With the return of Dollhouse only hours away, fans are going in with the knowledge that whatever happens in these final episodes will be it – Dollhouse has been canceled. Sadly, fans are becoming more accustomed with their favorite shows being canceled without warning and without explanation why. Ratings are always an issue, but there’s more. Unfortunately, such information is rarely revealed — until now, that is.

With the typical Whedon openness, Joss steps up and lays it all out on the table about why Dollhouse failed. While most fans are aware that much of the blame for the show’s failure falls upon FOX, Whedon wastes no time throwing himself into the “blame-pit.” (Made that word up myself, blame-pit is like a BBQ-pit, but with less smoke and more frowns)

Whedon on FOX’s response to Dollhouse as a show:

“The problems that the show encountered weren’t standalone versus mythology [episodes].  Basically, the show didn’t really get off the ground because the network pretty much wanted to back away from the concept five minutes after they bought it. And then ultimately, the show itself is also kind of odd and difficult to market. I actually think they did a good job, but it’s just not a slam-dunk concept.”

On Dollhouse losing its focus:

“We got the espionage that the network wants, but it’s the questions about identity that we want. There are other things about the show that never came back, and I didn’t really realize it until the second season—[there were] things that we were ultimately sort of dancing around. … We always found ourselves sort of moving away from what had been part of the original spark of the show and that ultimately just makes it really hard to write these stories.”

On audience reception of Dollhouse.

“People responded to [‘Dollhouse’ by saying], ‘This is trafficking. This is sex for money.’ It wasn’t just sex.  Part of the problem was “the other implications of what was originally supposed to be somewhat more of a fantasy. The real-world version of [this kind of activity] was I think what made the network really twitchy and I can’t really fault them for that. I just thought when I went in and pitched it …you know, it frightened me too [but I thought] we all got that that was what we were doing.”

It’s really hard to fault FOX completely for Dollhouse. Sure, there are many things they could have done to help promote it, but even though I consistently tuned in, I knew that the show was running below its potential. There were aspects of the show that were lacking, but I was hoping that somehow it would slip through the cracks and get renewed. Although, The Sarah Connor Chronicles should have taught me that even if a show gets really good, it’s not always enough.

I didn’t actually become a real fan of Dollhouse until the sixth episode where Patton Oswalt guest-starred and the entire Dollhouse universe was turned on its head. That amazing episode aside, I can’t really count more than a handful of episodes that I would consider memorable and that’s counting the unaired (and amazing) Epitaph One.

Still, we’ve got more episodes to air and Whedon promises that they get really good. Considering that he said the same thing about the Patton Oswalt episode, I have no doubt that he’s correct.

Unfortunately, if he is, it will only make the January 22 series finale that much harder to accept. Although, the series finale episode is titled “Epitaph Two,” so hopefully things will end with a bang!

Check out a preview of tonight’s episode below

What do you think of what Joss had to say? Are you looking forward to tonight’s episode?

Don’t forget to catch a double-dose of Dollhouse Fridays at 8PM on FOX

Source: Chicago Tribune [via: Sci Fi Wire]