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So, Dollhouse... [Jun. 22nd, 2012|12:05 am]
helle_d
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[music |Heather Dale, Hero]

A list of slightly incoherent and disordered things that are in my brain after watching the first twelve episodes of Dollhouse.




Ai, just as I was finishing this, frith_in_thorns told me that I had missed out an episode; because the third disc finished with Omega I assumed it was the last of the series! So I haven't actually seen the finale yet. Sorry! (DON'TSPOILME) So here are my thoughts up to Episode 12!

  • DollhouseDollhouseDollhouse! I liked watching Season 1 a lot; it fit nicely into the slot in my mind where I watch television without engaging too much brain power or empathy. (That sounds a terribly back-handed compliment, but it isn’t meant to be! I _like_ not having to engage myself fully with something, it makes it harder to commit to)
  • Things I liked: ADELE ADELE ADELE, evil queen of my heart.  C’mon, my susceptibility to charming an evil ladies (Um. In fiction. If that wasn’t clear.) is LARGE, but Adele also has a particular awesomeness all of her own.
  • The Monster of the Week episodes – I actually thought that was a fairly neat way to play with the different possibilities of the Dollhouse, I could have happily watched a slower-building series of that, with more examination of Echo’s mental state and difference from the other Dolls. Because I _liked_ watching Echo be interesting, and the ways her different personas solved problems. In a way, I would have liked that to go further – I was half disappointed with the way her blind Imprint in the cult episode took charge; her approach was very similar to Echo’s other Imprints and it would have been nice to see her acting differently. Though of course in that crisis situation, nothing less than a very assertive command style would have carried the day, so I guess it had to be like that?
  • I still find Topher the least sympathetic and most morally horrific of the main Dollhouse staff, even though objectively none of them _are_ any better than him, except possibly Dr Saunders, post-finale, since she has never had a choice in aligning herself with the Dollhouse. But Adele is so clear-sighted, and Boyd is loyal and smart and brave, so I give them more latitude for Fucked-Up Shit. Don’t get me wrong, I like _watching_ Topher, but I am rooting for him least of all of them. (I do admire his commitment to junk food though!)
  • All of the interactions between him and Adele in ‘Echoes’ were, however, glorious.

DeWitt: Are you making any progress?

Topher: I'm working! What are you doing, besides ... being ...

DeWitt: Being what?

Topher: Wait a minute.

DeWitt: Sarcastic? Unfeeling? British?

Topher: It's an animal.

DeWitt: Where?

Topher: No! The word!

DeWitt: Still you have to admit I am very British. I don't say hard ... 'Rs'

Topher: You know what I like? Brown Sauce? What's it made of? Science doesn't know!

DeWitt: It's made of brown.

Topher: Brown...mined from the earth by the hard scrabble brown miners of north Brownderton!

DeWitt: Oh my god, I find lentils completely incomprehensible.

                                                                                                              

  • Like many of the concepts, I loved the idea of the Alpha plot, but, once we finally met him in ‘Omega’, I would have liked him to be .... more formidable? You can hardly blame him for the Crazy, with all of that going through his head, but it would have been more awesome to see him as a competent and highly-functional crazed killer, rather than just a scary mess.
  • Ep04, ‘Grey Hour’ was my very favourite I think, for the diversity of things it got to show. Yay heists! And yay Echo! Ep07 comes a close second, for the Caroline backstory and the Everyone on Drugs. And all the episodes! I genuinely did enjoy them all, particularly the later ones, very much. Only slight except might be ‘The Target’; I did like the Boyd/Echo moments a lot but girl-gets-chased-by-killer is not my favourite plot in the world.
  • Dr Saunders/Whiskey, why hello you suddenly incredibly interesting character! Let’s talk more!
  • Sierra still doesn’t engage me much, but she’s growing on me. Oh, heartbreaking backstory of heartbreaking, I do however want to hug her a lot.
  • I adore all and any Adelle/Echo-or-Caroline interactions with burning passion. I love how fascinated Adelle is with her protégée
Quotes:

  • Boyd: We're pimps and killers, but in a philanthropic way.
  • Boyd: Eternal life. DeWitt: Nice adjective. Excellent noun. Is there more?
  • Paul: So this is it. This is where you steal their souls. Topher: Yeah, and then we put them in a glass jar next to our fireflies. Why is there a tall, morally judgmental man in my imprint room besides him? [Boyd]
  • Whiskey/ Dr Saunders: But why did you decide it was so important for me to hate you?
  • Topher And of course it doesn't tell you anything. It doesn't tell me anything, and I'm smarter than everyone in this room! (points at Adelle) But less scary.
  • Dominic: (about the Actives) Don't think of them as children, think of them as pets.
    Dr Saunders: Is that supposed to be funny?
    Dominic: If your child starts talking for the first time, you feel proud. If your dog does, you freak the hell out.


linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: littlered2
2012-06-21 11:13 pm (UTC)
I like your cut text a lot. Oh, Boyd. Such a darling (my epithet of choice, admittedly, for every character in things I love).

Eeee, you haven't seen the finale? It will BREAK YOU. Maybe. And there's lots of Adelle being awesome (when isn't there? NEVER).

Oh, goodness yes - Topher is so morally dubious. (They expand on that in the next season! It's pretty great. I just want to quote things at you.) TV Tropes (DON'T GO ON THERE AND SPOIL YOURSELF) described him as "adorkable" and my response was "well, yes - but also, MORALLY DUBIOUS. A lot".

My favourite moment in "Echoes" is when Topher and Adelle are trying to work out if sleeper!November is still out there and dangerous.

TOPHER: Go check.
ADELLE: I am your superior.
TOPHER: In every way. Go check.

<3

The Boyd/Echo interactions in "The Target" are lovely. He trusts her! With his life!

Poor darling Sierra. And re. Dr Saunders, I know! She is fascinating.
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[User Picture]From: helle_d
2012-06-21 11:18 pm (UTC)
I love that Topher/Adelle interaction. In every way. And the Boyd/Echo trust! It is lovely! I admit, I am inclining to your classification of them all as Poor Darlings.
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[User Picture]From: littlered2
2012-06-21 11:20 pm (UTC)
Fun game: try to think of a Joss Whedon main character who has not, at one point, been a Poor Darling. It's tricky. (You can try it out by wailing to yourself, "Poor darling Giles! Poor darling Simon! Poor darling Wesley!" and seeing it it works. It almost always does.)
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[User Picture]From: helle_d
2012-06-22 09:20 pm (UTC)
Captain Mal? As deeply as he has suffered, I'm having trouble fitting him into a Poor Darling slot. Inara? (Depending on whether you think she is sekritly terminally ill or not.) But otherwise I am drawing a blank ....

Oh! Oh! I've got one - how about Captain Hammer? You can't deny he's a main character. (I could also make a case for Billy; he's another one that I enjoy watching but have a hard time sympathising with.)
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[User Picture]From: littlered2
2012-06-22 09:23 pm (UTC)
I should probably have specified "not villains" (although you can certainly count some villains - Spike! - as Poor Darlings). I do sometimes think of Mal as a poor darling, but he's not the type to inspire much pity.
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[User Picture]From: littlered2
2012-06-21 11:21 pm (UTC)
I am so glad, by the way, that you love Adelle like I do.
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[User Picture]From: littlered2
2012-06-21 11:15 pm (UTC)
I found out who played Alpha before watching his episodes - and then, stupidly, told Rob. So we were both spoiled for the reveal, which made me cross. Were you? (Ditto for the Dr Saunders reveal. Turns out if you go to read a Wikipedia article, they will list both of the character names for that actor. It's annoying.)
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[User Picture]From: helle_d
2012-06-21 11:19 pm (UTC)
Lol, I think my uselessness with matching actors to faces would have protected me from that - it meant that it took until the end of the episode for me to realise about Dr Saunders. /shame.
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[User Picture]From: littlered2
2012-06-21 11:21 pm (UTC)
Well, the makeup artists did put lots of scars on her. (
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[User Picture]From: teh_elb
2012-06-21 11:20 pm (UTC)
BUT SIERA/VICTOR

/coherant
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[User Picture]From: littlered2
2012-06-21 11:20 pm (UTC)
SIERRA/VICTOR! Oh, my heart.

(E - next season has some ADORABLE Sierra/Victor stuff. I mean, more adorable than already.)
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[User Picture]From: teh_elb
2012-06-21 11:21 pm (UTC)
NEEDS

NEEDS

(But it's true, the Siera/Victor gets even more OTP-ish in the second season.)
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[User Picture]From: littlered2
2012-06-21 11:24 pm (UTC)
"Needs" is adorable. But "Belonging"!
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[User Picture]From: helle_d
2012-06-21 11:26 pm (UTC)
ARRG I MUST WATCH THE REST OF THIS SHOW.
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[User Picture]From: helle_d
2012-06-21 11:44 pm (UTC)
I SEE NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS PLAN.
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[User Picture]From: littlered2
2012-06-21 11:27 pm (UTC)
You will like "Belonging" a lot. I think.

What do you think about Adelle and Victor? (I mean, other than LOTS OF ATTRACTIVENESS ON THE SCREEN, I CANNOT TAKE IT.)
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[User Picture]From: littlered2
2012-06-21 11:27 pm (UTC)
SAYING GOODBYE

*weeps*
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[User Picture]From: frith_in_thorns
2012-06-21 11:31 pm (UTC)
WHY DID YOU NOT QUOTE ANY OF THE MEDICINAL CARROTS BITS.

Also you are not listing Victor. Sierra and Victor are adorable adorableness.

:P
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[User Picture]From: littlered2
2012-06-22 10:34 am (UTC)
They really are. Oh, Sierra and Victor.
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[User Picture]From: littlered2
2012-06-22 08:49 pm (UTC)
I meant to say, I completely agree with you about Topher seeming the most morally horrific of the Dollhouse staff. Adelle gives the impression of knowing full well what she's doing, and having thought about the negative points, whereas Topher seems more to just think of it as cool and fun (rewriting people's brains!). Which is weird, because you'd think that would make Adelle less sympathetic, but there you go.

(What do you think about Ballard?)
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[User Picture]From: helle_d
2012-06-22 09:16 pm (UTC)
What do you think about Ballard?
Mainly, 'lol'. I give him points for effort, and I can respect his integrity, but he is so fail! I don't know whether he's meant to be the main protagonist apart from Echo - the narrative seems to be trying to place him in that slot - but he seems to go about things in such a stupid way, it's hard to sympathise. I think his arc coud be really engaging - a lone man fighting for justice, the 'only sane man' in a world of fools and liars - but the material he's given just doesn't live up to that potential.

And yeah, Adelle's clarity of purpose should make her the more horrific one, you would think, but it does have the opposite effect. I think her clear-eyed intelligence is the thing I love most about her.
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[User Picture]From: littlered2
2012-06-22 09:22 pm (UTC)
He is an idiot. I find it quite endearing, but he really is a terrible FBI agent.

There are so many things to choose from!
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[User Picture]From: helle_d
2012-06-22 09:27 pm (UTC)
There really, really are. I've watched the finale now, and she was GLORIOUS every moment of it.

I tried to liveblog my reactions to ep13, but for the most part I was too busy watching to bother to pause and write stuff. But for your delectation:

3mins I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON

ADELLE ADELLE ADELLE, I love the way you believe in what you do

Oh, Topher, you have suddenly earned all my hearts

Have I mentioned that I adore all and any Adelle/Caroline-Echo interactions? Because I adore them. I love how proud they both are, and how the affect each other.

“I told her if she stayed she’d lose her mind. I guess she decided that was better.” Oh, Whiskey, my heartbreak.

How brain-melting must it be for the kid you know as Iris to suddenly be Caroline? I suppose they must be used to minds and bodies being more-or-less interchangeable, but there must surely be an emotional reaction to seeing ‘little kid we try to protect’ becoming someone else entirely.
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[User Picture]From: littlered2
2012-06-22 09:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's hard not to be all "oh wow, I love Topher" after watching that. Apparently I like it when characters are all crazy and damaged?

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[User Picture]From: hrodberht
2012-06-25 06:56 pm (UTC)
BALLARD IS FANTASTIC. Have you watched the Disc 1 deleted scenes? There's one in particular - I think it's called 'Actives handle Ballard' which was cut from Omega but is the BEST THING because he is just so incompetent. V will attest that I watched it over and over after discovering it.
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[User Picture]From: littlered2
2012-06-25 10:25 pm (UTC)
I can attest to both this and the fact that it is fantastic.
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[User Picture]From: helle_d
2012-06-22 09:23 pm (UTC)
Also, I think as I digest the show further, my perspective is going to be further skewed by the fact that I am currently reading Schindler's List. Once I've processed the utter horror and evil of that, I imagine my internal barometer of 'horrific' is going to be affected re. Dollhouse - though I'm not yet sure just how it will affect my Dollhouse perceptions.
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