alcibiades: (DeanWinchester)
[personal profile] alcibiades
So all season long I've swung back and forth about Dollhouse, wanting to make sure I gave it the benefit of the doubt and being interested but not enamored and waiting out the dreary beginning.  

It felt very postmodern to me - and I don't have a natural affinity for postmodernism.  Instead of fantasy, it's world view seemed very bleak - grim, mundane reality, and the notion of identity was something that kept on being reinterpreted, overlaid again and again with something new, depending on who and what agenda was behind the machine.  To the point where the notion of intrinsic meaning or core value was being called into question.  

But then the whole show turns out to be a metaphor for Joss and his neuroses.  And now I've become thoroughly disenchanted.   

I kind of instantly stopped liking it once I realized that the whole series was just a metaphor for Joss justifying himself to the world at large - for his sins at working either at evil Fox or the evil entertainment industry at large  - aka The Dollhouse - in an industry that exploits idealistic but screwed up women and some men and turns them into blank slates that the industry just injects with interesting personalities and sexualizes them in unbecoming ways.   And that his personal penance for participating in this exploitation of women was going to be to play the good shepherd for his  protégé during her 5 year contract.  5 years at the DH - 5 years under contract to the studio - jesus, how dumb does he think we are.  Thus, 5 year contract for Paul/Joss in which, while his protégé is under contract, he'll be there to take care of her and try to minimize the evil of her contract, but of course he'll have to participate in it as well.  So, his penance will be to sully himself.    
Complete and utter narcissism if you ask me.    
He should just go into therapy and stop taking his guilt trip and various anxieties out on us. 

Date: 2009-05-12 09:51 pm (UTC)
aukestrel: (gerbil)
From: [personal profile] aukestrel
u r waaaay smr4rter than me!

(I picked up on the guilt but not the rest of it. I bow in admiration!)


Date: 2009-05-17 04:17 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] klytaimnestra
that's not exactly what I was mad at.

Date: 2009-05-19 10:35 pm (UTC)
aukestrel: (my fandom doesn't need captions)
From: [personal profile] aukestrel
Well, you know, we want to like Joss. We do like Joss. And maybe the people at TATF (whatever that is) are mad because in this case, although there are things I deeply admire about Dollhouse, the Emperor is kind of scantily clad. Also there's the whole going back to Fox thing... like that's going to end well. Fox has already proven they don't get Joss, so why is he that codependent that he keeps having to go back and get smacked around again by them?

I sat and watched the new Star Trek movie and I must confess that the thought ran through my mind at least once: "Oh, what Joss could have done with this budget." I also pointed out to my brother, who mourns Firefly along with me, that if Fox had had the original Star Trek series we wouldn't have gotten 13 eps, let alone 72. *g*

The middle of the season, where Mellie is revealed to be a killer sleeper doll and Echo passes on the message to Ballard, was the "Jossiest" of the eps, I think. At that point I started to see some places where it could go. But that wasn't fulfilled by the remainder of the season. And I'm still so confused (although less so, thanks to you) as to why he would start with such a premise as sex slavery AND at Fox, no less.

Yeah, the, ah, incestuous gerbil love I figured would be right up Joss' alley. *g*

having now seen Omega

Date: 2009-05-17 06:04 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] klytaimnestra
I saved this to read once I'd seen it. I would say that your reading is clever but reductive, to the point of missing all the good stuff. Even if you're right, and the author's biography provides one possible layer of interpretation, why do you think it's the only one?

Re: having now seen Omega

Date: 2009-05-17 04:28 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] klytaimnestra
Now the odd thing is that i don't see that interpretation at all; and even if I did, it wouldn't bother me. But it was obvious from the first episode that the first season was going to end with Paul on the inside, because that's just the way the story would obviously work. I don't see why you see this as nothing but Joss being a contemptible narcissist.

Of course he's going to write about the compromises people have to make in the real world and what this does to them; that's what the whole series has been about, all along (and Angel too); why do you think that means it's only about him? That's a valid and fascinating subject for exploration, and it resonates with, well, every single person on the planet, not just Joss. So why be so dismissive of it on the basis that one person with whom it resonates is perhaps the author? Especially since your dismissal of the entire series on the basis of one reductive, narrow interpratation of a biographical interpretation you have constructed and don't like is robbing you of being able to appreciate its numerous strengths.

I had some relatively minor problems with the last episode, about which I posted elsewhere, but this wasn't one of them. I agree that I am not emotionally engaged in Paul's journey yet, and the nature of this series, since it's decidedly about postmodern construction of the self, tends to work against emotional engagement, which I see as a serious problem. But I am enormously intellectually engaged by the questions it poses, and I am glad that we are not being given pat answers to them.


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