Dollhouse to Follow T:SCC & Become More Serialized in the Long-Run?

by admin on January 8, 2009 · 4 comments

When “Dollhouse” premieres on Feb 13, it’s lead-in will be “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” – a show which currently adopts the “stand-alone” approach to it’s episodes (basically meaning that you could miss three episodes and still be up to speed by the time you watch the next one). However, according to reports that is about to change – T:SCC is about to go back to it’s serialized roots – a move which is welcomed by many fans who feel that the episodic nature of the show has created too many ‘loop-holes’ and less continuity. How does this affect “Dollhouse”? Well, it might not, but it’s worth keeping an eye on how Fox treat their other shows (like “T:SCC” and “Fringe”, for example) as it may give us some indication on what life has in store for DH.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I REALLY want Dollhouse to adopt the serial approach – I feel that the premise is crying out for that ‘connectivity’, whilst I believe that the overarching themes, which will no doubt be explored, will need an anchor that the continuity of a serialized format can provide. Personally, I find it difficult to invest in CSI.

So, with T:SCC looking set to go serialized, there could yet be hope that one day Dollhouse will do the same. I guess it kinda ties in with what Whedon says here, about the show having to earn it’s corn before it can become what it really is inside. I could use a “moth” analogy but I’ll spare you the philosophy and leave that to Whedon.

Thanks to Nevermore in the comments for the heads-up.

Kit January 8, 2009 at 4:38 pm

If I remember season 1 of Buffy (another mid-season replacement!), most of the episodes are one-shots, stand-alones. There were a couple episodes that built up the arc (and the recurring characters began to develop), but the over-arching series arcs of the later seasons (5, 6, and 7) weren’t possible until the ground-work was laid (and even they had stand-alones…).

Everyone said “Buffy will fail,” and I believe I heard one interview in which someone apologized to Hannigan (or Gellar?) on their show that was sure to be canceled soon, and that show lasted until the end of it’s original contract (7 seasons). Lucky for Joss, in 1997, he didn’t quite have the cult following (or the internet to the same degree), and thus any early problems on the show (including recasting one of the three main characters from the pilot to the show) weren’t dissected by every fan on every blog ever.

So I think that a serialized show will come… but it’ll be a gradual build (as it should be), and by the end of the first season, when we look back over it, we’ll be able to say “Oh, yeah, I see how that was connected and foreshadowing” and by the end of the seventh season, we’ll be able to see the entire arc as it developed over the years.

Roco January 9, 2009 at 2:02 am

You make some good points Kit. The “gradual build” to a more serialized format (if it is to be that) is one I am willing to wait for. I might still complain about the lack of it, But I’ll wait for it 😉

I really hope that Whedon has a ‘mater plan’ already in mind when it comes to the long-term arcs of the show.

wiesengrund January 9, 2009 at 9:03 am

Whedon has basically confirmed that the show will start out stand-alone and gradually become “more than the sum of its parts”. here’s the quote:

“Fox came down with the mandate of stand-alones, and … higher stakes and adventure and stuff. And all of that was part of the show, and so we just had to bring it to the fore. And … this is a mistake that I often make, which is I’m interested in what’s underneath, and so that’s where I start, and you sort of can’t. You kind of have to start with, “Well, you know, here’s how it works, here’s what you do every week, here’s the adventure,” and let the questions, … the humanity of the thing, really sort of sneak in under. And … now that’s sort of happened, and after a few episodes, all of which are stand-alones, we’re at a point where … we know the characters well enough that there’s a little bit of shorthand, and the interactions start to become really, really fascinating. And … we hint at a lot of stuff in the early episodes, while we’re doing stand-alones. We’re sort of laying out threads, and now we start to get weaving some of them, and, … without getting too caught up in its own mythology, that’s where it starts to get really exciting. …”

Roco January 9, 2009 at 7:27 pm

Sorry for the comment not showing up, it got stuck in moderation.

Thanks for the original quote, I should have included it in my previous post. It’s encouraging to hear Whedon talk so candidly about the structure of the show.

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