Dollhouse Finale

First I will say that if you have not seen Epitaph One, do not watch the finale. You really need to see that episode to understand this one. It is basically a sequel. (Together they could be their own two-hour movie.)

The finale was everything you would expect from Joss Whedon- beloved (or not so beloved) characters dying, shocking turnarounds from people you thought were evil, some twists, comedy, and a happy ending that isn’t as happy as it should be (and by that I just mean Happily Ever After isn’t the perfect Disney ending most things are).

The acting in this episode is tops. Some of the best of the season:
-The girl who plays Iris/Caroline-Echo (Adair Tischler) is quite good, especially as far as children actors go.
-I’m appreciating Felicia Day more and more as I see her in more things. Not the best screamer but otherwise strong and entertaining.
-Topher, played by Fran Kranz, is still one of the best actors on the show and definitely garnered the majority of the “awwww” moments. He really deserves some award or something.
-Adelle (Olivia Williams) was really sweet too, especially the way she interacted with Topher.
-Who else is happy about Sierra, Tony, and little T? Tony’s storyline was interesting and the way the reconciliation worked was very realistic. Way to go Caroline always solving everyone else’s problems.
-Eliza Dushku had one moment of overacting but was mostly really good. “She’s so cool” was the correct assessment from the tech-head.

Echo/Caroline’s story was mostly great but slightly awkward/weird at the end. If you saw the show you know what I mean. I don’t mind her uploading him but I do mind the actual mental conversation happening. I wasn’t so sad about Paul since he’s never been a particular favorite of mine.

I was sad not to see more of Whiskey/Dr. Saunders, I would have liked to know how she ended up back at the Dollhouse after where we last saw her. And how she regressed back to Doll state.

The one unresolved detail is how Boyd/Harding knew that Caroline would be able to retain her imprints in the first place. I would have also liked to see some more people who could do the composite thing though I guess it took her a while to actually evolve enough to retain a consciousness. I’m also uncertain as to why Echo wouldn’t have Caroline in her mind all along since if she retains everything else she’s wiped off she should retain that.

I’m impressed at the way the show remained exciting despite the fact that it centered around salvation by technology. I think that often those things are ruined because it is hard to keep “technology” active and visual.

I read a review that said he thinks the show should have revolved more around the internal Dollhouse and less around the engagements. I completely agree with this assessment. Getting to know the characters more would have been nice. Maybe people would have grown to like Paul more. (The problem with Paul, of course, is that he isn’t a multi-faceted personality like the other characters. He basically was obsessed with finding the Dollhouse and saving Caroline and was something of a romantic but that was it.) Seeing a few engagements were necessary to really understand the world of the Dollhouse and see how effective the imprints are, but we only needed a handful here and there. It was predictable, which is why the show had a hard time connecting with viewers. But knowing Joss’s work, I was of course willing to stick it out, and it was well worth it.

Total Recap

With so many shows coming back this week and last (and one of my best friends coming in from Chicago to visit) I’m somewhat behind on my TV shows, so I’m writing a general recap of the shows I’ve seen:

Chuck- so glad this show is finally back. The will they won’t they dynamic of Sarah and Chuck isn’t as good as it used to be since they basically were together for a bit and Sarah sort of feels like a sulking baby. I would love for us to learn more about Sarah. Few people can completely cut ties with their past and I’d like to see her slip up with something that is less about Chuck and more about her.

How I Met Your Mother- Neil Patrick Harris singing and dancing, about suits! Need I say more? It’s like everything you could ask for and more. While the Consummate Consummator didn’t win a Golden Globe, he’s still pretty awesome in my book. The other characters were a little dull this episode but it’s hard to compete with Barney.

Better Off Ted- though not quite as good as other episodes, this show is still too good to be canceled. The Veronica-Rose dynamic is definitely the best thing the show has to offer and I hope we see more of it. How many ways can you corrupt a child?

Leverage- one of the more exciting returns in my mind, this episode was truly one of the greats because it managed to surprise you. Jeri Ryan’s character is much more interesting than Sophie and, while I miss the British accent, I prefer Ryan’s less prinicipled mentality. It’s nice to have one semi-honest thief within the group of honest thieves. Besides, seeing her develop into an honest person is interesting. The others have to rub off on her right? (Can we get more Parker-Hardison please!)

Ugly Betty- this week’s episode was the one I saw them filming! With rumors of Daniel and Betty getting together, a lot of people are upset. While I’m not a fan of the pairing, I am in no way surprised considering that Betty has so profoundly helped him change. At the same time, it’s nice to see a guy and girl be very close and not romantically involved for a change. I sort of kind of a little bit felt bad for Wilhemina. I was proud of Mark for his work with Daniel (promotion anyone?). I didn’t care all that much about Betty and Mark, largely because I’m not a Mark fan. He was mostly a jerk to Betty.

Dollhouse- great episode. These last few have really been some of the best yet and I can’t wait to see the finale next week, in a sad but excited way. Sort of the way I felt about the 7th Harry Potter coming out.

Ghost Whisperer- yet another generic episode. Really, it’s time for the larger storyline to come into play already. There was that one great episode with the child ghost and Aiden and that’s it.

Project Runway- Glad to be back in NY, glad to have the regular judges back (this reminds me, how awesome was it when Tim Gunn guest starred on HIMYM this week? “Sorry Barney, I can’t make it work.”). I think the talent this season looks pretty high though I have some serious disagreements with the decision of the first episode. That and I wonder why Nicole Ritchie was on the show. Who is she to be judging fashion?

Legend of the Seeker- I was wondering when the Sisters of the Light would show up. I’m a little disappointed in the way they made the split since it was so much more dramatic in the book but otherwise I think that part was mostly well done. I don’t really like the most recent Denna plots but she’s not super important so that’s ok. Anyone else notice Kahlen’s new clothing? Way cooler looking that before. And certainly more flattering though still not the most practical.

That’s it for now, more to come.

Recap

The month of December, especially the end of December, sucks because most shows have his their mid-season hiatus and there’s almost nothing to watch. (Plus with all the free time because of holidays, I have nothing to watch!)

Monday nights this past week wasn’t too bad as far as new episodes go and How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, and Lie to Me did not disappoint. At this point I kind of watch Chef Academy because there’s nothing else on so it’s just whatever. How Emmanuel hasn’t lost his entire hand is beyond me. He should get kicked off for safety reasons. I mean, he hurt himself while being taught about safety!

Tuesday had So You Think You Can Dance–only one house! come on!–which was pretty awesome and Better Off Ted. If you aren’t watching BOT (and “I already have one TV Ted” is NOT a good reason not to be) you’re really missing out. Tuesdays this year has not been good for TV anyway, so no surprise here. I’m missing my Gilmore Girl days.

Wednesday was both good and bad. First off, reunion shows suck! I’m sorry but they’re just not that interesting. I usually skip them because they don’t often show anything new or interesting enough to sit through the hour for. So naturally, Top Chef and the Ruins were both reunion episodes. Gary Unmarried and The New Adventures of Old Christine were pretty funny. Neither are really great shows but they’re more entertaining than the majority of this year’s new comedies. The final of So You Think You Can Dance was disappointing since the majority of guest stars were pretty lame (with the exception of the Groovaloos) and the winner, Russell, was somewhat predictable. For once I’d actually like to see the BEST dancer win, which according to the judges was unquestionably Jakob. But I think America prefers the dancer that grows the most. I keep missing the end of Launch My Line which is unfortunate but not super disappointing as there are so many people on the show that it’s hard to keep track. (Plus it would have been nice for the experts to be people we know. Then again, why would like Calvin Klein go on this show?) Lastly for Wednesday,there was Eastwick, which has really picked up some ante as shows tend to do right before cancellation (ie- Dollhouse!). The final scene was eerily reminiscent of Dexter this season, but you know it will turn out differently. (Husband comes in and saves her maybe?)

Thursday was the most disappointing night since it’s usually so jam packed with shows that I don’t know what to do. But alas, all we had was Survivor. Which obviously wins the night because it had no competition (smart CBS, run shows when no one else is competing thereby getting good press and possibly the better ads–which reminds me, why wouldn’t you want to try and attract advertisers right before Christmas with good shows? wouldn’t that be profitable?) Russel is still flabbergastingly successful and I can’t wait to see them blindside him right before the finale. Also, what were they thinking, moving the show to Sunday night for the finale. That’s so confusing!

Friday night was also missing a few shows, but with a double dose of Dollhouse it was hard to be upset. The show has really kicked into awesome right now. The question is will we ever see the end of Epitaph One? Merlin was pretty good too, shame it didn’t carry over well in the US, but at least it (and the Listener) is still happening in its native country (Britain and Canada). Surprise revival, The Beautiful Life is being put up on Youtube each week. Not a good show but I’ll watch it.

(Oh, and I tried out the British show Hex–lame–and the Secret Diary of a Call Girl–not enough substance–but neither worth sticking around. And the Amazing Race. I’ve been wondering about that show and since it’s been on for 15 seasons I figured it’s time for me to check it out. It’s not bad except that based on the order of arrival, your departure for the next leg is determined. Except that it doesn’t really matter since the team that leaves first always has to wait to leave for hours, by which time the other teams catch up. It just seems poorly planned. I also don’t like that it’s a couples game where the majority of tasks are done by only one person.)

And that’s the rundown… Any recommendations for me as far as shows to pass the time?

Quick Recaps

So, since I haven’t really done much writing this week, I figured I’d do some short commentary on a bunch of shows:

House– anyone else think it was super cute when House a) bared his soul to Wilson about not wanting him to die and b) showed up at the surgery? I mean, sure, it was selfish to say he shouldn’t do it just because he didn’t want to. It’s a strange situation that Wilson was in, treating a friend and being asked to donate to him. I wish they had talked a little more about the risks of the surgery, how likely there are to be complications, etc, to give a better idea of how risky it all was. Like, was it a 1 in 1,000 chance, a 1 in 10 chance…it’s interesting to see that the doctors fully support and encourage people to do it (like telling the wife and child to do it if they’re a match) but then they are hesitant about doing it themselves. And Cuddy, make up your mind already cause you’re not being fair to anyone.

Heroes– so first, let’s talk about Gretchen for a moment (so weird to see her as an adult, she will always be Grace Sheffield to me). First thing, are they just going to ignore the whole we sort of made out and have a crush on each other thing? Because essentially, that’s what happened. Second, she’s a little on the annoying side, though of course, she’s right. Which leads me to, why is Claire always such an idiot? And why won’t her father just tell her the truth so that she’d be a little less of an idiot? (I do want to add that the whole thing with Claire and Tracy was kind of awesome, especially with her accidentally smashing Claire’s foot.) The Peter-Nathan story is getting on my nerves a bit. Is Matt going to show up to help? Where’s Ando? And one thing this does make clear is that the Haitian doesn’t work as a general dampening field for magic, it seems that it must actively be used (possibly explaining Nathan’s inexplicable escape in season one for all of you who cried foul about him flying away). Why don’t they just bring Nathan back from the dead already? Wouldn’t it just take a bit of Claire’s blood? We’ve seen that time/length of death is irrelevant to her powers…

Chef Academy– not much happening on this front except that it turns out one of the contestants (are they actually contestants? I suppose they’re not exactly competing…students?) was a porn star  which is not altogether surprising but pretty funny and another one is a bit/a lot of an idiot (why she wouldn’t just tell the seamstresses, “I’m sorry, something came up, let’s reschedule” is beyond me, especially with Chef Novelli being the temperamental man he is). I’m not sure how much I think Zoe is condescending, especially since she’s generally proved to be correct, but there probably is a better way for her to get her thoughts across instead of talking to him like she’s a teacher herself. Meanwhile Kup (sp?) being mean is also hard to say because we only saw that in that one bit of scenes. They could definitely do a better job of editing the footage so we can see the interactions more.

SYTYCD– Thanks so some computer glitch most of my review got lost in cyberspace but I did want to make a single complaint which is that sometimes the camera does the fancy little spin around the dancers as they perform or zooms in too much and it really takes away from watching the dance (or it cuts off part of the performers so we can’t see it as well) and I’d really like them to stop that. I liked both of the contestants who got voted off but I guess I wasn’t surprised by either one. I’ve noticed that the judges’ favorites and expectations often don’t actually coincide with the audiences’ favorites. (And I think a lot of people were upset that Noelle wasn’t replaced when she couldn’t dance the first week. The show should have done a better job of explaining the rules, which say, according to Nigel’s twitter account “if advised by a Dr. not to dance you get 1 weeks grace.”)

90210– why must most CW shows be stuck with awful main characters? Annie and Dixon are the two lamest and uninteresting characters on the show. I’d like to see more about Liam’s home life, more about Jasper’s home life (though he’s pretty irritating too), more Kelly…basically more of anyone else. Adrianna’s giving up drugs was too easy but I’m glad Naveed remained pissed. I’m not sure yet if I feel sorry for Naomi, but I guess her calling Annie to apologize does give her some points. We’ll see where it goes from there I suppose. I feel bad for the surfer chick because you know that in the long run she’ll be burned (though the thing is, no matter who Liam slept with, he did cheat on Naomi so it shouldn’t matter).

Launch My Line– this is the newest Bravo series (still trying to replace Project Runway without much success clearly) where a non-designer is paired with a professional designer to create a new clothing line. Essentially each week they add one piece to the collection and one like gets cut. I’m not sure if I like it. For one thing, there are too many people involved, it’s hard to keep track. For another, how involved is the pro designer supposed to be (and why are they screwed with all the construction work?) I guess I’m willing to give it a bit more time, if only because I love seeing the runways at the end, but I’m not sure it’s going to be any good.

Glee– the only thing more that I could have asked for was a bit more singing. Thank God (aka the writers here) Mr. Schu found out the truth. Do you think he’s more upset about her tricking him or about him being stupid enough to fall for it for so long? And what’s going to happen to Quinn and the baby afterwards? A friend of mine asked an excellent question in regards to the mattresses, specifically, why Mr. Schu couldn’t just pay for the one mattress to get rid of the entire issue. Also, regardless of official rules, why can’t he, for example, show up to the competition to support them regardless of whether or not he is there as the coordinator? And why can’t he just “hang around” without an official title to help them out?

The Ruins– FOR ONCE THEY DO NOT SCREW OVER THE GIRL! I’m almost proud of Evan. (Not surprised about Derrick.) I’m surprised about all this discussion that Susie is a weak competitor as I’ve never seen any evidence of that. Sure, if she screws you over on purpose that sucks, but to say she isn’t good when she tries? The fact that she never even went into the Gauntlet (and won her first challenge on a Rookie team) says she knows how to play the game. In the Inferno she won the life shield 3 times and won the only Inferno she entered. Plus she won 3 Ruins (if you count the one with Casey…). She’s never last in the challenges. She’s never actually freaked out mid-challenge. I’m not saying I’m a huge fan of hers, but to argue that she’s weak is pretty lame. And to worry about her being the reason you loose to a bunch of girls? Look, the only way you’re going to lose is if the final challenge is weighted for girls in which case Susie is your only strong point on the team. So…you know…You could probably carry Susie on your back and still outrun the others. Also, imagine how things would have been had they not screwed over Evelyn. Remember, every girl is terrified of going up against Kelly Anne and Evelyn basically easily “defeated” Kelly Anne before intentionally losing. I could see Evelyn take out some of the guys in competition. Actually, what could have happened is Evelyn could have tied Susie in the choice of who goes in, allowing the entire team to vote her to take on whoever they want. And Evelyn might have been willing to go against Kelly Anne in the final Ruins (as opposed to being blindsided earlier).

30 Rock– everything about this episode was hysterical. Jack as always messes things  up while trying to make things right (though it’s a little surprising that her has so little idea about how to deal with an actress considering. Actress Liz talking to Normal Liz like Golam, Jenna being the voice of “reason.” And the whole taking the door off its hinges (how come they never thought of that before and why Jenna was the one to think of it of all people?) Oh and the Lem as Liz thing? Hysterical! This may be one of the funniest episodes since the one where Jack role played Tracy’s family for therapy.

Parks and Recreation– this was a really interesting episode. For once, it focused on Tom more so than anyone else and despite the fact that he’s a jerk, he comes out as the sad, sympathetic one in the story. And there’s the whole Anne ownership thing which was handled nicely. You almost feel bad for her ex. Almost. Also, April remains the best part of the show if not there as often as I’d like. It was nice to see another side of him for once. I still wish there was no mockumentary style stuff in the show, but otherwise, I’ve gotten over it enough that I can watch it anyway.

Private Practice– So many things happened in this double feature. First, there’s the who Violet sleeping with Addison’s dad. Bizarre that Violet sees no problem with this and frustrating that she can talk about a mother doing what’s best for her children. Then there’s Addison and her parents and Sam. How will Naomi react? (BTW anyone else think Naomi might actually have hurt her daughter given a little more time? Is there something wrong with her? Some hormone imbalance? That could be interesting.) It’s bad that I don’t care for Addison enough to really care about her family life, but oh well. The story with Dale, Heather, and Betsy was so sad, though not surprising.

Dollhouse– this week was a Joss Whedon reunion of awesomeness. Summer Glau is so amazing as a demented character. And her awkward flirting with Topher makes it even better. And the Victor as Topher bit was hysterical even if not original. Adelle getting some balls (figuratively and sort of literally) and standing up for Echo. It’s weird to see the Dollhouse we’ve been following as the not-so-bad guys in the big picture. And we see how Epitaph One comes to pass. I’m hoping they’ll delve deeper into the story of Bennett (Glau) and Caroline/Echo. If this is any indication of episodes to come, the series will end with an awesome bang.

Ugly Betty– once again subscribing to my rule of if we don’t see them die or see the dead body, they’re not dead, we see Connor Owens back. On the upside, Willie manages to find her way back in (which we always knew would happen one way or another). And best of all, Mark stands up for himself in a healthy way. I don’t care so much for all the sex and hookups. And I’m sad that Amanda didn’t get Matt in the end. She’s right that Betty didn’t really want him back until he seemed to be dating someone else. Sort of at least. I hope moving the show back to Wednesday night will help its ratings, though I’m not sure it will. (Also, if you haven’t checked out the Mode After Hours webisodes, you’re really missing out and should think about going to ABC.com to see. On the other hand the Seattle Grace On Call webisodes were less exciting.)

Ghost Whisperer– the only thing I have to say about this is that Melinda cries too often. Every episode has her crying at the end. They’re not all that touching! And also I don’t like that it always turns out that everyone is innocent in the end. Sometimes there are real murderers and its not always an innocent or accidental death. If we’re not going to focus on the shadows and shinees at lest give us some excitement elsewhere. I’m a little upset that we got back to the formulaic when we’d finally gotten to the bigger story so recently.

White Collar– not much to say here except that the twist in the end was very interesting. Did not see that one coming but I feel like there will be more to the story. (Peter using Kate to get something from Caffrey that he’s been hunting all these years? Or maybe Peter tracked him down and Kate knows him from the past. Maybe Kate has been lying about the other person all along and this is really her scheme?)

Bones– not much to report on this front beyond the whole Hodgins has Angela tattooed on his arm thing. I can’t believe Cam didn’t notice that things were up with the geek squad.

Well, those are all the shows I’m going to talk about for now. If you have any specific thoughts about any of them, or any others, let me know. I’d be interested to hear.

General Reviews

As I like to do every so often, I am going to go through a bunch of shows I’ve been watching to write some general thoughts on the show and any exciting or upsetting news that I may have heard about it.

Survivor Samoa– One thing I like about this show is that they try and make certain that the women have an equal opportunity at most things. Very often, the physical competitions are divided so it’s women vs women and men vs men, elimination/immunity challenges tend to include equalizers like puzzles or skills that aren’t strength based. (I find this admirable since MTV’s RW/RR Challenges seem incapable of doing this. Remember the Battle of the Sexes’ final challenge?) About other aspects of the show: Russel has figured out something very basic–if there is no exile island, then the immunity idol must be hidden at camp. And if it is hidden at camp it must be an identifiable location so that clues can be given to find it. So twice now he has just wandered around camp searching the few places that it could be, and found it. Why has no one else taken this approach? Especially after he found it the first time? I will say that Russel, while I can’t stand him and don’t understand why so many people have gone along with him for so long, is quite the player. He’s super manipulative and strategic. And nice blindside this week.

Vampire Diaries– I have a few distinct issues with this show. 1) It bugs me that Elenia and Bonnie look exactly like their ancestors Katherine and Emily. They couldn’t just hire other actors for the three seconds that they are on screen? 2) Quite killing the interesting people! Vicky and that friend of Stefan’s were both interesting story lines that I would have liked to see develop a lot further. 3) Elenia is the dullest person ever. I mean really, she’s possibly the worst main character in existence. Otherwise, I think they did some clever stuff this week. Especially because there is obviously more to come from Damon, plus all the new vamps. Is Logan one of them?

Dollhouse– Probably the most upsetting, though not surprising, news of the week is the cancellation of Dollhouse. The show was getting really good this season, finally focusing on the entire cast instead of just Echo and Paul Ballard. There are so many things that Fox did wrong with this show (formulaic first season, poor advertising, horrible timeslot, not airing epitaph one) but I do think that Joss Whedon would be more suited for Syfy or some of other cable station (one thing he will have to do is have a cheaper budget though because Dollhouse, for example, is too expensive to produce for Syfy). At least the full season two will be aired. If you haven’t checked out this show already, I really recommend it. What I like about Joss is that he takes things further and uses his shows to examine human behavior and morality in a way that most shows do not.

FlashForward– After a bit of a lull following the series premiere, the show has really picked up steam again. The last few weeks have been some of the best episodes yet and they call into question everything that’s been revealed so far. And then call that into question. A few, interesting twists have come into play now and you can’t help but wonder what everyone is going to do as conspiracies and cover ups seem to multiply and desperation leads to some pretty crazy behavior.

V– Also on the upsetting news of the week, I did not realize that V would only be airing four episodes before going on hiatus until March. That’s pretty lame. The show’s second episode was just as good as the first (which says something about the show since I’ve found that most Sci Fi has a great pilot and a weak follow up). I have no idea what will be filling the time slot during the months off, but I really wish the networks would stop doing that.

Smallville– On the good news, this series has really improved from the last few years and it’s showing in the ratings. Despite being in its ninth season and on a Friday, the show has actually seen increases every week in its viewership. Perhaps everyone is just glad to be rid of Lana Lang for good or they like the playing with Lois Lane. Either way, the plots are better. Lex Luthor is gone for now which is actually fine by me. We looked into Oliver’s story more. Chloe has proven herself to be more interesting than ever before. Lois is just kind of crazy but entertaining. Sadly, Clark continues to be somewhat dull. There’s only so much entertainment to be had from a guy whose entire storyline revolves around “being the perfect hero.”

Ugly Betty– Another show that has become more interesting than before. It takes a look at dealing with grief, poor self esteem, jealousy, being gay in high school, what a mother would do for her daughter…In other words, real issues instead of just scheming against each other which, while interesting in Gossip Girl, isn’t suited for this show as much. Not to say some scheming isn’t good. I just don’t think in this show that should be the entire story. I think also the dad’s story about being wanted in Mexico or wherever just wasn’t as interesting as Justin learning to deal with being in high school.

White Collar– while not as exciting as the first episode (it has become a bit formulaic at the moment) there are some things that leave me interested in the show. The first is that Neal Caffrey is an interesting character. The second is the questions about his girlfriend. It is clear that more was happening than that she was just dumping him and now Neal is trying to find her. I’m hoping we’ll get more than cursory mentions of that in episodes to come. More chasing her and a little less of chasing random bad guys. It does bother me a little that he’s supposed to be this huge romantic in love with this girl and meanwhile he’s hitting on the new FBI agent transferred in to work with them.

Ghost Whisperer– I think one thing I dislike about this show is that the son, Aiden, is kind of weird looking and a bit annoying. Would have been nice for them to have gotten a cuter kid. But oh well. This week they introduced a frightened child-ghost who is hiding with Aiden at the very end which could lead to some great story soon. I wish they would get back to the Shinees and Shadows stuff a little more. (And I think we will be seeing that soon.) I dislike shows that are formulaic with little bigger arch. This show has a bigger story but they tend to ignore it for the majority of the time which is unfortunate. Show us more of Aiden’s skills, show us who he can see. And it would be cool to see more real murders instead of just misguided ghosts.

Merlin
– I know this show didn’t do well this summer when it came to the US, but I was watching it last year (online of course) and I really enjoyed it. I would like to learn more about Morgana (we got some hints with the introduction of her half sister Morgose–come on practically the same name!) but I think this season is pushing along well. Especially with the whole magic good or bad dilemma. Arthur and Uther are constantly being forced to rethink their stances only to be hurt by magic and revert back to hatred again. I can’t wait for the day when Morgana and Merlin’s magic is revealed. It would be nice to see more occasions where they almost get caught.

Legend of the Seeker– As I’ve said before, watching this show inspired me to read the entire 12 book (sort of 13 book) series. This season looks even more exciting with the introduction of Cara, a Mord Sith who has allied herself with Richard. I would like them to go more into depth about how the Mord Sith are created as that is an interesting/terrifying story. Meanwhile, I’d also like to stop seeing scenes of the underworld. (For one thing, it’s depressing to think that no matter what type of life you live you are doomed once you die and for another, it’s just not a very well executed bit of imagery.) I’m looking forward to seeing what else they are planning since they have changed things enough from the books to leave you surprised by how things turn out while sticking to the heart and emotion of most of it. (And while leaving out a bit of the preaching.)

As you can see, I’m a real sucker for Fantasy (which would explain why I’m writing a fantasy book–currently 400+ pages in). Any shows you have some complaints or good news about?

Dollhouse!

I don’t know about you, but I think this might have been one of the best (aired) episodes of Dollhouse yet.

Who else is thankful for the fact that the plot strayed from Echo and focused on some of the other cast members, namely Topher and Sierra, instead? It’s not that I don’t like Echo, I think Eliza Dushku does a good job in the role and her character is interesting (though her back story as far as we’ve  been told, is somewhat lame and predictable–will we ever find out the exact details of what drove her to the Dollhouse?) it’s just that she’s one of many people in the Dollhouse and there’s only so much time I can take of following a single person. Besides, the other relationships, such as Victor and Sierra’s little romance, are interesting. (I love how protective Victor is of Sierra. Should he even be able to think up taking away the paints on his own?)

Even more interesting is Topher (and to a lesser degree, Adelle) who are on the one hand evil to the millionth degree and on the other can be really tender and protective. There is something about examining where a bad person draws the line between bad and unconscionable. We get to see a new part of Topher’s personality and it’s not so surprising that he goes crazy after the events of the episode (much less everything else that will happen). I really hope they go into how Adelle winds up in the Dollhouse in the first place.

And then there’s the question of Boyd. As Echo’s former handler, he’s always known that she was somewhat different, but now he really knows that something’s up. What will he do? Tell on her? Stop her? Help her? I always got the sense that he was a good guy so maybe he and Ballard will team up.

Playing Catch Up

Sorry for not having written about many shows, but as everything premieres all at once, it will take some time before I figure out when I will be watching everything, what I’m going to write about and what I will even be watching. So here’s my thoughts on a bunch of shows from this week in shorthand:

Parks and Recreation– still funny in a I-wish-it-wasn’t-documentary-style-but-otherwise kind of way. Funny but not amazing.

Mercy– I’m undecided on this one. I think I enjoyed the first one in that Michelle Trachtenberg was entertaining to watch but the truth is the rest of the cast left something to be desired. I’m going to give it another week and see how episode two goes.

The Beautiful Life– Rumor has it that this show was canceled which is unfortunate because I was actually enjoying it. Surprising, considering how popular fashion shows have been recently (America’s Next Top Model, Make Me A Supermodel, Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, Project Runway, Models of the Runway, The Fashion Show, The Rachel Zoe Project, and the soon to be premiering Launch My Line), that this one could not find an audience. In truth, despite its racy photos, I don’t think the CW did a very good job of advertising this show. For example, Corbin Bleu likely has a decent following from High School Musical and yet how long was it before anyone knew he was even on the show? And Elle Mcpherson for that matter. On the upside, maybe Nico Tortella will return to Make It Or Break It for a bit. I didn’t love him as Razor, but I do hate unfinished storylines.

Survivor: Samoa– nothing particularly noteworthy on this show other than that the people in Fao Fao are still stupid. Plus the old dude got pulled out for medical reasons. So nothing new. Although, one guy did find the immunity idol with no clues, so impressive but unfortunate since he’s such a rat.

Project Runway/Models of the Runway– Great challenge, making characters based on movie genres. I’m only sad there was no fantasy genre since that could have made a great outfit or two. Models of the Runway was even less interesting than usual but I’m certainly not sorry to see Fatma go. Obnoxious people get on my nerves.

Bones– Still working on figuring out when this show actually airs…but as always a great episode that involves the Jeffersonian getting involved with the FBI. The character interaction on this show is simply amazing, as always, and we get to see one of Bones’s secret but softer sides when it comes to dealing with one of her lab assistants who has just lost his scholarship. Plus, Booth was jealous/threatened by the fact that Bones makes more money than him, but it was just because she wrote another bestseller.

Flash Forward– GREAT! Definitely a show to start watching. I really enjoyed the premiere (which is a good sign since episode one is usually 1/2 the quality of the rest of the show). It did a good job of introducing a bunch of different characters (there was a doctor from ER whose name I cannot remember) and show of paranoia already creeping into their lives after the worldwide blackout that gave everyone a glimpse into the future. Who else is curious what the little girl saw?

Dollhouse– I heard that the premiere got poor ratings, which is really unfortunate considering that it was quite good. Echo is beginning to develop as a character, retaining a number of memories from her various imprints and determined to discover her real self (with the help of Agent Ballard). Even better of course is the Whiskey/Dr. Saunders-Gunther relationship and the Echo-Whiskey moment. There were so many things about this episode that were an improvement over last year’s pilot. If for nothing else, we actually see where this season is going and even more of Joss Whedon’s philosophy debates enter the picture, which is always a pleasure. Also, the episode was filled with excellently creepy music. Come on people, WATCH THIS!

Ghost Whisperer– For all the big deal they made about Melinda and Jim’s baby, he seemed rather ordinary for the most part. Even with his ability (or at least one of them) he seems hardly the super power they hinted at. That’s not to say that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy the premiere. Still as creepy and heartwarming as ever though I’m not certain where the season is going. I hope it has a big storyline coming since I find the big story more interesting than the formulaic ones.

Smallville– Lois Lane has returned. She’s so ridiculous but also entertaining in her own way. I like the way they brought her into the present. Clark Kent is too whiny for my taste and how bad did you feel for Chloe when she asked him to go back in time and save Jimmy? (Which reminds me, how close is this show intending to keep to the real Superman, since we all know that Jimmy was alive when he was the hero.) I like the way they brought around the girl who was hunting Lois in an attempt to find Clark though less than impressed with Zod. Apparently the ratings for the episode were the show’s lowest but also better than the shows that the CW normally aired in the same time slot so I don’t know what that says about the future of the show.

House– Despite the lack of regular cast mates (Wilson makes a quick appearance but otherwise, no one showed up, even to pick him up from the Rehab center when he was released) this season’s premiere was really interesting. We finally got to see House in every area of his personality though it does leave me wondering who House will be without his pain meds and less afraid to connect with people. Maybe he’ll be depressed again for losing that woman?

Psych– As funny as ever, no surprise since it’s mid-season though this whole Spencer dating someone who isn’t O’Hara is slightly irritating (but meant to be). Best line of the episode: “Did Lassiter’s words just jump into your mouth because that’s really unsanitary.” Also Steve Urkel makes a guest appearance on the show which is always fun, especially when he’s singing. Still loving the theme song!

I have yet to catch up Melrose Place and haven’t felt much of an urge to so I may be dropping that show. I’ve never been such a fan of police shows (with the exception of shows like Bones and Psych which are more comedy than cop show) so I think the whole murder mystery aspect is just ruining it for me. Though my sister seems to like that bit so…