I’ve been thinking about cancelled series lately, because one of my new favorite shows of 2009 will soon be ending its run this month. I’m talking about Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse. Dollhouse started out basically as a plotline of “if Sidney Bristow (Alias) had her brain wiped clean after every spy mission”…with cuter clothing… So basic plotlines in the beginning were, “active” goes on “engagements”, fulfills requests for the rich that bought their time, then would come “home” to the “dollhouse” and have their memories wiped clean. When they were wiped clean, they are called “dolls”, since they really have no identity. So, yes, this complicated plot probably scared Fox into scheduling them into the kiss-of-death Friday prime time slot. But Dollhouse, since the middle of the first season, has escalated its plot, become more Lost than Alias, and developing a unique voice of its own. The character development mixed with action and mind games made me excited to watch this show. The societal themes and subtle puns at pop culture made the writing unique and witty. And I personally could stare at Tahmoh Penikett (BSG) for a good hour, no problem.
So, of course, the ratings on Friday weren’t a hit, it barely made it to the second season, and now it’s being cancelled with its series finale airing the final weeks of January. And I just finished one of the last shows, and it’s GOOD. I mean, thought-provoking, twist and turns, didn’t see that coming GOOD. And it got me thinking…if you know you are going to be canceled, and you have enough episodes to explain everything, does the writing automatically get better because you know you have a deadline? Because Dollhouse has never been THIS good.
Neither has Lost. When Lost announced that its last season would be in 2010, suddenly, Season 5 started to make sense…because they had an endgame. And now it’s the most anticipated final season ever. I, for one, am looking forward to Dollhouse‘s series finale…I feel that, unfortunately, that Joss Whedon spent too much time trying to find his voice, and Dollhouse belonged on cable (I’m talking to you, SyFy!), for this show was far too intelligent for Fox audiences…but that’s just me.
If you like sci fi, spy stuff, and mind games, be sure to pick up Dollhouse. Season one is out already (it doesn’t really find it’s voice until episode 5, but it’s worth the ride)
What cancelled series do you wish were still around?
Favorites that never got past season 2:
What About Brian
The Ex List
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Women’s Murder Club