Saturday, February 14, 2009

Meet Joss Whedon

FYI, Joss Whedon is the 2009 Cultural Humanism Awardee. See him at Harvard April10th at 8pm.


Karl said...

I know you're used to those top-shelf HBO programs, but any thoughts on his new show?

Howard said...

It was ok. I'll keep watching, but if it doesn't improve I won't make it through this first run of 13. I rewatched parts of it and I think my favorite scene was the opening one which I had forgotten. We see a brief scene of what appears to be Caroline signing up at the Dollhouse because she has no choice. I want to find out more about that. There were also other questions that weren't obvious to me at first that I'm intrigued by. Mostly, where do they get the memory implants from?

I didn't like the motorcycle chase. The main story was just ok. It's not that I didn't buy Eliza Dushku in the role, I didn't buy that the best negotiator in the world is a 27 year-old girl who's been doing this "her whole life". And the companies reaction that the handler put the active in danger was lame, she was a hostage negotiator in a tradeoff with kidnappers, it's dangerous and that seems to be common for actives. What I really missed were any fun Whedonesque lines; that surprised me.

As far as a storytelling engine it's interesting and has lots of possibilities.

What did you think?

Karl said...

I agree there is a lot of potential. There is room for charater development (and more than just the star) as we learn their motives and how things fit together. It does seem to be geared more to a star with supporting characters in comparison to Buffy or Firefly which were more team based. Certainly the format is set up to have self contained episodes which are new and different each week while still allowing an overarching background story. I'm not sure Dushku has the range as an actor to play completely different roles each episode. I'm not saying she doesn't, I've just only really seen her the the one role. Since Whedon does have experience working with her, I'm hopeful.

As far as the episode there were some holes. I suppose that is to be somewhat expected from a pilot. I agree a 27 year-old world class negotiator (who seemed to fall apart fairly easily) seemed a stretch. I think they realized this and even added dialoge to attempt to address it. I would surmise this was done to set the tone for the show by highlighting that the roles are not all action oriented. I liked the premise that you can't have the skills without the flaws. It seems like this will be a primary theme. Although in the episode, the flaws seemed to lead to a complete meltdown which seemed lacking for a composite personality. I think the company's reaction sets up their expectaion of things going without a hitch and contrasted nicely to her handler's more realistic reaction that it was a complex situation. The delay of the wipe also set up motivations - the company sees no client = no money, so switch to cleanup and containment; the handler sees a way to achieve the larger objective of protecting the girl.

We'll have to wait and see how it develops. It is on Fox, so it might not get a chance.

Howard said...

I agree. Though based on title, Buffy was more star-centric and Firefly and Dollhouse are named for the "clubhouse".

I wondered if the 2nd mission was approved because of the $8 million for the taking. The Dollhouse obviously feels free to murder, was that in the plan all along or not?