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Fun Friday–Big Bang Theory & Dollhouse

Friday, April 17, 2009

fun-friday.jpg

Previously, I’ve admitted that I’m a Star Wars geek. And posting this gives me the perfect excuse for an encore posting of Moosebutter’s John Williams/Star Wars a capella tribute.

I’ve also mentioned a time or two that I used to be a huge Trekkie as well as a lover of the short-lived TV series Firefly and the end-cap movie Serenity (see #3 and #1 on my Favorite SciFi series post), the latter of which led me to a great appreciation for writer/director Joss Whedon. Tahmoh PenikettI also recently posted about a recent fling with the new Battlestar Galactica series. And even though I saw the ending of the series coming from five miles away, I’m extremely grateful for the fact that the beginning couple of seasons sucked me in, otherwise, I never would have found the Real World Template for the hero in the first book of the new series I’ll soon be pitching to Barbour, Tahmoh Penikett (more about him in a moment).

At the beginning of the Fall TV Season, I wrote about all of the TV shows that I was going to be watching this year. Of those on that list, I’m now only regularly watching The Mentalist, LOST, Numb3rs, Home Makeover, and, when it starts back up this Sunday, L&O Criminal Intent (REALLY looking forward to the addition of Jeff Goldblum to the cast!).

Because I dropped a bunch of shows, and because I have a DVR on which I can set up series recordings so I don’t have to actually watch shows when they come on, but rather when I have time to watch them, I’ve added two new shows to this list: Big Bang Theory and Dollhouse.

At the MTCW Christmas brunch, when the topic of being Trekkies and Star Wars fans came up, fellow author/editor Ramona Richards suggested to those of us who didn’t already watch it that we check out the CBS sitcom Big Bang Theory, as it references popular science fiction TV shows and movies in its humor. It took me a few weeks to get around to remembering to set up a series recording of it, but I’m so glad I did. It’s the only sitcom I watch, and sometimes I’m a bit frightened at some of the references that I not only catch but completely “get.” Here are a couple of clips that will hopefully show you why I love this show:

As mentioned above, I became a Joss Whedon acolyte when I fell in love with Firefly and Serenity. Therefore, when I heard he had a new show coming on this spring, I was eager to see it. And then I promptly forgot about it, because I don’t watch anything else on the Fox network, so I wasn’t seeing previews/announcements for the series premiere. Fortunately, I was able to catch the first few episodes on Hulu before they expired, so I got caught up and am now watching it every week. I was even more excited about the show when I learned that my template for Bobby Patterson, a former soldier turned (possibly) TBI agent (that’s Tennessee Bureau of Investigation) in what could hopefully be my next contemporary romance after A Case for Love plays an FBI agent on Dollhouse. Aside from the fact that the casting on this show is amazing (Olivia Williams as the Dollhouse’s director, Reed Diamond as the head of security, and, of course, Tahmoh Penikett, along with many, many alums of other Joss Whedon shows, like Mark Sheppard, Eliza Dushku, and Amy Acker), the concept—a company that has perfected the science of wiping and then reprogramming people’s personalities and memories, ostensibly to be used to fulfill clients’ fantasies, but with a seemingly more sinister purpose that we’ve yet to discover—is one that takes a little bit of what J.J. Abrams started on Alias, with constantly putting Sydney in different looks/costumes/roles in her undercover work, but gives it a sci-fi tweak, because these “Dolls” are programmed to believe they really ARE these new personalities they’ve been given. As with all of Whedon’s other shows (those I’ve watched and those I haven’t), there’s a darkness but also a sense of humor—and an underlying question of ethics and morality—about everything that’s said and every story twist he gives us.

Here are a couple of clips:

For those of you who are TV watchers, it’s your turn. What are a couple of new shows that have taken you by surprise this year that you either anticipated or never saw coming but have come to love anyway?

18 Comments
  1. Friday, April 17, 2009 7:56 am

    I read somewhere that Dollhouse is in danger of being canceled…poor Joss!

    New additions to the DVR lineup have been Castle (watch solely to see Nathan Fillion!), Better Off Ted (HILARIOUS), The Unusuals (I really like Jeremy Renner’s character so far…I read a TV critic’s review of the 2nd episode who described Renner as Nathan Fillion’s slightly disturbed younger brother – so true!), and Kings (which I understand will probably only last this 1 season…so far it’s been quite good).

    Several of my other shows have ended already, or are about to do so (Chuck, Life, Bones all come to mind). I’m looking forward to the return of Burn Notice, Leverage, and Psych this summer.

    Yeesh I watch way too much TV… 😉

    Like

  2. greyfort permalink
    Friday, April 17, 2009 10:13 am

    I watch Dollhouse too. I hope Ruth is wrong! LOL. I’ve enjoyed it a lot. I want to watch Big-Bang Theory, but its on at the same time as other shows that I like more, but I have my DVR set to record it in the off chance I might actually get to watch it once in a blue moon.

    My favorite new shows? The Mentalist and Dollhouse. I like The Eleventh Hour as well, but its ended its first season and I think its not coming back 😦

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  3. Friday, April 17, 2009 10:16 am

    Go vote in the Save Our Shows campaign (not that it’s guaranteed to work, but one never knows…). According to this link Dollhouse falls in Fox’s “gone or nearly dead” column for the fall/renewal lineup:

    http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2009-04-15-sos-network-chart_N.htm

    Like

  4. greyfort permalink
    Friday, April 17, 2009 10:28 am

    I went – but they also listed shows as “on the bubble” that just premiered like last week or haven’t even premiered yet… LOL

    I take my news from TVGuide.com 🙂

    Like

  5. Friday, April 17, 2009 11:10 am

    I went and left a long comment about why they need to save Dollhouse—that they haven’t given it enough time to develop a following; that they did this to Joss Whedon with Firefly, which has gone on to develop one of the largest cult followings in SciFi TV history, etc.; that they really need to do some cross-network promotion for their programs if they expect them to build a following—because, as I said above, I don’t watch anything else on Fox, so if I hadn’t been obsessing over Tahmoh Penikett, I wouldn’t have even remembered this show existed.

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  6. greyfort permalink
    Friday, April 17, 2009 11:15 am

    Heh. I thought that was the name of the girl who looks to be part asian. I was a bit confused there…. LOL

    That man is very pretty – doesn’t he remind you of … oh.. what is his name…… Jauquin Pheonix.

    Like

  7. Friday, April 17, 2009 11:27 am

    Oh, no, I think he’s much prettier that Joaquin Phoenix. And a lot taller too.

    And the name. . .alas, he’s Canadian. What can we do, eh?

    Like

  8. greyfort permalink
    Friday, April 17, 2009 11:33 am

    Nothing, eh. Watch out for those zed’s too….

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  9. Friday, April 17, 2009 12:09 pm

    Dollhouse is amazing. I’m a fan of JW too – his story telling is wonderful, and intricate and it all hooks up in the end, even the smallest elements and I love it! I love his latest creation. Dollhouse has all those complexities and litle twist and turns and oh it’s so much fun to watch!

    Like

  10. Friday, April 17, 2009 12:39 pm

    Brian and I have been watching the BSG series through Netflicks lately. And I shocked Brian when i told him my favorite character/thread was the one with Tahmoh Penikett. LOL When I did some research, I found out they’d actually planned to kill him off, but the response to him was so great, they created that subthread just for him. OORAH! I’m so glad. 😀

    Like

  11. Friday, April 17, 2009 1:13 pm

    Yay! Another Helo fan!

    **Possible Spoiler**
    I liked him right from the very beginning and pretty much stuck with the show in the 4th and 4th-and-a-half season because of him. And it paid off big-time in the scene when Helo confronts Adama about wanting to go after Hera. He brought just the right amount of emotion to that scene so that it didn’t become melodramatic. He ripped my heart out!

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  12. Friday, April 17, 2009 6:36 pm

    Had a random thought…if Bobby does turn out to be a TBI agent, I can check with a sheriff’s deputy I know to see if he has any possible interview contacts. Just wanted to throw that out there before I spazz out and forget. 😛

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  13. Friday, April 17, 2009 9:42 pm

    Kaye, you really should give Buffy the Vampire Slayer a shot. It’s from way back when vampires actually killed people and couldn’t go in the sunlight. Those were better times.

    As for me, I don’t really watch any shows on TV. I tried watching Lost week by week this season, but it only took about 5 episodes for me to decide I enjoyed it like 50% less in that format. As such, all the TV shows I watch are at least a year old.

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  14. Saturday, April 18, 2009 9:34 pm

    I’m not watching any new shows this year. The only show I watch regularly is Lost. Like Caleb, I prefer to wait and get them on DVD. But for Lost, I couldn’t find the patience. I’m looking forward to Season 5 of Atlantis (on DVD) this summer.

    Like

  15. Monday, April 20, 2009 3:07 pm

    Kaye, I’ve been reading your blog for a couple months, thanks to an introduction to you from my friend Amy Jane (Untangling Tales). I just now ordered Stand-In Groom from Amazon…I’m looking forward to reading it!

    Thanks for all the work you do to break down the writing process and teach about it. Though I mostly write non-fiction, I’ve gained a lot of insight from your teaching.

    I had no idea you were a Browncoat! (Firefly fan) Now you’re even cooler in my book.

    You MUST start watching Castle with Nathan Fillion…he’s wonderful, as always, and it’s a fun, quirky show. A nice change from the CSI type of gritty murder show, it incorporates humor into the murder investigation process, which Fillion observed in real NYC homicide detectives.

    Like

  16. Monday, April 20, 2009 4:07 pm

    Becky-
    I DO watch Castle, don’t know why I forgot to mention it. I’m starting to see a definite pattern in the roles that Nathan Fillion chooses!

    Like

  17. rockafellaskank permalink
    Saturday, April 25, 2009 8:23 pm

    Hi there. I am a friend of KC (The Unutterable Phrase) and so have checked our your blogs from time to time. I particularly enjoy the (Fabulous by Forty) weight loss one (as someone who needs to drop at least 30kgs).

    What caught my eye recently, were your reviews of the new Joss Whedon show, Dollhouse. I suspect it won’t be here (in Australia) for a while. Some of my recent favourite TV series (Mad Men, Dexter) are actually here on DVD before they appear on our Free to Air television.

    Nonetheless, I will look forward to the show – whenever it arrives. Like you, I also love the habit that Joss has of using favourites in his shows and of course I remember Eliza Dushku, from her days as “Faith” in Buffy.

    I became a Joss fan during the Buffy years. Not the early years, as the idea of a show about a vampire slayer wasn’t something I would have even considered watching. As it happened, in 2000 I was living in Asia and – in desperation – I succumbed to cable tv and one night (for something to do) watched an episode of Buffy. I was intrigued so went back for more. I then bought the DVDs to see all of the earlier episodes and waited for new episodes with a surprising impatience.

    I am aware a lot of Buffy-viewers were ‘goth-like’ characters themselves and loved ‘all-things-vampire’. I must admit to fast-forwarding through some of the fight scenes, as what I loved most about Buffy was the dialogue. I was well into the series before I realized how incredibly talented Joss Whedon and his crew were. Through interviews accompanying the DVD series’, I learned that Buffy’s mother (Joyce) knew that she was to be killed off years before she was. The obscure references to Dawn’s arrival a year or two before she appeared intrigued me as well. I guess I had thought the writers sat around informally and randomly came up with ideas and scripts. I hadn’t expected that much rigour around the process. I read later that Joss is known for mapping out his programs in advance, but the commitment and adherence to detail that must go with that level of focus is amazing.

    I can only imagine then, how devastating it was when Firefly was cancelled after one season. He must have decided long before what would happen to these new characters he created. (Hence the movie ‘Serenity’ I guess.)

    Like you, I loved the show – and subsequently – the movie. I was amazed that Nathan Fillion went from creepy bad guy in Buffy to sexy lead in Firefly.

    I have missed Joss from our screens – he has a quirkiness that is rare and tries things others wouldn’t dare. He seems prone to some self-indulgence (writing songs, appearing in some episodes) and I gather he is a tad ‘precious’ – wanting things HIS way, which I suspect is usually the right way. Who else would write entire episodes of a show (Buffy) where no words are spoken, or where all words are sang.

    But, it seems I can now look forward to Dollhouse. In the interim, I will hope that it is appreciated and stays around long enough to garner a real audience and remain on our screens.

    http://rockafellaskank.blogspot.com/

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  18. Saturday, June 6, 2009 3:03 pm

    I never really like Buffy, but I loved Angel!

    I really need to watch a few episodes of Big Bang Theory. Patrick Stewart SHOULD be Sexiest Man Alive every year!

    Like

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