Joss Whedon's 'Dollhouse' w/ Eliza Dushku on FOX - Page 22 - AVS Forum
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Shaded Dogfood View Post

By the way, no one ever did answer my question about whether the first five episodes are integral or not.

They are not, really. You just need to know about the organization being illicit and the people getting their minds programmed then wiped after their assignments. More and more about what is going on is revealed in each show. Apparently Whedon just threw his hands up for the first few episodes and then returned and took a more active part. What went on before does tell you things, but what is to come is apparently more what Whedon envisioned the show to be.

I agree with that. Other than some backstory on what happened when Alpha "rebelled" (that's how Amy Acker got her scars), there wasn't too terribly much mythology in those first 5. I think FOX wanted to see if there was any procedural traction that could be gotten with this format. I think they found out.
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by GrouchoDude View Post

I agree with that. Other than some backstory on what happened when Alpha "rebelled" (that's how Amy Acker got her scars), there wasn't too terribly much mythology in those first 5. I think FOX wanted to see if there was any procedural traction that could be gotten with this format. I think they found out.

I think the first 5 episodes could have been done in a couple of episodes and then off to the races, not sure what the purpose was of them, as was mentioned earlier in the thread, after we get going, we could probably rewatch them and say yeah, I see what that means now, but right now I can't tell that anything happened early on that would leave any big gaps for new viewers, if they did, I'm afraid I may have yawned through them anyway.
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by MeowMeow View Post

I'm trying not to be an ass here, but . . . There is a bit of a Cult of Joss. I don't mean that in quite the derisive way that it may sound. I'm just saying there are folks who will follow Whedon's work anywhere.

That's fine. I mean, heck, it's the reason certain actors and directors get top billing in shows and movies. Obviously Joss has arrived in the sense that he gets top billing for Dollhouse.

By the way, no one ever did answer my question about whether the first five episodes are integral or not. Are they? I could see myself watching the show based on ep 6. But, I wonder if I need to wait for reruns to pick the plot up.

I didn't think you were being an ass. My post in response to yours was made primarily so I could have some of the same fun with language that you had.
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:06 PM
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The first five episodes left so little an impression, I could hardly believe I'd watched that many. They do offer a bit of backstory but do very little to entice the viewer to watch more, imo. Ep.6 is the first to really grab me. Hopefully, its going to build from here, but I'm 50-50 on whether thats going to happen.
It is a little funny how quickly the "Joss fanboy" tag is used though to dismiss any positive comments on the show. As in "I didn't like this and anybody who does is just a Whedon fanboy." Lumping all people who have a fondness for Whedon's work under that label seems a little unfair. More importantly, it kinda ends any meaningful discussion of the show. I love a lot of what Joss has done, but that is also a double edged sword as far as liking anything new he does. Not really fair to him, but I have extremely high standards for what he offers and when he doesn't measure up to my expectations I'm more than happy to say it. Not all who like his previous work are mindless Whedon worshippers, and I kinda resent being lumped into such an ill defined group that being called "Joss fanboy" implies.
Pardon the interuption. Sorry for the rant.

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Old 03-27-2009, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by lonwolf615 View Post

The first five episodes left so little an impression, I could hardly believe I'd watched that many. They do offer a bit of backstory but do very little to entice the viewer to watch more, imo. Ep.6 is the first to really grab me. Hopefully, its going to build from here, but I'm 50-50 on whether thats going to happen.

I thought that the primary purpose of the first five episodes was to allow the show's star, Eliza Dushku, to show her "range" as an actress. If so, it failed, it seems to me. Neither Dushku's range in particular nor her acting talent generally will ever be confused with that of Meryl Streep. Fortunately, Episode 6 was a lot better and, I hope, bodes well for what is to come.
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

I thought that the primary purpose of the first five episodes was to allow the show's star, Eliza Dushku, to show her "range" as an actress. If so, it failed, it seems to me. Neither Dushku's range in particular nor her acting talent generally will ever be confused with that of Meryl Streep. Fortunately, Episode 6 was a lot better and, I hope, bodes well for what is to come.

I think I read that tonight may return to the "identity of the week" format, but next week is supposed to be another kick-ass mythology heavy episode dealing with the dolls' backgrounds. I have a feeling most of us are going to enjoy next week's a lot more if that's indeed the case.
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by GrouchoDude View Post

I think I read that tonight may return to the "identity of the week" format, but next week is supposed to be another kick-ass mythology heavy episode dealing with the dolls' backgrounds. I have a feeling most of us are going to enjoy next week's a lot more if that's indeed the case.

If this show doesn't pick up some serious steam, I'm not sure it's going to be must see for me, last week I thought we were on our way, but if we're going to go back to another episode like the first 5 and things don't get intense very very soon, I'm afraid I'd have to IMO declare the first season a dud. I don't think it's worth the time if it's only going to have an episode every now and then that really gets the juices flowing.
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:08 PM
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Dollhouse could easily fit into a kind of X-Files structure, with one-off doll adventures some weeks and mythology episodes other weeks. It makes more sense than in X-Files, too, where one week Mulder & Sculley would be thisclose to uncovering the biggest conspiracy in the history of humanity and the next week they'd be hunting Sasquatch in Oregon (which looked suspiciously like Vancouver in that show).

The dolls wouldn't remember they were involved in such important events just last week.

Edit: Agree on not bothering with the first five episodes. You might try to catch them in reruns eventually or watch them on Hulu if you want, but they aren't essential viewing. Really, that most recent ep could have been the pilot. The TV interviews spliced throughout the episode did a good job setting up the premise, but it felt kinda redundant in light of the previous episodes.
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:10 PM
 
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Now that I've read a bit more about tonight's episode, I'm feeling more confident. Echo returns to her college and uncovers info about Caroline. I'm there.
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:18 PM
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Okay - for all you linguists out there - replace the "effusive gushing" with "hype". That's what I was really going for, anyway.

I will watch, too, but 5 out of 6 episodes so far being lame doesn't guarantee anything for me.

At this point, if it's good, I still will be pleasantly surprised.
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:26 PM
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The phrase effusive gushing has sort of neat sexual overtones if you thing about it long enough. I sort of like it.

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Old 03-27-2009, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by trbarry View Post

The phrase effusive gushing has sort of neat sexual overtones if you thing about it long enough. I sort of like it.

That was what I assumed Ramm was talking about
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:00 PM
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Joy of lex, eh?
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by CPanther95 View Post

Did I miss something? Fred has Dollhouse on the canceled list in the HOTP thread.

I did a search because next weeks previews looked like the plot was extremely accelerated.

Good show tonight, looks even better next week, actually he's got them listed in orange(Orange = low ratings, endangered), the difference between red and orange is pretty subtle on his listings.
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:27 PM
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Well....this one was one of the goofier plots so far. Still trying to decide if I liked it.

One funny note was the name of the building: Rossum. I kept thinking of the Karel Čapek play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), with the "dolls" being programmed. Of course, in the play they rebelled----or am I thinking of Battlestar Galactica...or I, Robot...or....
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by rebkell View Post

Good show tonight, looks even better next week, actually he's got them listed in orange(Orange = low ratings, endangered), the difference between red and orange is pretty subtle on his listings.

Yeah, I deleted my post.

After seeing the previews, I searched the HOTP thread for "Dollhouse" and the results are in red... Doh !!!
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:04 PM
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Bitrates for TSCC and Dollhouse:
Code:
03/27/2009  10:46 PM     4,267,761,668 Dollhouse0107.mpg
Video Bit Rate: 10.79 Mbps 

03/27/2009  10:36 PM     4,536,854,532 TSCC0220.mpg
Video Bit Rate: 13.31 Mbps
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:13 PM
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I hadn't watched for a couple of weeks and decided to tune in to see if it was any better with a bit of Joss, and I have to say --NO.

Maybe it's the culture today vs. when it was originally conceived. I don't think many people want to tune in to see rich folks getting live sex dolls to order. Is that what the company was originally designed for?

I may tune in next week to see "The Revenge of the Dolls" but I'm not in any way connecting with this show. Bad concept, bad execution, bad plot lines.
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:19 PM
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...but she was straddling that motorcycle (tee-hee, it looks like a red dragon) while wearing the naughty little girl outfit! It'spose to make you very hawt. Are you hawt right now? How about the skyscraper heels? Hawt, yet? We need to make you hawt!

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Old 03-27-2009, 11:40 PM
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I don't think the person that was on the bike when it pulled up where you couldn't see the face was even her. They did a sloppy edit to her already off the bike and starting to walk away from it after that.
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Old 03-28-2009, 01:22 AM
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Yes, that crossed my mind, as well. It's still part of the illusion they intend for you, though. I'm just saying that it kind of cheapens the show when they hammer you over the head with endless contrived opportunities to show her in purdy outfits. It's like half Dark Angle, half fashion show.

The show reached a true pinnacle when we are treated to seeing the annoying Dell Computer boy in his skivies with his enormous package bulge! (Yes, I know it isn't the same person as the original Dell boy. I'm just saying he is as irritating as that guy, seemingly cut from the same geek mold.)

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Old 03-28-2009, 08:00 AM
 
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Um, so, her sexy legs and Topher's bulge aside, what did everybody think of the actual episode? I thought it built on last week's Joss-written episode satisfactorily. We learned a bit more about Adelle (she's very British!). We found out what got Caroline is such hot water. We saw the Big Bad Organization/Corporation behind the Dollhouses revealed. And we saw a new active get an offer he can't refuse. Some good stuff there. And next week is, I believe, another Joss-penned episode with a heapin' helpin' dose of mythology. They've even given it a title: "The Awakening".
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by rebkell View Post

Good show tonight, looks even better next week, actually he's got them listed in orange(Orange = low ratings, endangered), the difference between red and orange is pretty subtle on his listings.

For a new viewer it was an absolute train wreck. I understood it but I don't know how one of those would have. If they want to pick up viewership last night was not the way. They missed a good opportunity too with all of the non basketball CBS fans looking for a channel to watch
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:34 AM
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For a new viewer it was an absolute train wreck. I understood it but I don't know how one of those would have. If they want to pick up viewership last night was not the way.

Well, I guess you have to follow the show, it's not a procedural, you have to have know what the show is about and have to watch a few shows to understand things. I guess SciFi is never going to be big, because to tell a good story, I just can't see it being very good with stand alone episodes, I don't think there is a good way for SciFi to win. My favorite of all time was B5 and it nearly got the hook before it finished. BSG, which has one of the most vocal fan bases I've ever seen, never really had any viewership numbers, but it was a good show.

I don't know how any good SciFi show will ever make it with the way things are, the best stuff was always the syndicated stuff, Legend of the Seeker is going for a 2nd season, and while I like it and watch it, I doubt it would ever make it past 12 or 13 episodes on network tv.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:57 AM
 
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Yeah, rebkell is right. FOX is almost in a no-win situation with this show. All the bellyachin' about the first 5 episodes revolved around the fact that they were mythology-lite while trying out the "identity/mission of the week" format to see how it would fly. They quickly found out. So, now we're back to what we all love, the fascinating serialized plotline leading somewhere cool (hopefully). But, that format is unfriendly to new viewers joining in. However, if the show is to build any buzz and find any audience at all, that's the way it's got to go.

So, I think they're just going to sit tight, let Joss be Joss, and see where things end up. 'Fringe' is coming back in a couple of weeks which may give a little synergistic boost to 'Dollhouse'. T:SCC is most likely terminated even though the majority of its tiny cadre of loyal fans, all of whom must post here in the AVS thread, are tickled pink with where it's going as its clock ticks ever closer to midnight. This combo makes a wicked one-two punch for sci-fi geeks on Friday nights, especially now that BSG has gone over to the "other side". Love to see it continue.
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Old 03-28-2009, 04:45 PM
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I didnt have any problem with the first episodes. They entertained me. I think they were necessary to establish what this organization was doing to these zombies.
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Old 03-29-2009, 02:07 AM
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Honeyyyyyyyy, I'm Homeeeeeeeeeee!!!

OK, perhaps it's time to bring a bit of "balance" to this conversation... I've waited a full seven episodes before seeking out this thread (partly because it's been all I could do to keep up with the BSG thread, which a week after the show ended is getting a bit boring with all the arguments about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin).

At any rate, when I found this thread last night, right after the show, since it wasn't TOO humongous yet, I went to Page 1 and started reading... Since the first page began in October of 2007, I sort of skimmed up until just before the first episode aired in February, but I've read word-for-word every single posting since, and it's taken every minute I've had online since 10 p.m. last night (of course I've been watching TV, too, so that's slowed me down a bit -- not that there's been much of consequence on since then).

There've been at least a dozen times prior to post 661 I WANTED to reply to post, but waited to see what everyone had already said, so I have a lot to reply to, and I'm sure I'll miss a few...

My first, and biggest comment, however, is the one about "Dollhouse" being a "Vanity Project" for Eliza Dushku which she had prior rights to develop with Fox, and Joss Whedon had no choice as to who to cast for the lead. After last night's episode, I'd say calling "Dollhouse" a "vanity project" for Eliza is sort of like calling the Grand Canyon "a little river valley."

Look, the chick does have a tight little body, and a decent face (but she's no more than "an 8," really, no knockout, although hot enough). That said, The way they promote this show, the virtual "softcore" image they run of her when breaking for commercials, the fact that ALL THEY SHOW during the opening credits, while showing the names of ALL cast members, is different shots of HER face, and the fact that she finds literally RIDICULOUS excuses to run around -- even if she IS "fully clothed" -- wearing things like a short skirt with sexy white knee stockings for half the show, while she's doing super-secret sleuth work AFTER she just WALKED OUT on a guy she had tied up without even untying him??? Come ON.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a fan. I've watched since show one, and I'm NOT a "Whedon Fanboy," although I became a Buffy addict after just one episode in Season 5 (had caught up the entire show watching reruns by the time the season was over). On the other hand, although I watched every episode of "Firefly" in its original run, and enjoyed them, fairly well, I didn't think they were all that great and wasn't surprised when it was cancelled... Didn't think it was good enough that when they made the movie, "Serenity," I was interested in going to see it in the theaters, BUT when it came to pay cable, I was BLOWN AWAY! With all the talk about "Firefly," I may give it another shot when it runs again somewhere on TV.

I came to "Angel" late, and never did see all of it, but what I saw was OK. But I don't watch ANYTHING just because a particular producer or director is involved. That might get me there to start with, but it certainly won't hold me.

However, as I've said elsewhere, previously, I'm pretty easy to please and generally VERY generous in giving shows lots of time to "mature" and letting them get away with plot holes, bad science, and whatnot, so long as they have decent writing and acting, believable characters, etc. I found some of the comic relief with Topher and his boss fun in this last episode, but letting all those "actives" loose on that campus just because they didn't THINK the drug would work on them -- well, I guess they found out. Victor might even be dead, now.

Back to that Vanity thing... It really bugged me last night. All that last half of the show, with Echo walking around dressed like some sort of hooker or something -- and worse yet, NOBODY in the show seemed to even notice or make a comment... Come on, young women don't ordinarily dress like that in public unless they're either going to a costume party or "advertising" something!

As for the contracts, and the legality of them... assuming everything the Dollhouse does is legal (which of course we know it isn't, but let's say it is, for the purpose of argument), most basic contract law would still make the majority, if not all of those contracts invalid, for a couple of reasons.
1. From what we can tell, everyone who's signed one has done so under duress. I think their general M.O. is to get someone in a compromising position where they might go to jail for a very long time (or at least think they might), and then give them the option of signing a 5-year-contract as an "Active" or being turned over for prosecution. That is a contract signed under duress, essentially blackmail, which, of course, is always illegal.
2. While the "Actives" are likely given some idea of what they're signing up for, it's highly unlikely they're told the full story. They're probably told they'll have to work for them for five years, and do whatever they're told to do, no questions asked, but I seriously doubt they're actually allowed to observe the operation for a day or two and see what it's actually like for a REAL "ACTIVE," because I think if they were, very few would sign up for that.
3. I believe this pretty much does fall more under the category of "indentured servitude," which was made illegal under the 13th and 14th Amendments along with regular slavery.

Like many of you, I'll keep watching "as long as the lights are on," even though I find Dichen Lacham to be bizarre-and-alien-looking, like some of you do -- sort of like someone scrambled every race on Earth and put them all into one face, and even though I think Eliza Dushku has an ego problem she's trying to solve by becoming every straight American Male PsiPhi fan's erotic fantasy, or something. (Frankly, if she wanted to do the show that way, they should have taken it to HBO, or Showtime, and shown some REAL skin!)

I found more redeeming elements in the first five episodes than did many of you, but I also did see quite a few issues, here and there -- including some of those plot holes you could drive trucks through. I felt the way they were doing the show was sort of an opportunity for Eliza to test her acting chops with different characters, some of which she pulled off very well, others, meh.

Next week's preview does look very promising, after what I thought was a pretty weak episode this week, even though it DID give us more backstory on Caroline, and what got her to the Dollhouse in the first place, which was quite similar to what got their newest active there -- except he was acting out of greed, rather than altruism.

The bigger reveal, however, was that this major pharmaceutical company, "Rossum," is at least partly behind the Dollhouse, and that's where I think a large part of this show is going... That many big businesses have a stake in this venture -- which is part of why they can continually rent their Actives out to all these rich people without fear of being caught, or turned in -- those people are complicit in the crime; they own a piece of the company. I got the strong impression that the Patton Oswalt character was one of the founding members of the Dollhouse. As a genious computer programmer, it simply makes sense that he would be. As for other clients, my assumption is that nobody gets to be a client without a referral from someone who is already a trusted client or business partner, and that they have to sign some sort of confidentiality contract that likely threatens their LIFE if they ever divulge anything about the Dollhouse.

And YES, I do see what they're doing here as a potential prelude to filling society with potentially well-placed Actives who could influence commerce, politics and whatnot to the point that entire nations, and the world, could be secretly controlled by well-connected "puppet-masters."

I'm really looking forward to this coming Friday's show and hoping it's another really great one like the one on March 20, and not just another excuse for Eliza to show off her legs and act all weird and confused for half the show again... Even as easy to please as I am THAT is beginning to wear thin!
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Old 03-29-2009, 07:35 AM
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I finally got around to watching this week’s Dollhouse episode yesterday. I am ambivalent. Its plusses were its continued exposition of the conspiracy behind the Dollhouse and its very Whedonesque situations. I thought the disintegration of the uptight Dominic (the security guard in a really pretty suit) and Ms. DeWitt (the veddy British lady) and their ensuing silliness from exposure to a noxious drug was extremely funny; it reminded me of Buffy at its best. The downside, though, was that Eliza Dushku, isn’t much of an actress, even putting her on a bright red motorcycle dressed in fetish gear didn’t help. The reason Buffy, Angel, and Firefly were so popular wasn’t just Whedon. The success of those shows was owed in large measure to their talented and incredibly charismatic stars, respectively, Sarah Michelle Geller, David Boreanaz, and Nathan Fillion. It seems to me that Dushku doesn’t measure up to them, at least not yet.

Despite my misgivings, I like the arc the story is taking and continue to hope that Dushku’s shortcomings will be at least partially made up for, as was the case this week, by interesting story developments and excellent performances by other cast members.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:43 AM
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Ratings dropped again this week. Show might be on thin ice if it ever makes if through the first run of 13 episodes.
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffAHayes View Post

Back to that Vanity thing... It really bugged me last night. All that last half of the show, with Echo walking around dressed like some sort of hooker or something -- and worse yet, NOBODY in the show seemed to even notice or make a comment... Come on, young women don't ordinarily dress like that in public unless they're either going to a costume party or "advertising" something!

When's the last time you've been on a college campus? It's been about 5 years for me and some of the girls I saw dressed like that.
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