Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

Posts Tagged ‘dollhouse

Tough Love

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Slaves, female are of three kinds, probably:

2 Beautiful young women. You will find these in droves in the FANATIC CALIPHATES and sometimes in the PALACES of bad KINGS. Their duties are light and pleasant and are: looking beautiful, bathing and massaging visitors, singing and dancing and, for male Tourists, providing company in bed. None of them seem unhappy in their work and they show no desire to escape. It is not usually possible to discover their life stories, but sometimes one will tell you her father was a MERCHANT and that she was kidnapped by BANDITS somewhere many hundreds of miles away and was forced to watch her father being killed before she was carried off.

Often male Tourists will sympathise with the plight of such Slaves, nobly reject their offer of free, no-holds-barred SEX, insist on assisting them to escape from the exploitative tyranny under which they have been existing, and then, having obviously done them a Good Turn, have free, no-holds-barred SEX before stranding them in the middle of nowhere to make their way thousands of miles back to their own COUNTRY.

Diana Wynne Jones, The Tough Guide To Fantasyland, 1996

Written by Martin

22 September 2009 at 18:04

Posted in books, criticism, quotes, sf

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Dollhouse 1.7 – 1.13

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It is deeply unfortunate that ‘Omega’, the final episode of Dollhouse aired in the US, closes to the sound of Beck’s version of Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime. That cover version was recorded for Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, a film that covers similar ground but does so with an intelligence, wit and poignancy that is utterly lacking from Dollhouse. This may be the “good” half of the season but it is still hopelessly crude.

And then we have ‘Epitaph One’. Not aired in the US, filmed apparently as an afterthought and only available on the DVD and foreign transmissions, it completely explodes what has gone before. It doesn’t change the rules but it does change the game. It awakens a tiny thought that hey, maybe the second season might actually be interesting. The DVD also includes the original first episode, ‘Echo’, which turns out to be far superior to the aired first episode, ‘Ghost’. If it hadn’t been shelved it would also have mercifully eliminated the pointless clutch of turgid episodes that opened the season and almost derailed the whole series. Ah well, it wouldn’t be a Joss Whedon programme if you didn’t regret what might have been.

Written by Martin

19 September 2009 at 18:17

Posted in sf, television

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Dollhouse 1.1 – 1.6

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Who would have thought it? Joss Whedon has decided to remake Mr Benn and cast Eliza Dusku as the titular bowler-hatted gent.

Perhaps more obviously Dollhouse can be compared to Alias. Both feature a young woman working for a super secrit organisation whose job mainly consists of wearing a small dress and punching people in theĀ face whilst her older black partner hangs about in the background. Both programmes are also boring, repetitive and ludicrous. Thankfully Dushku’s Echo gets her mind wiped every episode meaning we avoid any Sydney Bristow-style spy angst but still, it is a terrible template for a show. It is as if Whedon looked back at Buffy and Angel and thought “hmm, I wonder what people liked about those shows?”, only to inexplicably decided that it was the tedious Monster of the Week episodes used to bulk out the seasons.

I’m deliberately writing this only six episodes into the season because by all accounts this is a season of two halves; a shit one and… a slightly better one. ‘The Man On The Street’ quite clearly marks the beginning of this shift, the first suggestion Whedon is actually going somewhere with this. It takes five episodes – almost four hours! – to get to this point though. I hope there is going to be some ultimate pay off for this slow burn beginning, the complexity that was ironed out of Firefly even before it was brutally choked will finally emerge. Then again coherent worldbuilding and moral sophistication were never Whedon’s strong suit so I’m not going to hold my breath.

Written by Martin

10 September 2009 at 20:45

Posted in sf, television

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