Monday, February 16, 2009

All I do is watch television

I was super excited last Friday to go home, make dinner, and watch the new Joss Whedon television show Dollhouse. We, the people who never do anything social, actually invited people over to our house to watch it. Admittedly, these people wanted something from us (the next season Angel, another Joss Whedon show, which is why we ended up inviting them to watch with us).

First, things that aren't related to the show. Our stupid cable company's signal is totally messed up. We frequently see shadows of things that have yet to appear on screen on our screen. Does that make sense? We get a preview of something 30 seconds away in the form of a shadowy mess overlaid on top of what we're watching. This happens mostly on ABC and CBS, although recently it has taken over PBS (shut up, I like Antiques Roadshow) and FOX. At first we thought it was actually our television set because, you know, the thing is older than me, and I guess we could give it a little bit of leeway because it's old, but we've decided it's the signal because it doesn't happen to ALL the channels and it doesn't happen to the few channels it does happen to all at once.

Our dishwasher is broken. That's unrelated to the rest of this post. Just an FYI. The folks who own the building don't see it as a high priority, but the last time we didn't run the dishwasher for a long time, we got yelled at. Soooo...we'll see how long before they send someone to look at it.

So, we're going to watch Dollhouse. I was pumped. I'm gonna be honest. I was so excited. I love Buffy and Firefly and even Angel grew on me eventually. David Boreanaz was never my favorite actor, but now I even get a bit excited for the rare times Bones is on during a Thursday night (last week it got preempted for some NAACP awards show and two weeks before that it was preempted for American Idol; I'm pretty sure AI is going to preempt it yet again later this month). I used to take pride that I never watched television. This post has me convinced I may very well be addicted.

Dollhouse was . . . not great. I, like most of America, could not figure out what was going on. There's too much. Plus (please don't be offended by this next statement), all white men look alike to me and there are too many white men doing things in this show. Eliza Dushku is not a strong enough actress to pull off all the different roles it seems as if she might be required of her. There weren't even any funny lines or amusing, quick-witted banter, in typical Whedon style.

We also had to deal with the annoying preview shadows throughout the entire episode. And, one trademark Joss Whedon stylistic tendency we were not happy to have return is the inability to regulate sound during the show. We keep turning the volume up until all of a sudden there is rapid gunfire and it sounds like a nuclear warhead has detonated in our living room. When we watch Angel on DVD we always have to have fresh batteries in our remote to deal with this lightning quick, exagerrated change in volume.

I'm reserving judgment on this show. We will watch at least the next four episodes. Firefly didn't grow on me right away and lord knows Angel took at least a season to get into stride. Maybe Dushku will loosen up with the role and show us some Sarah Michelle Gellar amazing emotion. Maybe Joss was too concerned with setting the stage in the pilot and he missed the character development. I can't give up on Joss just yet.

In addition, our friend brought over snacks and we got to spend some time with good people. All in all, I'm glad Dollhouse is around.


  1. You must have the same cable company I have, because I get those preview shadows on ABC and CBS, too. It's not too awful, though, and I'm worried that if I call to complain about it, they'll notice I'm also accidentally getting a whole bunch of channels I'm not supposed to have. I can deal with the shadows if it means Jon Stewart in my living room for free. :-)

  2. "I love Buffy and Firefly and even Angel grew on me eventually."

    Exactly how I feel, and Dushku's acting ability was my number 1 fear for Dollhouse. Sadly, we don't have ANY tv at my house and so I wasn't able to see it. I've been disappointed by the reviews so far :(

  3. I love PBS, too. I watch as much PBS as I do anything else. I totally embrace the nerdiness that I am. I've even been known to say, "Did you see that cool show on PBS last night!?!?"

    I like Joss Whedon, but I missed Dollhouse. I'll have to try to catch it online.

  4. I LIVE for antiques roadshow.

  5. I hate it when our cable company is all screwed up and we get shadows, etc. BUT I hate it even more when I try to call and complain and get put on hold for hours on end. I think I just hate cable companies.


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