inevitable betrayal

11 Nov

we’ll always have “belonging.”

quite a lot is being said about the demise of “dollhouse,” mostly that its cancellation was more a matter of “when” than “if” and that the good news is it frees joss whedon up for projects like a “horrible” sequel.

well, duh.

still, i loved “dollhouse,” to the point that after watching “belonging” a few weeks ago i considered writing an absolutely huge tribute to it here. i didn’t – frankly, i don’t think i’m smart enough to – but i still wanted to say a few things about this show.

anyone who knows me knows i’m a diehard joss whedon fan. i totally own one of those “joss whedon is my master now” shirts, and one especially cruel guy once listed my love for “buffy” as a reason not to be with me (ok, technically it was a ps. to the actual list. whatever).

for me, though, loving something – a person, a tv show, what-have-you – means loving it unconditionally: you see its faults, but you love it anyway. you can debate it without getting completely defensive, you can heap praise on it without bowing before it and you can complain about it while still respecting it.

i’ve said this in various posts, but it bears repeating – efficiency is huge for me. with any art/entertainment i consume, i always ask myself: what is its purpose (to entertain? to make me feel something?) and does it deliver?

“dollhouse,” for the most part, completely lived up to its purpose of creating mind-bending (no pun intended) tv. it didn’t do it every week, not with every scene, but it did with most episodes, and, to look at the series so far, it delivered as a series as well.

i think “dollhouse” was meant to challenge its audience. it meant to make us uncomfortable. it meant to make us think about the roles we play in our daily lives – and the roles we see, and allow, others to play  in our lives – and question them. “dollhouse” wanted to make us think about who we are.

and “dollhouse” did that. more than any other show i watch (and i watch more tv than i’m comfortable to admit), i spent more time thinking about “dollhouse”‘s plot points, dialogue, situations, interactions, etc. most shows i watch, honestly, i watch and forget about them the minute they’re done. not “dollhouse.”

a brilliant example of that is its latest episode, “belonging.” i felt so uncomfortable watching that entire episode, and much of its shots, lines and moments have lingered with me since. the last time i remember feeling this way while watching television was when i watched “the body.” it’s easily my least favorite “buffy” episode because it’s too perfect – it hurts too much to watch it. “belonging” is very much like that – tough to watch, but necessary. you want everyone you know and love to watch it, because you know it’ll do them some good.

and, in some really good ways and some really terrible ways, “dollhouse” spoke to me as a female viewer. echo, sierra and november may not have been “real” (gosh, what a loaded statement), but they made more points about what it’s like to be a woman than most other characters on the air. that’s not to say i can’t relate to, say, a pair of ridiculously good-looking demon-fighting brothers, or a daily planet reporter, or a serial killer dad, or an overachieving glee club member. those characters on “dollhouse” spoke to me more, simple as that. as i said, they made me think about who i am, who i am to others, and who they are to me.

anyway. i’m not saying everything i really want to say here – again, i’m not sure i’m even smart enough to tackle some of “dollhouse”‘s deepest issues, and for the most part i think if you don’t know what i’m talking about then you just need to watch the show– but i know “dollhouse” was right on target for me, as a viewer. sure, it faltered at times, but when the show got it right, it got it right – almost to the point of hurting. “dollhouse” made me feel something. i can’t say much else out there does these days, and i really hate we can’t follow the show down what would’ve been, undoubtedly, its twisted, uncomfortable, complete path.

i’ll leave the rest of whedonverse to argue over whether or not this was joss’ biggest mistake, as some are calling it, or where, say, “man on the street” falls in the Great List of Great Joss Moments. i don’t really care. i just hate it one of my favorite shows is gone.

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