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 Post subject: Dollhouse S2 & S2 DVD Discussion Thread (Spoiler text, plz.)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:11 pm 
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There will be spoilers discussed in the thread. Please spoiler text anything that has not yet been aired. Discussion of anything from an aired episode is fair use and is not to be considered a spoiler.

That said; Paul Ballard is being quite the single-minded asshat this season.


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse S2 & S2 DVD Discussion Thread (Spoiler text, plz.)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:12 pm 
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Miracle Laurie TV Guide Interview

Spoiler: show
Miracle Laurie Returns to Dollhouse
by Carita Rizzo October 01, 2009 11:54 AM EST

After being prematurely released from her Dollhouse contract in the season finale, thanks to Agent Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett), we weren’t sure if we would ever see November/Mellie//Madeline on the sci-fi hit again. Also not sure of her return? Actress Miracle Laurie, who played the three-in-one character. TV Guide Magazine caught up with Laurie to discuss her return to Dollhouse this Friday, and her future on the show.

So I'm watching the premiere, and you're not in it. I didn't know that you were going to be back. Did you know?
You know it was rough, because I knew how the season ended, too, and I was like, “What did I do?” I had been hopeful that I would be coming back, and Joss, he likes to tease, and be like, “Oh yeah, you're coming,” and then he would joke around that I'm not. So it was kind of going back and forth, but I kind of always knew that I was. I didn't have any idea in what capacity I was coming back, because it was left so open. I didn't know what kind of purpose I’d serve in the story, or if it was even going to be Madeline, or if it would be November or someone else. I had no idea. So, at my birthday party, Joss told me how it was going to all go down, and I started shooting a week later. So it was really down to the wire. So I was in the dark just as much as everybody else.

So who comes back into the fold? Is it November, Mellie or Madeline?
It's Madeline.

How does she come back?
I want to say everything, because I think it's so amazing! We get to meet her really for the first time, and see who she is after the experience of being in the Dollhouse. It's very interesting. It's different, and I hope the fans like Madeline as much as they [liked November/Mellie]. And I think the theme is, whether we meant to play this out or not, that everyone has the same soul. It’s their minds that are being wiped and replaced, and different personalities that are put in, but I think, there is an essence for everybody that is the same throughout. I think that's the same with me. It’s still [the same] November/Mellie, that we fell in love with.

Are we going to see Madeline's universe? Can she just slide back into that life?
That's what we explore. We kind of pick up and really see what her life is now. There aren't any flash backs to before. We got that from last year, that her daughter passed away and that's why she volunteered to be part of the Dollhouse. So we get to see how she exists, now that that is over for her and the contract is over and she has to live a normal life again. I think it's really brilliant. The thing about all these scripts so far, is that I'm constantly surprised and blown away at how brave and smart and funny and witty and exciting they are. Our writers didn't waste a minute. Everyone's relationships are tested immediately. I'm just blown away by the season. We're not even in halfway yet. So I think the fans are going to be really, really happy.

Are you a series regular?
I'm still technically guest cast. I'm in the first 6, and they all tell me that I'm not going anywhere, and the way 6 ends, it looks as if I'm not. So we'll see.

Do you get to interact with the folks in the Dollhouse again?
I do, yeah. I actually have a scene with Paul (Tahmoh Penikett). It's very odd, having that scene with Tahmoh. I adore him as a person, and Mellie loved him all last season. So to go in and not really know who this guy is after spending a year with him? It's a little challenging. So that kind of stuff is odd, but if I'm being true to Madeline in that space, it's just what it is. She doesn't know who he is. It's just really interesting to play that, and I think the fans are really going to love seeing that dynamic play throughout the season. We've never seen a doll after they were a doll. We've never seen a contract up. What do they do with all that money that they get after the contract is up? What is their connection with the Dollhouse? Do they even know where it is? It's just really fun that we all get to explore that for the first time, and that I get to be that part of the puzzle is really exciting for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse S2 & S2 DVD Discussion Thread (Spoiler text, plz.)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:14 am 
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I hope the rating pick up!

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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse S2 & S2 DVD Discussion Thread (Spoiler text, plz.)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:49 pm 
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I watched the seaon opener with Lee. Kind of interesting what they're doing with the former doll turned doctor. That's the kind of thing BSG could have actually done effectively with both Boomer and Caprica, but didn't bother.

The fight at the end was kind of over the top, but enetertaining.


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse S2 & S2 DVD Discussion Thread (Spoiler text, plz.)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:49 pm 
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Not to mention that Jamie Bamber pistol-whipping Tahmoh on a downstroke is pretty damned impossible, unless Bambi was on a box or Tahmoh was kneeling. I didn't like the Ballard/Echo story at all, although I had some serious love for how alike Ballard and Boyd are proving to be.
Image

I am also really into the doctor's growing self-awareness- how great is it that they are exploring the storyline of how she wants to live, even though she knows she's not real? This must be the hazard of long-term engagements.


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse S2 & S2 DVD Discussion Thread (Spoiler text, plz.)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:35 am 
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This week's ep brings me to 0 for 2, which makes me sad. Really sad, because once Man On The Street happened, I was so invested in these characters that I was wild to know what happened to Mellie and Ballard, Boyd, Sierra and Victor, and Saunders. I even love ice-queen Adelle (and god, please bring back Reed Diamond) and Topher's grown on me like a planter's wart.

Echo leaves me cold. I just cannot bring myself to give the smallest crap about her character, and I actively (no pun intended) loathe Caroline. The only thing Dushku's done on the whole show that spoke to me is the Rebecca Mynor imprint, and I suspect that it's because Rebecca Mynor was the closest thing to a real person. It's a shame, because I adore Eliza in both Bring It On and Buffy, but this job is too much for her, and I'm resentful as well on Tahmoh Penikett's behalf- we've seen what he can do when paired with actors he has chemistry with (Miracle Laurie, Grace Park, Katee Sackhoff, Holly Elissa Dignard, Julie Stewart, etc.) and it's frustrating to me watching him onscreen with nothing going on. I could watch him in scenes with Harry Lennix all day- that's the chemistry which is missing with Eliza. (Ironically enough, Lennix HAS the chemistry with Dushku- so of course he's not onscreen at all.)

The scenes which actually made me pay attention instead of sighing and checking how much time was left on the Hulu episode were the scene between Ballard and Madeline, anything with Adelle, and very little else.

I'm very tired of the second season already, in fact, I am about to give up. The characters I care about and am interested in in the Dollhouse aren't the ones I am seeing the most of, and the interactions I want to see are overshadowed by the "main plot".

*shrugs*

I'm love Tahmoh's work, and I trust him to be going somewhere with this, but it's getting damn hard.


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse S2 & S2 DVD Discussion Thread (Spoiler text, plz.)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:28 pm 
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I've decided to watch Dollhouse by skipping most of the Echo scenes. Just watching enough of them that I don't entirely lose the plot. It's making the show much more enjoyable.

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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse S2 & S2 DVD Discussion Thread (Spoiler text, plz.)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 6:20 pm 
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Malana wrote:
I've decided to watch Dollhouse by skipping most of the Echo scenes. Just watching enough of them that I don't entirely lose the plot. It's making the show much more enjoyable.
That's really the only way to do it at this point. That said, my disinterest in the show is more than just Echo-based. I find I have no real interest in the imprints (True, there have been exceptions in Mellie & Roger but those were special circumstances).

Take this last episode, for example.
Spoiler: show
Everyone on my flist seemed to LOVE episode 3 but I was just kinda bored. I adore Victor and I think Enver is brilliant but I had no interest in creepykiller!imprint. The twist with Victor-Kiki was kind of interesting and I liked the ending of Paul doing Adelle's dirty work but otherwise...the episode just bored me.


And ITA with everything Rose said regarding Echo and Ballard/Echo. I LOVE Eliza...always have...but I can't like her character(s). It feels like she plays the exact same role with every imprint and Echo!Caroline is just downright annoying. Then, we have Ballard/Echo. Not only do they have no chemistry but Ballard's obsession with her makes it impossible to like him as a character.

A big step in improving this series would be breaking up the team of Echo/Ballard. Let Boyd go back to being Echo's handler (as Eliza and Harry have a great on-screen dynamic that I've really missed) and have Paul take over Dom's old position (or bring Dom back and have Paul be his rival...I don't care). That way, we get away from the Echo!obsession and have Paul in more scenes with Adelle and Topher, who he's actually kind of interesting with. Also, make it more of an ensemble effort. Stop using Echo as the centerpiece and just have her blend in with all of the other characters.

That said, I know Joss has no intention of making the changes I want so I guess I'll just have to keep fast-forwarding through all of the Echo and Echo/Ballard scenes...which is a darn shame 'cause it means missing a large chunk of the episodes but it's the only way I can keep watching the show. Sad, really...


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse S2 & S2 DVD Discussion Thread (Spoiler text, plz.)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:25 pm 
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I didn't like Belle Chose either, but since it was a vast improvement (not hard) on the first two, I'll take it. It utterly wasted Michael Hogan, which sucked, and most of the Echo plot was annoying and pointless, but did have good payoff. I do give Tahmoh credit that Paul seems to realize HOW creepy his obsession with Echo is, and also that he's having a gradual awareness of Echo as an individual, and less awareness of Caroline.

I did love Enver like he was dipped in money and in my living room. He's easily the standout actor on a show of powerhouses.

Ballard and Adelle? Now THAT'S interesting. I like how his normal moral conflictedness wasn't conflicted at all, when he pulled the plug on creepy serial killer guy. I think he's more like Adelle than he ever wanted to admit.


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse S2 & S2 DVD Discussion Thread (Spoiler text, plz.)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:08 am 
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Quote:
I even love ice-queen Adelle (and god, please bring back Reed Diamond)


I ship those two characters hardcore. They're both so repressed and they powerwalk like nobody's business.

Quote:
Ballard and Adelle? Now THAT'S interesting. I like how his normal moral conflictedness wasn't conflicted at all, when he pulled the plug on creepy serial killer guy. I think he's more like Adelle than he ever wanted to admit.


Honestly, I think this season Tahmoh has the best chemistry with Olivia. I can easily see Ballard hooking up with Adelle versus Echo.

As for the whole "different morals" thing. As was demonstrated last season, Paul's capable of doing some pretty shady things.

Quote:
I did love Enver like he was dipped in money and in my living room. He's easily the standout actor on a show of powerhouses.


If/when Dollhouse gets cancelled, I really hope Enver doesn't disappear into obscurity. He's really impressed me on this show. Joss made quite the discovery.


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse S2 & S2 DVD Discussion Thread (Spoiler text, plz.)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:03 am 
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Wow, that was a really hard episode to watch. But, it's also the strongest the show's been in a while. Dichen and Fran really rocked the episode...


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse S2 & S2 DVD Discussion Thread (Spoiler text, plz.)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:23 am 
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Webeh wrote:
Wow, that was a really hard episode to watch. But, it's also the strongest the show's been in a while. Dichen and Fran really rocked the episode...
Belonging was easily the best episode of the season, at least imho.

Spoiler: show
Like you said, it relied completely on those two actors and they both just knocked it out of the park. That final scene between Topher and Priya actually reminded me a lot of the Topher/Claire scenes from the first episode.

I just loved this episode. I won't go into all the details because it's way too late/early but I will say this:

* Victor/Sierra - If this episode didn't prove that they're soul-mates, I don't know what could.
* Boyd/Echo (not in a shippy way) - I LOVED seeing them in scenes together again! And I was so happy Boyd FINALLY clued it to Echo's 'secret'. We need more interaction between these two (and much less between Not!Helo & Echo!line)
* Topher - REMOTE WIPES ARE BAD. WALK AWAY! Also, thanks for finally using that conscience we knew you had.


Was bummed there was no new episode tonight...Can't wait for Summer's episodes!


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse S2 & S2 DVD Discussion Thread (Spoiler text, plz.)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:50 pm 
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I'm going out on a very short limb here and saying the reason Paul sucks so bad isn't Tahmoh's fault, it's Whedon's. From things Tahmoh has said in interviews (and at that very hungover panel at DragonCon), Joss hasn't really given him anything in Paul's backstory, and has directed him on a very short leash; none of the director/actor/writer collab that was on Battlestar. Based on his style of acting and his training, I am going to bet that the lack of ability to make choices has resulted in the stiffness that has come to characterize Paul, as opposed to Tahmoh's usual subtle nuances.

If I hadn't seen his range between Whistler, Battlestar, and Cold Squad, I'd think from his performance on Dollhouse that he's a pretty crappy actor. But I think he's just a really, really frustrated, hampered one.

I have become very adept at is reading between the lines in his interviews- he's a consummate professional, and he'll never badmouth anyone about anything, but every now and again, he'll let the veneer of All-Pro slip a bit, like the interview he gave (please, don't make me go look for it) where he left the clear impression that he hated having to hit Echo in 2.1 more than anything he's had to do so far- never clearly saying it, but the implications are clear.

So, yes, I am going to go with he's frustrated. And the real suck here is that he'd probably have done stunningly well being directed by Jonathan Frakes, who is very much an actor's director.

Helo got this reputation in S1 of BSG for being stupid, when he didn't have information that everyone else did, and someone actively keeping him from the truth. It was like that line when Lee Adama barks at him "She's the President of the Colonies, you moron!" after Helo refers to Roslin as "the nice lady". How the hell was he supposed to know that?

Actually, I wonder if that's why Ballard is coming off so badly- we're judging his knowledge by what WE as the audience knows, so he comes off as even more of a putz than he is written. We know that his "wall of crazy" is all true, but he's flailing.

I never expected Ballard to be Helo (although I do wish that Tahmoh would put on a little of Helo's bulk, since he looks really unhealthy to me this thin) but I also never expected him to be, well, boring. I think he's better paired with Boyd than anyone else on the show; that buddy cop vibe they have is a show all in and of itself.


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 Post subject: Re: Dollhouse S2 & S2 DVD Discussion Thread (Spoiler text, plz.)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:15 pm 
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rebelliousrose wrote:
I never expected Ballard to be Helo (although I do wish that Tahmoh would put on a little of Helo's bulk, since he looks really unhealthy to me this thin) but I also never expected him to be, well, boring. I think he's better paired with Boyd than anyone else on the show; that buddy cop vibe they have is a show all in and of itself.
ITA with all of what you said, but especially this bit.

1. Tahmoh, eat something, please!!! Or stop excerising like crazy and working yourself thin! I mean, you're still beautiful but I miss your extra padding...Helo was just so huggable :grin: !
2. Boyd/Ballard team of awesomeness is good...but I've also liked Tahmoh's scenes with Olivia this season so I'd like to see more Ballard/Adelle (shippy or not).

I think Joss & co. have just made some bad decisions with this show. After the response from last season, I really hoped they had learned something. The majority of the audience seems to hold these opinions:
a. Stand-alones = not cool. More mythology ASAP!!!
b. Ballard's obsession with Echo!line is just creepy and needs to end NOW! Also, it'd be nice to give him something else to do besides follow her around and pout.
c. Amy Acker rules and should be in every single episode (I know it wasn't possible this season but think of how much more awesome some of these eppys would've been with a few Whiksey/Saunders scenes thrown in)
d. Eliza should have less screen-time.

Now, C. can't be helped and they've actually utilizied D. with these last two episodes (2x03 & 2x04) but I have a feeling we'll get a few more of these Echo's-adventure-of-the-week episodes down the line.

I think Joss wanted Ballard to be very different from Helo so A) Tahmoh could show his range and be excited about playing such a different role and B) so the BSG audience didn't watch the show and keep thinking...HELO!!! (though, really, would that be a bad thing?!). I also think Joss wanted Ballard to be a dark character...which is fine. I like dark characters. What I do not like are creepy!stalker characters who seem to exist only to lust after pretty girls they barely know and stand around in the background making uneccessary comments. Now, I think your point about Joss not giving Tahmoh background/direction definitely has something to do with all of this. Maybe Joss doesn't know Ballard's background yet or maybe he wanted Paul to be really mysterious so he kept it to himself but either way, that lack of knowledge/direction of character is not helping.

But, mainly, the problem is the character himself (like with Cally on BSG). Ballard has just not been written as an interesting/sympathetic guy. I think Tahmoh's done his very best but he can't fix a bad character nor can he help his lack of chemistry with Eliza.


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