Monday, January 24, 2011

New Roles Confuse Me

This weekend, I started watching the second season of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse on DVD.  You may not know this, but I'm a HUGE fan of Joss and almost everything he does.

I started to get into Buffy the Vampire Slayer a couple of seasons in - I didn't start watching it until Season 4, when the gang had already graduated high school.  It didn't take long for me to fall in love with the show once I started.  I'm currently in the middle of Season 4 again - this is probably the fourth or fifth time I've watched the whole series through.  The earlier seasons are, well, early.  The characters are younger, and they grate on me a little more, but they all grew and developed.  I love to watch how they change as the series goes on.  That's probably my favourite thing about Joss's shows - the characters are never stagnant.  Even the ones that you don't expect to ever change.  I like to call it "studying characterization" when I sit down and watch hours of Buffy at a time...

I watched some of Angel, but I didn't get into it the same way that I got into Buffy.  That's probably because I just didn't like Angel all that much.  Cordelia irritated me.  And then they had a show together.  But I did watch it occasionally.  There's an episode from the first season, when, through the powers of the blood of some weird demon, Angel gets to be human again.  He and Buffy reunite, but because he's human, he can't help her anymore, and he feels guilty that she's risking herself to protect him.  In the end, he gives up his humanity to be able to protect himself so she can live without worrying about him.  That's a really brief, really crappy summary, but that episode makes me bawl every time I watch it.

Somehow, I missed Firefly when it was on television, and I've been kicking myself since the moment I discovered it.  I LOVE this series!  I love it even more than I loved Buffy!  Again, it's the characterization that gets me.  They're all so different, but they do have a lot in common.  I love that I can see parts of myself in almost all of the characters.  I'm not sure I have much Jayne in me... but I do have a hat like his!  I borrowed the series from a friend about three years ago, then went out and bought my own copy as soon as I finished watching hers.  In the past three years, I've probably watched the whole series fifteen times.  I've only watched Serenity, the follow-up movie, once.  I felt the need to watch it to finish off the series, but, well, I'm attached to these characters, and I don't like the way things went down in the movie.  Don't get me wrong - the movie was cool, and well-written, and totally in keeping with the characters.  It just, well, it's got a finality to it that I don't really want with this series.  I want to keep imagining Mal flying across the universe and getting himself into and out of trouble, with the whole crew tagging along and being clever.

You can't talk about Joss and leave out Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog!  I'm a theatre geek, and I love anything musical.  The Buffy musical episode was awesome, but this!  THIS!!  I love it!  I watched it when it came out online, I downloaded it from iTunes as soon as it was available, and I bought the DVD shortly after it was released.  I have the whole thing memorized, and I will randomly belt out, well, any of the songs!

As I said at the beginning of this post, I've been watching Season 2 of Dollhouse.  I like it.  Almost as much as Firefly.  There's something about the science of the show that is just, well, a combination of cool and creepy.  And I swear, I know a guy who's an awful lot like Topher.  Plus, any girl that can kick as much ass as Echo is just awesome.  What's messing with me, though, is that in the last episode I watched, Wesley and Faith were talking.  Except it wasn't Wesley and Faith, it was Senator Perrin and Echo/Caroline/Brie.

There's something about Joss that seems to inspire faithfulness in his actors.  There's a video clip of Nathan Fillion on the Dr. Horrible DVD where he tells the story of Joss trying to ask him to be in the show.  Nathan said "Yes" before Joss even finished asking.

So Captain Reynolds is also Captain Hammer.  Faith is Echo.  Wesley is Perrin (and lost his British accent!).  Wash is Alpha.  Fred/Illyria is Dr. Saunders.  River is... I actually haven't watched far enough to find out her name, but she's in Dollhouse, too.

I love that Joss is apparently so awesome to work with that everyone who has worked with him wants to do it again.  It just messes with my head sometimes.  Especially when Wesley's not British anymore...

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