Hello! I'm KC, and in the world of emoticons, I'm the colon, capital D. :D And I am an Anomaly.
So a new episode of one of my favorite shows, Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse," airs tomorrow night on Fox. And in honor of the fact that the show is entering its second season, I wanted to write a two posts that kind of sum up what happened in the last season. In a kind of parody style. Because I do that.
Be aware. As funny as this may turn out to be, this post will be a little bit spoilery.
A Deconstruction, Part I
(FOX NETWORK EXEC and JOSS WHEDON sit at a table.)
FOX: Welcome back to the network, Joss. I hope you still aren't bitter about the whole Firefly thing.
FOX: Excellent. We have to be honest, we weren't expecting to have you back after that whole fiasco. I mean, what a complete and utter failure, huh?
JOSS: But the DVD sales--
FOX: But you know what? We told Eliza she could have her own show, she wanted you, so we figured, "Hey, we can't stop her, right? It *is* in her contract!"
JOSS: Um, awesome. Did you see the Dollhouse pilot we shot?
FOX: Yeeeeeah, about that, we want you to re-write and re-shoot that.
JOSS: Wait, what?
FOX: And this whole arc thing? Not sure that the general audience is going to get it. We need more of a "case of the week" thing.
JOSS: But this is a sci-fi show. It's supposed to be all arc-y.
FOX: Yeah, but no one really knows who you are. I mean, maybe if you wrote a vampire TV series. Those are really popular. Would you be able to write a good vampire love story?
JOSS: ... excuse me?
FOX: Mmmm, I thought not. But I guess we can't all be as original as that Twilight chick. Man, that book was such a groundbreaking piece of literature. Who knew that a romantic story about a vampire and a human girl could be that endearing! Anyway, get back to us when you make a new episode of Valley of the Dolls, or A Doll's House, or whatever you call it.
(Cut to Eliza Dushku as ECHO, clad in yoga gear, shaking a bit in a disturbing yet comfy looking chair. It props up and we see whiz kid TOPHER standing over her and her Watcher, er, I mean Handler BOYD standing next to him.)
ECHO: Did I fall asleep?
TOPHER: For a little while.
ECHO: Shall I go now?
TOPHER: If you like.
(Echo walks out.)
BOYD: Are all of the episodes going to begin like this?
TOPHER: Eh, give or take.
BOYD: Anyway, I'm uncomfortable with the assignments that Echo has been going on.
TOPHER: Listen, I know that you're following this whole formula of the "unrelated paternal figure" that certain writers like to use, but as a genius and egotistical Andrew-Cordelia-Xander hybrid, you really need to cool it. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to put this personality imprint VHS tape over here where the other ones go.
(Topher picks up the imprint VHS with thumb and forefinger and rushes off. The viewers can hear, "Hot, hot, hot, burning..." Boyd merely looks on.
Downstairs, in a spaceous room that looks like the swankiest day spa you've ever been to, Echo runs into SIERRA, another doll.)
ECHO: Hello. Even though we do not have personalities, will you subconsciously be my best friend?
(Enter VICTOR, a male doll. He stands next to Sierra.)
(Pause. The following moment can only be summed up with emoticons.)
(Cut to the office of ADELLE, a sophisticated, stand-offish British woman who runs the semi-underground organization in Los Angeles, CA. She is with AGENT DOMINIC, Dollhouse head of security.)
AGENT DOMINIC: Adelle, the doll Echo freaks me out. We should get rid of her like that other guy doll that developed a consciousness and went ape-crazy.
ADELLE: Well I'm a sophisticated, stand-offish British woman running a semi-underground organization based in Los Angeles, CA, and I say no. We can't afford to lose Echo.
AGENT DOMINIC: Why is she so important?
ADELLE: ... because I'm a sophisticated, stand-offish British woman?...
AGENT DOMINIC: Is that all you got?
ADELLE: Do you know how hard it is to be subtle about it?!
(Cut to FBI headquarters. A random FBI GUY and HELO FROM BATTLESTAR GALACTICA sit across from each other at an office table.)
FBI GUY: Okay Det. Helo... wait, that's not right. What's your name again?
DET. HELO: Detective Paul Ballard, FBI.
FBI GUY: Ermmmm... not digging it. You're Det. Helo.
DET. HELO: But--
FBI GUY: Now listen up, Det. Helo, this whole Dollhouse search is not cool in our book. We get that you're trying to find a bunch of mind-controlled sexy people doing awesome illegal things, which is a disturbing concept but could draw attention from the curious mainstream audience, but the ugly criminals need attention too. And when I mean ugly, I mean as much as television will allow.
DET. HELO: But the Dollhouse is real! It's real, I tell you! REAL!!!
FBI GUY: Prove it.
DET. HELO: ...
FBI GUY: That's what I thought. Now why don't you go home and pout over this at your apartment while you go over your conspiracy theories. Again.
DET. HELO: (through tears) Maybe I will.
(Det. Helo runs off, sobbing.
Cut to Det. Helo arriving at his apartment. The door to the room across from his opens and reveals MELLIE, who is too cute for words.)
DET. HELO: Hello?
MELLIE: I'm your adorable next door neighbor who's trying to seem cool and collected even though she obviously has a big crush on you and your six pack abs. Would you like some leftovers?
(Mellie proceeds to hand him an freshly cooked lasagna, garlic bread, chocolate cake, and an unopened bottle of wine.)
DET. HELO: Um... thank you.
MELLIE: I love you too!
DET. HELO: Wait, what?
DET. HELO: Did you say something?
MELLIE: No, that's silly. I'm going to be adorable and sad inside my apartment because I don't think you could ever like me. Goodbye!
(Mellie rushes into her apartment, leaving Det. Helo standing in the middle of the hallway with one-fifth of a hobbit feast.
For the next five episodes we see the following: Echo goes on a task, gets wiped. Topher quips. Boyd shows fatherly concern for Echo. Det. Helo scowls and looks sexy as he investigates the Dollhouse. Adelle shows no emotion and we get occasional looks at creepy-killer-male-doll ALPHA that show him as a threat, but will remain a mystery until the end of season one. Rinse repeat.)
JOSS: Can I have more of an arc now?
FOX: Hmmm... eh, we're probably going to cancel you anyway. Go right ahead.
JOSS: Awesome! Come, Tim Minear, let us away!
(Joss and TIM MINEAR run off faux superhero style. Ad-libbed "whoosh-ing" sounds come from them both.)
To Be Continued...