Saturday, January 30, 2010

Episode 495: Dollhouse Series Finale

So my ears are still ringing just a little after the aural assault of clubbing last night. Nevertheless, I survived rehearsal, and have picked up a simple dance move for the last verse of 'What Lies Before Us'. Maybe with some training, I could be a passable dancer after all? Nothing professional, you must understand, just coordinated enough so that I don't embarrass myself. Am not in the mood for serious work (i.e. trying to comprehend that French article for Tuesday), so I've caught up on most of my TV shows. The Dollhouse series finale was perfect. It was, first of all, very economic. We leapt forward a decade into a future last glimpsed at the end of the first season, and Joss Whedon gave us just enough clues from what characters said and did to infer what their lives had been like during that time, which to me will always represent the unrealised potential of this TV series that was cancelled because Americans are stupid and would rather watch American Idol than something that raises serious ethical questions. (I'm picking on American Idol because it's broadcast by the same network that axed Dollhouse.) Then there was the ending. Without spoiling it, I just want to say that it was a brilliant ending in that it was genuinely open-ended. You know how it's said that Shakespeare's comedies end in weddings and his tragedies end in funerals? Well, none of that conventional tidiness for this show. We get resolution, but only in the sense that we feel like a chapter is closing and a new one about to begin. To put it another way, the two seasons of Dollhouse are a dream for those who're into writing fan fiction because there are so many gaps in the chronology, but yet it's still pretty clear what generally takes place in them. Ultimately though, it's the ethical questions Dollhouse is clearly posing to its viewers that is really fascinating. What does it mean to be human? Are there limits to what we should seek to know and be able to do?

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