Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dear Joss Whedon,

Hi, my name is Jon and I’m a big fan (I liked Alien 4, if that helps you to gauge any…) and I’m writing to you today, via my blog here, (its nice, huh? …Did it myself.) because I wanted to rap with you a bit, you know, just talk some shit out, just you and I (and both my readers), man to man, because frankly, Joss (can I call you Joss? Thanks). Frankly Joss, I’m a bit confused…

You see, much like that issue of Avengers where they had Hank Pym shrink down to ant size and then crawl around in Janet Van Dyne’s vagina and emerge out from under the blanket all covered in “sweat”, when I heard you were returning to Fox in order to do your latest show… I was flabbergasted, I mean, there were no words, man… no words… None except:

What the fuck are you doing back at Fox?

I don’t get it, do you like being screwed over? Do you like being dumped suddenly and unceremoniously? Do you like being interfered with and second-guessed at every turn? Do you enjoy it when others have a complete and total lack of faith in your abilities? I mean, sure, Eliza is awesome, I’m totally with you there, I am often quoted as saying: I only use the term “bad ass” in reference to Kung Fu and Eliza Dushku (admittedly, by “often” I mean “just now”) and apparently and unfortunately she has signed some kind of an exclusivity deal with Fox, which is too bad, because that means that if you want her, then you get them, but still, man…

Well… Alright, okay, I get it… but here, try this one on for size instead… After the myriad of odd and amazing genre shows that Fox has made a history of green-lighting, one after the other, like the bunch of fucking wad-job prick teasing bastards that they are and then destroying and/or canning after only a handful of episodes, one of them being your own little piece of super-awesomeness (Firefly), why the hell would you pick Dollhouse as the go-to choice for giving Fox a second chance at a working relationship?

And that’s the core of it all, man, lets just be honest here, because I think many people out there have missed the point. They go on and on how you should go to HBO, (you should, seriously… your shows may not necessarily NEED copious amounts of blood, boobs and swearing, but the freedom to use the tools should you want them can only be all the more creatively liberating) others say you should run for Sci-fi (Or SyFy, which to me means you need to stay the fuck away from those stupid geek self loather asshole bastards…) but that’s just bullshit, because there was nothing you could do about Fox’s involvement, that’s just the way shit went down.


Because you wanted to work with Eliza...


So the problem becomes instead: the show itself.

Here’s what I’ve read from the start: Mind wiped Humans called Actives are kept in a fancy penthouse and then hired out by a super secret corporation to an elite clientele and these Actives can be imprinted with various personalities and skill sets, so that they can be anything required. Echo is one of them and The BSG guy is an FBI agent on her and the Dollhouse’s trail… AND…

Then what?

That’s the problem..

Then what?

She remembers? She escapes? She finds love? She goes crazy? She rides off on a giant luck dragon? She wakes up and discovers she’s Bob Newheart? What?

I mean, the show has a really interesting hook, sure, each week you can make Eliza wear a different fetish outfit… kidding… but really, the potential to do any kind of stories you want each week is apparent. There’s no way that it wouldn’t be fun, but really, the plot, the thrust of the show, did it ever occur to you that perhaps it might be a little too vague for the modern Fox audience? (NASCAR on Fox! Up next: Dollhouse…? Dude…) You can’t sum up the plot in a single pitch line and the idea of exploring the gray vagaries of the morally and ethically tenuous sci-fi world of the day after tomorrow, is not the kind of tagline that makes most potential audience members sit up and beg for more.

It’s not.

Plus, look what they do to you: They stick you on Fridays? What the hell? Isn’t that pretty much considered a vote of no confidence? How’s that feel? Is it worth it, Joss? Do you enjoy hanging out on the cancellation cusp before the first episode can even air? Do you enjoy having them tell you that the pilot episode, the initial vision of YOUR show that you want to present to the audience, that you want to use to introduce the audience to your new world, is wrong… again? Why?

Now me? I trust your vision. I am one of those people out there more than willing to tag along and find out all in good time whatever it is that you have planned, but I’m not Fox. Why did you go so high concept? All hook, no basic over-plot? Is that a good idea when working with Fox? Is it a good idea to make a show with them that requires a lot of patience and a slow build up of its audience in order to succeed? Fox? Do they have a record of patience with that sort of thing? Didn’t you consider their current history? Didn’t you consider YOUR history with them? Is the Fox Network considered a fan of the complex, vague, subtle, and/or not that flashy? Once maybe, but now?

Ah… no…

So, why not be a little bit more straight forward?

Girl spy, disavowed, framed and on her own. Who can she trust in order to clear her name… go. (Okay, maybe that’s a little close to Alias, but you can make it your own, just have her cry less often... a lot less often… please…)

Girl discovers she has super powers and ends up falling head long into the world’s secret superhero history… go. (Okay, echoes of Planetary, but… is that a bad thing?)

Girl Thief making her way through dystopian future… go. (Oh wait, you already did something kind of like that and it was called Fray… hmmm… familiar ground, not a bad thing to have when starting a new show….)

But no, you go with Dollhouse… Mind wiped Humans called Actives are kept in a fancy penthouse and then hired out by a super secret corporation to an elite clientele and these Actives can be imprinted with various personalities and skill sets, so that they can be anything required. Echo is one of them and The BSG guy is an FBI agent on her and the Dollhouse’s trail… AND then… I don’t know what…

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve been enjoying it, especially now that those first 6 episodes that Fox had its crappy little fingers all over are done , but even though I’ve been enjoying the show, even though I’m sticking around… Deep down, I know its not gonna last… I’ve known from the start… We all have… It has always been a mere step or two from the chopping block. Nine episodes? I’m surprised you made it that far…

Dude… I’m sorry, but come on.

Why didn’t you go flashy? I know its not really your style, but YOU’RE the one that choose to work with Fox, so be a realist. Look, basically, what I’m saying is, in the future, the next time Fox sets up that football and you come running across that field, all retardedly excited to kick it… don’t be surprised when they yank it out of the way at the last moment… again.


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