Thursday, October 14, 2010

What Remains Of Dollhouse

Eliza Dushku and Amy Acker in Season 2 of Dollhouse.
I spent this morning with my brother on some personal business and had a bit of breakfast. We had a short argument about Dollhouse. He hated it from the get go, hated the premise (which I told him he had gotten completely wrong, but he's entitled to his opinion), hated the scripts. This didn't surprise me entirely. My brother and I, both science fiction and fantasy geeks, have very different sets of standards. For instance he loved Babylon 5. I myself could not stand that show. The over all storyline was interesting, and philosophically dense, but the writing and acting per episode was so atrociously bad that it rendered the show, for me, entirely unwatchable. So I laughed as he tried to break down Dollhouse as an excuse for an actress to be vapid.

By the way, he concedes the point on writing and acting but is able to go past that for the philosophy. Maybe it's because I am an actor and sometimes writer that I just can't do that.

But Dollhouse, I pointed out to him, was about the exact opposite of being vapid. At the core of the show was the societal pressure to be vapid against the strength of the human spirit (Echo) and Love (Sierra and Victor). This is not THE core of the show, but is certainly a large part of it.

It's been months since the end of Dollhouse, which I've written about here before. I still miss the show though even more, I miss the show's unreached potential. The potential that FOX TV never allowed and indeed undermined.

But this week, the DVD and Blu Ray set of the series' second and final season released. With that release comes an official video of the original song "Remains" which was written as the coda for Season One's unaired episode "Epitaph One".

This episode was written as a contractual obligation to FOX TV and was thrown together by the show's writers and filmed simultaneously with the actual "season finale" of the series.

Epitaph One was meant to give the audience a glimpse into what the show might have been since by then, Joss Whedon had not expected to be renewed for a second season. So they fulfilled the contract and had something for the DVD release as an extra for fans. And what an extra it is.

Here is the final clip of the episode, featuring the song "Remains" written by the show's Mo Tauncheron and Jed Whedon who became the head writers for Dollhouse during the second season. Here we see the basic thrust of Joss Whedon's philosophy of what happens when they keep trying "to make people better" (from Serenity).
Here is the same song, but with it's official video release. This goes back to other core themes of Dollhouse by revisiting the concepts of vapidity and how easily we can disregard our fellow human beings. It revisits the inherent loneliness of human beings and the ways we try to fulfill that loneliness even as we regard eachother with disposability.

My brother still hates the show and doesn't miss it. But he doesn't like Fringe either and he liked Titanic. I love him, but damn that's just crazy talk.

These videos make the sting of missing this show and regular doses of Eliza Dushku easier to tolerate.

Now if Amazon would hurry up and deliver my Season 2 DVDs.

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