Sep. 6th, 2009

sincere: DGM: Lenalee's back to the viewer (to die a martyr despised ;;)
I got my Dollhouse season one DVD today and I'm completely disappointed. I like the packaging, I like the series. We watched through all the aired episodes and we were excited and happy.

Then we watched the unaired thirteenth episode and it all drained away.

It was some bizarre, post-apocalyptic future, ten years later. That apocalypse was caused by the Dollhouse's technology. The whole episode hammers home how wrong the Dollhouse was, how misguided everyone involved with it was, how terrible humanity is to have ever wanted anything like that. Then, in the last minute of the episode, we reiterate all of this extremely bluntly, juuust in case you missed all that subtle conversation earlier. And it's not AU. It's official, just unaired on Fox; Whedon said it's supposed to "hint" [with a sledgehammer] at the direction the series will take in the second season.

Then we watched the unaired pilot episode and it just died. On top of being terrible, it was also extremely heavy-handed in telling us how wrong everything is. It's like watching a hastily-assembled clipreel of talking points about how wrong the Dollhouse is.

There's a scene where Topher and Saunders argue about pro-bono work, Saunders is like, they evolve magically and become more powerful and intelligent and have better reflexes when they go on pro-bono missions instead of serving rich men! and Topher's like, w/e I don't care about them I just want them to suck the cocks of rich men bwahaha I am cartoonishly evil, and I'm like, this is such complete bullshit. First of all, wouldn't Topher be interested in this progress? Isn't it his field of study, his big geeky passion? And second of all, there's a very, very small amount of engagements where the dolls do anything other than make good but lonely people happy. Everyone else, like, wants to rescue kidnapped children, avert a suicidal cult to save the people inside it, have a last happy moment with their dead wife, solve their own murder, or just have a romantic human connection with someone. HOW TERRIBLE OF THEM. DOLLS DON'T EXPERIENCE ANYTHING WORTHWHILE FROM FILTHY SERVICING OF RICH MEN MISSIONS LIKE THESE, ONLY FROM READING BOOKS TO SMALL CHILDREN.)

Look, this just isn't the show I thought I was watching. I thought I was watching a show about how the allegedly-wiped-clean Actives were in fact still people, still themselves; how they had access to their memories and their deepest longings even though they should have been empty. I thought it was a series about evolving, exploring what it means to be a doll. Instead, it seems to be a series about how its own premise, which is interesting and made me want to watch the show in the first place, is fucking evil and everyone who advocated it was naive and wrong.

It's really, deeply disappointing. The dolls voluntarily entered into a contract to escape their crappy lives, and when the contract is up and they've made loads of people happy, they'll be incredibly wealthy and far away chronologically from whatever scarred them. Meanwhile, the Dollhouse takes extraordinary care of them: they live in a serene, luxurious, stressfree paradise -- their missions are all checked to make sure it'll never be people who want to hurt them -- they only go out as dominants, never submissives, just in case -- they have Handlers watching them on all their engagements who protect them if anything goes wrong -- and yeah, they have sex with people, but the doll is always in love, never just screwing some random guy. The doll always loves the client.

Ascribing cartoonishly evil motives to them and heavy-handed implications that OF COURSE that technology is wrong and will eventually destroy civilization (usually this comes from the mouths of rapists and traitors, so I didn't realize I was supposed to agree with them!) is just. Deeply disappointing. Not to mention I'm so bored of the downfall of civilization and post-apocalyptic hellscapes where everything is burning and everyone is dirty because hot water doesn't exist anymore.

Ironically -- I feel like Fox was trying to save this show for me by not airing the pilot and last episode. If only I had trusted them more. :(


sincere: DGM: Lenalee's back to the viewer (Default)

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