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i feel like the sixth episode of dollhouse was better than the first five combined, which along with the comments that lisa and carl made to my last entry evokes some thought about the hierarchy of television as a corporation.

Hierarchy one for consideration is that of the writers versus the executive producers or creators or the show. Our good man [Rusty] has gone on record to say that with the exception of steven moffat, he has no qualms as the executive producer of New Who of rewriting scripts even in their entirety if he doesn't like them. And based on what i've heard about [John Nathan-Turner] and how he tried to revolutionize Old Who when he took over as producer as well as what i've seen in interviews with [David Kemper], it's fairly clear how much an executive producer can choose to control over the show they produce.

Hierarchy two is that of the executive producers/creators versus the network and/or the companies that own the networks' interests. Sometimes this comes forth in big controversies such as the [South Park Cartoon Wars controversy] or the [South Park Closetgate controversy], but what can be even more interesting to me is how much the network can control the little decisions. In season five of Stargate Atlantis, the character of Ronin Dex was supposed to have cut all of his signature dreadlocks off, a decision that he broached to the producers of the show because of how difficult it was becoming to act and do his physical scenes with the weight of the dreadlocks on his head. The executive producers respected that with no problem and it went so far as to be scripted in an episode for him to have the hair cut, but the sci-fi channel overruled that decision and basically told them, "Ronin's hair stays."

So now let's take a look at Joss Whedon. Fox hated Firefly because of how it essentially glorified people who were rebelling against the government (contrasting 24's general message, which is "anything it takes to defend this country") and resultingly cancelled it, killing Whedon's pet project and baby. I have to think that with Dollhouse, he's fighting a balance: he wants to ensure that his voice in the show direction shines, but given the burn that happened with Firefly and his five year plan for Dollhouse, he needs to appease both the network and his audience in a way that can sustain the show for five years.

Which to me helps put the first five episodes into some perspective because i speculate that Joss just used those episodes as filler to plant the seeds of where he truly wants the direction of the show to go, because although there are moments in those episodes that shine, overall the epsiodes themselves lacked the character and innovation that i set myself up to expect. I do think that episode five was starting to lead towards the higher elevation of episode and show quality, but episode six clearly outshone that by giving the audience a whole new set of questions to speculate and feel excited about.

That said, there was one big problem i had with the episode which had to do with the whole Adele-sends-Hearn-to-kill-Mellie bit. The introduction of Mellie as a "sleeper active" wasn't terribly surprising to me but it was damned irritating. A) because i felt like that's something that they should have waited to reveal in season two or season three instead of establishing it outright; it was a good example of one of those unanswered questions that the viewer could be more exicted to anticipate how it plays out over the long term as opposed to the immediate gratification of getting that plot twist. B) because it felt like that side of the plot of the episode was written specifically to reveal Mellie as a sleeper active and resultingly created a scenario that makes no sense when it comes to the secrecy and privacy of the Dollhouse. </p>

Let's take a look into Adele's head at two possible fates for Hearn when he's in her office.

Fate one: he's already contained. he needs to go to the attic. easy resolution with no cleanup.

Fate two: let's eee... oh, i know! let's have him do a sloppy murder of our sleeper active! i'm sure that he won't instead go to the police or the reporters and blab about the dollhouse, and i'm sure that he won't make a mess trying to kill her that would leave behind some evidence for Paul Ballard to follow up on and i'm sure that Paul won't try to follow up on who Hearn was or be at all suspicious of the fact that he was killed in an expert manner as opposed to a helpless-maiden-in-distress-desparation kind of killing nor the message that has Adele's voice with Mellie's trigger phrases that was left on HIS ANSWERING MACHINE.

that won't require *much* more cleanup work than fate one, will it?


as far as speculations/opinions for other aspects of the episode:

- i don't quite understand why they don't want Paul Ballard dead. given how determined he is, it feels like it would have been better to kill him off so that the whole thing would either disappear or get assigned to someone else who is less competent than him. eit

- the scene with echo and ballard raises some questions to me whether or not the imprint was actually corrupt or if that was part of the play. based on the conversation between adele and dominic, i assume that the corrupt imprint is real and that there actually is an insider that gave ballard the information as real, but i can't discount the possiblity that that was by design to lead ballard into some sort of wild goosechase.

- if there is a mole, i suspect that it's Ivy, but Ivy is also an obvious choice for the mole. The less obvious choice would be someone like Dominic, who would be a great candidate for a rogue, maybe even another "sleeper active" that is acting on behalf of the interests of someone else.


okay, that's it.


Mar. 23rd, 2009 12:53 pm (UTC)
i don't think that just because the direction it could go is anywhere makes it necessarily problematic. the introduction of the mysteries involved in one episode can hardly do anything other than that without leading in an obvious direction. If it's handled improperly like i feel Lost did, surely i'll look back at this and feel set up, but i think it can be handled well.

i do agree that the emphasis on the implausability of the dollhouse or the 'where or what is the dollhouse' is a little overkill. it brings too much of the focus to the dollhouse as an organization and not enough emphasis on the characters that we're supposed to care about. i didn't say this in the entry because it was a minor sort of detail to me, but the "news reel" parts of the episode were fluffy and i would have rather had more time devoted to something else.


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