I’m not a fan of “Dollhouse.” I couldn’t get into it. Maybe I was distracted. Maybe my queue was just full between “Burn Notice”, the garbage that SyFy is putting out, “Mythbusters” and staying loyal to Dr. House. But I’m not a “Dollhouse” fan. I’m not really a Joss Whedon fan. I did like “Firefly,” though, but like many I didn’t discover it until recently on DVD. My only conflict of interest here is that I met and interviewed Eliza Dushku, and it made me wish I was a 6’7″ basketball star like Rick Fox.
That said, I can’t imagine why anyone is surprised, shocked even, that Fox renewed “Dollhouse” for a second season. I can’t imagine a television show that’s been more hyped and amped and discussed than Whedon’s current sexy, action-packed, psychological drama.
We even came up with a list of nine reasons why a second season was a good thing. As if we had to make the argument! I’ll give you one reason:
It’s the guy!
Every time Blast so much as mentions Joss Whedon in an article, it gets linked to on forums, big hits on Google News, tons of comments and loads of traffic. People flock to anything we print about the man who brought the world “Buffy” and perhaps the most successful spinoff ever that doesn’t involve a black family, “Angel.”
And I say “flock” quite literally. It’s like the swallows coming back every year. Fans wait with baited breath to see what Joss is gonna do next.
How is this guy continuously getting shot down?
“Firefly” I can see. Network television can’t sustain pure science fiction, though at least Fox keeps trying. But “Dollhouse?”
One of the comments that stuck out from my Dushku interview was when she told me that “Dollhouse” was the most DVR’d television show of the fall season. Combining that with people who actually watched the show live, I would offer that “Dollhouse” was perhaps one of the top three most-watched television shows last season.
Yet it’s astounding and breaking news that there will be a season two? I think not.
But here we are again. Fox has slashed the show’s budget. Season two is going to be grittier (read: cheaply done) and darker (read: fewer expensive special effects and sets). Crew is getting shuffled around. Whedon is bringing in “his alumns” like Alexis Denisof, which reminds me of Kevin Smith getting his friends to be in every movie he makes.
Are we to believe that Fox somehow has failed to make a fat enough profit off of this show? Are we to sit here, critics and fans alike, and buy it that, with all the hype, fan sites, forums, promo spots, convention panels and fucking TiVos out there, that the sales team at one of the biggest media conglomerates in the world couldn’t turn a decent profit?
YES! That’s exactly what we have to believe, because otherwise Fox would be pouring resources back into the show to squeeze more milk from the cow.
Someone needs to get fired over this, but it’s not Joss Whedon.