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New TV & Better Old TV - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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September 27th, 2009


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02:13 am - New TV & Better Old TV
I recently watched the premier of Flashforward & the season premier of Dollhouse. I did not expect to be impressed by Flashforward & I wasn't. The premise is fascinating, the plot (or what we can see of it) looks cool, especially the task force dealing with the incident that was essentially created recursively. However, it's clearly a sloppy fairly show – why would so many office buildings in LA catch fire in 2 minutes, why engage in a high speed car chase when you could have simply been waiting to arrest the possible terrorists when they left the building they went in, there's a lot of carelessness. I also fear that this will be a show of the ilk of Lost (or for that matter, Gilligan's Island) where nothing substantial can be achieved or the show ends. I don't expect to watch more than 4 or 5 episodes (if that) but I might be proven wrong.

In vivid contrast, I just watched the best episode of Dollhouse that I've ever seen. The acting was shockingly good with lots of wonderful character interactions (especially between Topher & Dr. Saunders), and even Ballard managed to be interesting and not noticeably annoying. However, much of what made the episode so good was the fact that Eliza Dushku (the star of the show) had relatively few lines. I hope this pattern continues, her short "They are lost and I'll find them" speech to Ballard at the end was painfully bad acting, especially compared with the rest of the show.

A few weeks ago, I also watched the 13th (unaired) episode of Season One "Epitaph One", which was a total game changer, and placed the show far more firmly in the realm of something like SF. It's obvious that their tech would be used for immortality for the rich, and I liked that (admittedly obvious) extrapolation. However, I was rather less keen on this leading to a stereotypical grubby-&-burning-trashcans post apocalyptic future. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles does that sort of thing well, this episode did not. I am interested so see what they do with that future, since Joss Whedon has said that not only does that actually represent the future of Dollhouse, but that at least one character from that future (Felicia Day) will appear in several episodes of this season, strongly implying that we'll be seeing rather more of that future. Unfortunately, given that (unlike Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) there is no time travel in Dollhouse, nothing is going to prevent that future. Dollhouse is too often mired in cheap stereotypes – Alpha could have been interesting, but turned out to be yet another generically cackling serial killer. Dollhouse 2019 could have been very cool (perhaps with a seriously dystopian society, where the "actuals" were secret rebels) and instead went for another cheezy cliché. The teaser for the 2nd episode of Season 2 looked like more of the same, Eliza Dushku as crazed-killer-mommie – ugh. Perhaps it will be better than it looked. OTOH, the season premier was genuinely good, so we shall see.
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful

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From:heron61
Date:September 27th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
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No I haven't. I assumed that since it was on the SyFy channel it was likely both exceedingly sexist and also terrible (which I've found to be widely, but definitely not universally true). Is it actually worth watching?
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From:heron61
Date:September 27th, 2009 09:10 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the heads-up, I'll give it a look.
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From:moominmuppet
Date:September 28th, 2009 09:19 pm (UTC)
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We've definitely been enjoying it at our place!
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From:talonstrike
Date:September 28th, 2009 06:23 am (UTC)
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Dollhouse is an odd case. It started out appallingly bad, and each episode has been a little bit better than the last. I missed Epitaph One, so I can't speak to that, but it appears that the pattern is continuing.
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From:heron61
Date:September 28th, 2009 07:14 am (UTC)
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That's mostly true, but last (aired) episode of season 1 was utterly wretched. They built Alpha up as an interesting villian, and he was laughably stereotypical. Also, several of the later episodes of S1 had better plots and acting, but still suffered from the problem of blugeoning the viewed repeatedly as to the point of the episode. Thankfully, that was absent from the first episode of Season 2. Given the teaser, I expect the 2nd episode to utterly suck, but would love to be proven wrong.

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