When Dollhouse premiered, the show was received with enthusiasm by Joss Whedon fans. Yet as the show's first season kicked it in gear, many of us were confounded by what we saw.
The diehard Joss fans stuck it out because, well, it's Joss. But others were getting their minds muddled and weren't surviving the first few episodes. For some, the first half of the season seemed disjointed as each episode acted as a stand alone event in the Dollhouse mythos.
The Dollhouse premiere opened to only 4.7 million viewers while time-shifted viewers increased the numbers by a whopping 30%. The following month, viewership dropped to 3.5 million viewers.
As it stood, Fox did stick their nose in the mix and pulled the original episode that was supposed to be the pilot and just plain interfered with Joss's vision and the episode order (Firefly, anyone?).
But as the second half of the season wore on, things picked up and the story was starting to flow. I feel that this happened because Fox backed off and let Joss actually run the show. Which is nice, being that he has a proven track record of pretty decent success.
If you aren't sitting, you may want to... Fox is now saying that they will be leaving Joss Whedon alone to do his thing in Dollhouse's second season. For me, that means let him do what he does best, and that's bring damn good entertainment to the tube.
A statement that did annoy me though, which feels like they were passing the blame, was "I think in the second half of the year, he found the show and started having fun with it. I don't think he was having a lot of fun early on..."
Of course he wasn't, Kevin Reilly, president of entertainment for Fox. He didn't have any control over his own show in the front half of the season. I'm sometimes amazed at what comes from the spin machines of networks.
So for the moment, Fox says they're backing off and letting Joss have the freedom he needs. Of course they've renewed Dollhouse with cost concessions and only gave it a 13-episode run. I can't help but wonder if they've just tossed Joss overboard to flounder, and if it's a hit, they'll probably point to themselves and say "See, we had faith!"
What I do know is that after seeing "Epitath One" at Comic-Con, which kicked some serious entertainment butt, I have hope that Joss can really pull one out of the hat, even for a Friday night show.
Bonus Joss Whedon Opinion:
At a Comic-Con party, Joss was asked who would win in a fight: Angel or Edward from Twilight. Joss's answer: “I think Robert Pattinson’s really cool; Angel would kick the s— out of him...” LOL.
Nice. Sorry Twilighters, but I have to back Joss on this one.
Sources: Sci Fi Wire, EW