Boob Tube: All Dolled Up and Nowhere to Go?

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Boob Tube:  All Dolled Up and Nowhere to Go?

Joss Whedon’s long-awaited new show, Dollhouse, premiered last week on FOX, pulling in a modest 4.7 million viewers. As a fan of Whedon’s work, I have to say I’m a little concerned – less so about the numbers and more about the premise of the show itself. It can be argued that Buffy, Angel and Firefly resonated the way they did with fans in large part because Whedon is terrific at marrying compelling characters and exciting story lines. With Dollhouse, the concept is a hoot alright, but the main character, Echo, literally has no personality of her own to carry through from week to week. And so far, the rest of the regular characters are an awkwardly creepy bunch. That sense of comraderie and synergy we’ve all come to know and love in the groups of characters Joss has introduced us to over the years is missing here, and in its absence, Dollhouse seems big on flash, and short on heart. Eliza Dushku is as delightful (not to mention hot) as ever to watch onscreen, but I’m not sure that will be enough to keep an audience engaged. Here’s to hoping Joss has something more up his sleeve with this one. I’d sure like to be proven wrong!

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Heck, if Dollhouse turns out to be half as entertaining as the new Hulu commercial featuring Eliza Dushku, I'd consider us lucky bastards.

Speaking of all things Whedon, Buffy alum Emma Caulfield guest starred on this week’s episode of Private Practice as the mother of an intersexed newborn. As the medical subplots on this show so often are, the whole thing turned into a clumsy vehicle through which the regular characters could project their own issues onto the lives of their patients. Still, it was nice to see this subject broached and treated with some sensitivity on a network show and kind of refreshing to see some pop culture discourse about the nature of sex and gender identity. Elsewhere on ABC, the courtship of Callie and Arizona hit a snag this week on Grey’s Anatomy. Arizona learned that Erica was Callie’s first trip to Girl’s Town, and balked at the idea of getting involved with someone so newly out. On the one hand, this felt like a colossal tease on the part of the writers. On the other? I also think this is a totally relatable issue as a dyke, and was kind of tickled that they went there. What do you guys think? Is it too much trouble to date women who are still in the “bright-eyed, exploring” phase of their new-found dykedom?

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And finally, the Top Chef Powers That Be answered my prayers and brought Jamie back along with two other recently eliminated chefs for this week’s Quickfire round. Alas, our girl failed to impress the judges and missed out on a second chance to make it to the finale. Curses! It was lovely to see her back, though, however briefly. I suppose I’ll just have to go back to trolling for a new TV lesbo hearththrob… any suggestions from the peanut gallery?

To Watch For Next Week…

Sunday! It’s The 81st Academy Awards, hosted by Hugh Jackman (ABC, 8 p.m.). And Jenny throws Max one hell of a baby shower on The L Word (Showtime, 9 p.m.).

Monday! The season finale of The Closer (TNT, 9 p.m.).

Tuesday! Lizzie the No-Longer-a-Lezzie and Christian prepare to tie the knot (?!?!) on Nip/Tuck (FX, 10 p.m.).

Wednesday! The season finale of Top Chef: New York (Bravo, 10 p.m.). Tyra’s back on the season premiere of America’s Next Top Model (The CW, 8 p.m.). And, at long last, the return of boy wonder, Walt, on Lost (ABC, 9 p.m.).

Friday! Kara is intrigued by mysterious new stranger on Battlestar Galactica (Sci Fi Channel, 10 p.m.).



Comments [30]

Not2Taem's picture

Yes! We need a respite from

Yes! We need a respite from the gay boy reality TV pact.

Xanadu's picture

I guess I can strike you off

I guess I can strike you off my list then!

minniesota's picture

Si, Rusty Patti. That Ellen

Si, Rusty Patti. That Ellen was scaring me Friday night.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

I knew much earlier, but then

I knew much earlier, but then I'm perceptive like that, lol.

I caught the audio, though, very interesting.

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

LOL, nothing seems to be

LOL, nothing seems to be beyond her capabilities!

Julia Watson's picture

For real. Darth Ellen!

For real. Darth Ellen!

Kent's picture

Totes agree Julia!

Totes agree Julia!

Kent's picture

Thanks for the heads up on

Thanks for the heads up on what to watch Julia!

Robin Rigby's picture

Hehehe. I don't believe in

Hehehe. I don't believe in holding back. Smile Don't ask me for my opinion unless you REALLY want to hear it.

I was afraid Julia might be upset with me for saying I didn't like her precious Joss' new show. Glad to see she wasn't thrilled with it either. At least my invite to the Watson household for Thanksgiving '09 is probably still safe. Smile

I don't even want to talk about Lagassi. I find him immensely annoying. They must be running out of good chefs to have on as guest judges. Who's next? Rachael Ray? Yikes! Maybe they should bring on Giada. Giada and Padma. Hotness squared.

minniesota's picture

I've become very fond of

I've become very fond of Carla. HOOTIE! She seems like a nice person.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

Rusty's picture

"Yeah, but that’s why it’s

"Yeah, but that’s why it’s funny that he’s the Xander/Joss character!"

That's the most evil part of it—Endearing mad scientist.

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

Rusty's picture

Private Practice had a Buffy

Private Practice had a Buffy alum twofer. Emma Caulfield (Anya Christina Emmanuella Jenkins) and Leonard Roberts (Forrest Gates).

Warning
BSG Spoilers:

Does anyone else think Ellen Tigh is capable of performing Jedi Mind Tricks like getting Saul to have sex with her and killing Caprica's fetus?

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

Julia Watson's picture

'I can’t stand the techie

'I can’t stand the techie guy. He’s the most evil of a group of truly vile characters."

Yeah, but that's why it's funny that he's the Xander/Joss character!

Rusty's picture

Julia, I don't have an answer

Julia, I don't have an answer for you. I think it's too early to tell where it's going.

I can't stand the techie guy. He's the most evil of a group of truly vile characters.

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

Not2Taem's picture

Try this link. The story

Try this link. The story comes on about 29 min. in, if you want to fast forward.

http://audio.thisamericanlife.org/player/CPRadio_player.php?podcast=http...

Julia Watson's picture

You nerd. :) I said TALK me

You nerd. Smile I said TALK me down...

Not2Taem's picture

I always thought Grace needed

I always thought Grace needed a woman. Laughing out loud

Not2Taem's picture

Julia, did you Take Me

Julia, did you Take Me Down?
Well, OK, but I don't think CT is going to be happy.
Laughing out loud

Not2Taem's picture

Robin, Robin, Robin Always

Robin, Robin, Robin

Always so coy. Tell us what you really think.
LOL

PS: I think LayGasHe just has the hots for Jeffwee. Laughing out loud

Not2Taem's picture

Carla, Carla, Carla... You

Carla, Carla, Carla...

You know they're going to give it to Stephan, though. They want to draw in the Euros. Sad

Julia Watson's picture

Rusty, I'm starting to get

Rusty, I'm starting to get skeeved out by the misogyny in the storyline. I'm interested in your take on that. (Having a Maddow moment here -- talk me down!)

For me, The Middleman's character in this last episode really exemplified the creepy misogyny thing. I genuinely believe that Joss is passionately committed to the ideals of feminism -- or at least his own take on them -- based on his past creative work and charity work alike, but man... it just feels like he's pushing buttons on that level more for the sake of being provocative than crafting that whizbang subtext he was always so damn good at back in the good ol' days of his fandom.

On another tack entirely, I can't decide if I think it's annoying or cute that the techie guy who tabula rasas Echo's memory is the Xander/Cash/(guy who talks like Joss in real life) guy here.

Julia Watson's picture

I concur on all points. I

I concur on all points. I really don't want Stefan to win, though. How rockin' would it be if Carla won it? It would be a victory for us hippy-dippy types everywhere. Hee.

Grace Moon's picture

I'm hopin Carla wins TC,

I'm hopin Carla wins TC, though its probably a way long shot. I like her kooky hippy outlook.

Stephan is a jerk and Hosea is a douche bag.

my prediction is it goes to Stephan.

tweet tweet @gracemoon

ZaraThustra's picture

Dollhouse was awful. I *love*

Dollhouse was awful. I *love* Eliza D. but why does she annoy me as an actress? I think it's the way she intonates her words. hmmm...

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

If you get the opportunity,

If you get the opportunity, and have HBO, check out "Taking Chance" this weekend. Bring Kleenex, trust me.

Kelly McCartney's picture

On "This American Life" this

On "This American Life" this week, the second story is about two transgendered eight-year-olds. One of them knew she was a girl at age five. So interesting.

Won't you be my neighbor? @theKELword

Robin Rigby's picture

As you know, Julia, I thought

As you know, Julia, I thought the writing was atrocious in the pilot episode of "Dollhouse", unfortunately I also thought that Eliza's acting was equally embarrassing. And Alec Baldwin's Hulu commercial is much better.

As for "Top Chef" yet another reason why I don't like Emeril Lagassi. Jeff? Really? That guy was mediocre on his best days throughout the season. I loved Fabio's line about how his car "is a piece of... poop." Hilarious.

I don't know if it's bad to date newbie dykes but I definitely have no interest in lesbian virgins. Women always fall in love with their first woman so you'd never know if she really loves you or is just in love with finally being gay. Of course, if you're not the least bit in love with her it makes it even more awkward.

minniesota's picture

Rusty, you are Whedon

Rusty, you are Whedon optimist! Hah.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

Rusty's picture

Julia, I agree about Joss and

Julia, I agree about Joss and the "compelling characters and exciting storylines." But when Buffy first aired it wasn't there. I watched because it was a cute premise, but it wasn't until Season 2 that it became must see TV for me. Firefly was different. I watched it in the order Joss intended via DVD and it grabbed me from the original pilot.

I think you're right about the difficulty of rooting for a character like Echo ("literally no personality of her own to carry through from week to week"). But we got a glimpse of what I suspect the story will really be about. Her programming broke down in episode 2 and I think that's where we'll get the compelling compelling characters and exciting storylines. It won't be about each engagement, but rather whether she can reclaim her personhood. I'm spoiler-free for the rest of the episodes, so I don't know if I'm right or not. My favorite line was, "Four brothers; none of them Democrats." My first thought was, is that Echo or Caroline talking?

Also, Joss is taking a huge risk by starting us off and keeping us in the Hellmouth for the first 2 episodes. No pep rallies and cheerleading tryouts to counter balance. We know who the Big Bad is or at least who the minions are.

I'll be sticking around for all 13 episodes as long as Fox doesn't pull the plug.

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

lucia_2008's picture

See...boycotting Whedon

See...boycotting Whedon worked for me.

"Is it too much trouble to date women who are still in the “bright-eyed, exploring” phase of their newfound dykedom?"

Not if you don't take it to seriously. They may have flipped but they could flop. New dykes need seasoned dykes as friends.

Cristina Ricci will be joining the cast of "Saving Grace" in March, could be interesting.

That's all from the peanut gallery! Smile

Smile...life is good!!!