucking your balls (or, for female readers, your… toes) for years on end, you’d start to doubt the veracity of their claims that your testes tasted like strawberry banana milk. After all, when was the last time they’d been able to enjoy a cool glass of the stuff? And even if they did acquire some — say, from you — would they even be able to taste it?

I’ve been drinking strawberry banana milk lately, see. It is quite delicious. Far better than balls, I’d wager.

Also, we’ve got two new haiku! Many thanks to Ken for supplying the image (which also appears here on his DeviantArt account). Ken also runs a toy blog, Figured Out, so be sure to check that out as well.

And I guess that about wraps it up for this entry! As always, thanks for reading. See you next time! :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 1:44 pm | Comments (6)
  • TresobYr says:

    It’s a shame you didn’t get the full experience of Serenity.
    I missed the movie when it was in the theaters, and didn’t realize it was part of Firefly until after I was given the series as a Christmas present.
    I can honestly say that watching Serenity just after finishing Firefly was the closest thing I have ever experienced to watching the original Transformers Movie for the first time as a kid.
    It was the closest…but it wasn’t quite the same. In the end, Serenity was a very flawed Hollywoodized version of Firefly, whereas the Transformers Movie was actually an improvement on the kid’s show.

  • I love Penny Arcade!

    I don’t have much idea who Joss Whedon is, but from what few works of his I saw I’d say he’s a good writer. That’s “good” not “great”.

    I really don’t understand why this guy has a legion of devoted fans. Good for you, not being afraid to piss them off.

    Now, Peter Chung on the other hand, there’s a guy worth building a shrine to.

    Anyway, the concept of this show does sound kinda interesting. But, I think I liked it better as Cammy, Juli, and Juni’s backstory from the Street Fighter games (BTW SF4 looks awesome, and I’m planning to grab it for PC soon).

    Also dug, the new Haiku.

    Ken, if you’re reading this, nice pic! 🙂

  • Wow that might be the most topic-jumping post I’ve ever typed.

  • Wes says:

    TresobYr: Yeah, I was under the impression that Serenity was the film version of “Firefly” as well! It wasn’t until I read the Wiki while writing that article that I heard that it was supposed to be a continuation. The original draft of the article had a tangential mention of book/film adaptations and how having read the book doesn’t enrich a film version — it just means that the book is better — but I figured it wasn’t relevant if the film was meant to be a continuation. I’m not even sure that it really was meant to be a continuation given some of the apparent overlap between events, so I’m inclined to believe that that’s just another Whedonite excuse for the film’s shortcomings. 😉

    Reading about the awards that Serenity received in the Wiki also made me kinda angry all over again. I admit that I probably would’ve liked the movie better if I hadn’t heard the hype from people on Buffy forums and elsewhere on the ‘net — they really played the film up as if it were the best. movie. ever. And it wasn’t. I positively loathe films that somehow manipulate the masses into believing that they are significantly better than they really are. (Same with The Dark Knight — I hate that flick more on principle than for any genuine badness it actually contained.)

    But honestly, if we’re counting the entire Transformers movie, I think that’s kinda bad too. The first half is pretty amazing, but then there are Junkions and Weird Al songs and the annoyance that is Wheelie and the movie kinda grates on the nerves. I watched it as an adult, though, so I have no idea how a kid might respond to it. 🙂 That said, even I got teary eyed when Optimus passed on.

    Tetsu: I sort of get why Whedon has a legion of devoted fans — during certain seasons, “Buffy” and “Angel” were really good. That said, I tend to think that he gets too much credit for how good they really were. Many of the episodes that he wrote were great, but many were also blah and some were downright awful. And given that he tended to write the season finales, you have to wonder whether they were great because of Whedon’s writing or because they were the exciting conclusions of engaging season arcs. The actors also deserve quite a bit of credit for how good those shows were — in fact, I tend to think that even “Dollhouse” would be better with Sarah Michelle Gellar in the role of Echo. Not that SMG is the best actress ever, but she’s got at least eight notes to Eliza Dushku’s one.

    Anyway, what I don’t understand is the nature of that kind of slavish devotion in general. I mean, there are a handful of artists — musicians, actors, writers, etc. — that have produced works that I really like, but I’ve never gotten to the point at which I worship the artists themselves or refuse to admit the shortcomings of their other works. I’d say Richard Linklater is probably my favorite director (at least judging by the number of his movies that I’d include among my favorites), but I thought A Scanner Darkly sucked bigtime.

    Also, kudos are completely unnecessary — I love pissing off fanboys. :mrgreen:

  • Greg says:

    I didn’t even think “Firefly” was that amazing. It was OK, it pulled off western-in-space fairly well without being “Cowboy Bebop,” but the acting was a mixed bag (Alan Tudyk, Ron Glass = HURRAY! Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres= MEH! Morena Baccarin = BOO!), I didn’t feel it developed the character and world history enough (some blame FOX for canceling it too early, but they could have easily have cut out some of the more stupid episodes, like the one where they try to save the planet of prostitutes, and replaced them with more character driven episodes), and that theme song got so fucking annoying after a while.

    I still have the biggest crush on Jewel Staite though. Have had it since she was on Space Cases way back in 96.

  • Monty Python says:

    I’ve never liked a Joss Whedon anything.

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