“…Whedon had a 5-year plan for the show and had already planned out the evolution of his characters through that point. Whedon has said repeatedly that he hates ‘rewind television,’ episodes where the characters don’t learn and don’t evolve from show to show. That’s why he has already mapped out an evolution for his characters.”
Five years! Motherfucker needs to get through the first season before he starts talking shit about FIVE years.
Jesus Christ, this is Whedon’s biggest flaw. He can’t write for television, not the primetime big networks. He’s too concerned with the long stories of each main character – and FUCK, this Dollhouse series is boasting NINE of them. NINE! – that he’s not seeing the immediate. If the casual viewer can’t immediately latch onto ONE character, they’re not going to give an everloving fuck about NINE. Shit, I thought that was elementary. The viewer only has so much attention to give; over-taxing their attention span makes them switch the channel.
Whedon is spoiled. He got away with the long television run on Buffy the Vampire Slayer because of it always being on a second-tier network. Had The WB and UPN grown the huevos to challenge the bigger networks, Buffy would not have lasted as long as it did. It was never in a position to be in direct competition with any of the shows on the bigger channels, and that needs to be understood. Buffy was on a network that had lax emphasis on generating the ratings. A show that brought in four million viewers on average could be considered, to that network, a success.
The wiki lists the highest season rating for Buffy at 5.3 million viewers. The lowest seasonal rating for House is 13.3. If any of the Firefly episodes brought in that many viewers, it would still be on the air. Instead, we have a not-even-one season with a rabid fanbase bitching on the wiki about how Fox fucked up the order of the episodes, that the pilot was a two-parter that didn’t get shown the right way. Bullshit.
Y’know, Star Trek: The Next Generation had a two-parter for a pilot, but TNG didn’t have nine main fucking characters. TNG didn’t need two hours to wade through Whedon dickery to get the basic points of “this is the bad guy,” “this is the good guy” and “this is the conflict of the episode.” Whereas TNG – any successful television sci-fi, really – could be picked up by any boob flipping channels, Whedon’s shit needed you to know what the fuck was going on in all the past episodes in order for the viewer to understand what was going on.
Hating “rewind television” means hating television. Even with TiVo, DVR and all the advances of science, the bulk of a show’s viewers are walk-in customers who, interested at the flash they see, stay on the channel. Look at Fox’s successful shows. House doesn’t require any brainpower when you tune in for your first episode. There’s the asshole brilliant doctor, his assistants who hate and worship him, the sexual tension with a female that gets either resolved or complicated in the episode and some kind of disease that gets convolutedly cured by the end of the show. There are always small favors given to the dedicated who stick around week after week, but the episode is written to draw people in.
I mean – fuck, ‘Til Death, the mediocre sitcom about suburban married life featuring Brad Garrett, brings in the same ratings that Buffy did.
Fuck Joss Whedon and fuck his fans, who do elaborate displays of assholery in order to convince the rest of the world that “Whedon = money.” Their dickery with Firefly got them a movie and fuck, Serenity took in $10.1 million its first week. It didn’t make back its budget until it was put out on DVD. Whedon doesn’t mean bank and if Dollhouse is another primetime failure, maybe the bullshit aura of “genius” and “competency” surrounding Joss Whedon will finally dissipate enough for meth-riddled Fox execs to understand that he’s just a hackneyed fantasy pillock. Fucker needs to get past the first year to prove he can hang on the big networks.
And I’ll put money down. Even in this shitty economy, the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie will make three times Serenity‘s opening gate its debut week, and that’s a cautious/chickenshit wager.