Serialized or Stand-Alone – Does FOX Know It’s Audience?

by admin on October 27, 2008 · 3 comments


Yesterday Joss Whedon updated fans on the progress of Dollhouse. Whilst some of what he said came as no surprise, a few things stood out. In particular, the reveal that Fox want the show to have a more ‘stand-alone’ format over a ‘serialized’ one. So instead of a “LOST” or “Buffy” overarching story, they seem to be favouring a “CSI”-type format where the episodes are less connected and can be watched in any order with less risk of the casual viewer being ‘lost’.

Whilst I’m more than prepared to give a stand-alone Dollhouse structure a go, at this point I would prefer it to have an overarching story, where the episodes are more connected and the characters are fleshed-out with a slow-burn (note. slow-burning character development DOESN’T mean non-exciting or dramatic). I want to know that if I miss an episode that I’ll have to get my butt into gear and watch it before attempting to watch the following episode. I like the story, I like the journey that serialized shows enable. Echo herself is on a journey – one of self discovery and whatever other dark and twisted aspects that Whedon has in store – surely the premise itself is crying out for that journey to be accompanied with overarching stories?

I’m not bashing FOX, I’m also not one of the people hurt over Firefly, I’m not even the biggest Whedon fan in the world, but I still remember my three or so “Buffy” years with some fondness (kinda) and I’m inspired by “Dollhouse” (the original premise). However I also appreciate that FOX are trying to give the show the best platform for it to succeed. As JJ Abrams, I believe, once said, there’s a reason why so many people tune in week after week to watch the CSI’s of this world. Although I’m not one of those people, I appreciate the point.

All I’m asking is, do FOX really understand the audience that will be drawn towards a show like Dollhouse? Do they really understand the type of story and character development that (I believe) the show needs?

Hey, maybe I’m wrong, I can accept that, I’ll watch the show anyway, seeing as Whedon still believes in it. But I know what I like, and as a fan of sci fi and genre I would be far more invested in a show that invests in it’s own story and characters. But I’m only one person – feel free to vote below for what kind of story structure you’d like Dollhouse to have:

[poll id=”8″]

LukeZwan November 15, 2008 at 3:50 pm

I think that Joss’ vision always tends towards a serialized, with a complex mythos build into it. Firefly, although stand alone, had overarching character development and a plot arc. Even Buffy and Angel had that. I am excited and intrigued to see what he pulls out for Dollhouse.

!#Ariel#! March 19, 2009 at 2:32 am


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