Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sascha Baron Cohen

So this is comedy?

Lets be real for a minute here. All the talk of Borat being a satirical social commentary for our times is mostly bullshit. Cohen's "comedy" is mostly self rightous and juvenile, but worse than that its predictable.

Cohen style comedy is four simple steps.

1. Adopt a funny accent and haircut.

2. Find the most unsuspecting person in the area and cajole or confuse them into saying something stupid.

3. Be offessive and/or Anti-semtic (which he gets away with because he's jewish)

4. Appear half naked.

Making stupid people look idiots isn't comedy. Wrestling a fat hairy naked guy while wearing a thong hasn't been funny since I was 12, and repeating the same routines with a different hairstyle and accent does not a movie make. Try a little harder.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Green Street Hooligans

Green Street Hooligans is the stupidest movie I've ever seen in my life.

It's not stupid in that Adam Sandler/Matthew McConaughey way, where it comes dumbed-down for an audience the filmmakers don't expect much of. This movie was clearly made by and for intelligent people. And it's awful.

This is a movie about gangs. Gangs are a fairly indefensible concept in general, but I can at least understand lost, stupid kids getting involved in this sort of thing. The characters in this movie are adults who choose to spend their free time getting drunk and beating up fans of opposing SOCCER teams. And we're supposed to root for them?

Oh wait. I guess we are. They have "honor." They got each other's backs (not that they really do. The gangs in this film, even the hero ones, are full of mercurial, unpleasant people.) It's common knowledge that any person you meet who makes a big to-do about honor is really talking about a touchy sense of personal umbrage. You've violated my precious little bubble of whatever, so I have an excuse to hurt you. It's schoolyard bully mentality and it shouldn't be celebrated.

The movie never calls the attitudes and the actions of the characters in question. We never get characters who stop and think "Maybe this is pointless and stupid." Instead we have a bunch of nimrods talking about honor and brotherhood and standing your ground, like they're fighting the Battle of Fucking Flanders. The battle scenes, especially the final one, are filmed in that bullshit slow-motion Celtic yodeling soundtrack style that makes everything look grand and noble and heroic. It's not. It's a bunch of fat middle aged bastards who drink too much and pick fights with each other over football. You can see this sort of thing being born from the ugly gray boredom of lower class England, but that doesn't actually give it any value.

Who am I supposed to have sympathy for? The "charismatic" lead of the gang who takes poor, impotent Elijah Wood under his wing? The villain, who watched his twelve year old son beaten to death in a fight with the Green Street Elite, even though he was dumb enough to bring a child to a gang fight? The reformed and remorseful former gang leader, who never actually paid any price for the part he had in the aforementioned child's death. No, the only worthwhile character in the film is Claire Forlani's character, the wife who refuses to tolerate her husband's hooligan behavior. In any rational world she's absolutely right, but in the weirdly misogynistic world of Green Street Hooligans, women are there to pop out babies that the tough guy characters can feel conflicted over before going off to do their "duty" by their mates.

This movie feels like it was made by people who didn't get the point of Fight Club. It's fairly clear by the end of the movie that both Fight Club and Project Mayhem aren't good things, that the characters are swirling in a vortex of self-destructive impotent rage. Instead, filmmaker Lexi Alexander saw the fights and the male camaraderie bullshit and thought "Whoa! I totally grok that! Let's make Fight Club with football hooligans!"

Reading a little bit about German-born director/writer Lexi Alexander, I discovered that she is a former world karate champion. She's a fighter. I'm doing a bit of extrapolation here, but I've known plenty of fighters in my time. Their first love is to the fight, and they'll celebrate the joy of physical conflict over actually examining the reasons why people choose to hurt/maim/kill each other. One of the most interesting things I took away was a point in the special features where Lexi Alexander refers to the fans as having a degree of fanaticism. I thought that hit the nail dead on the head, only these people maim and kill each other over a game.

Guys, it's just fucking football. Stop acting like a bunch of drunken assholes. The rest of the world, the intelligent world, is laughing at you. And we're laughing at the idiots in Green Street Hooligans.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Grand Theft Auto

Let's get something out of the way here: the Grand Theft Auto games aren't that good.

Sure, they were the "first" to do the sandbox, open-world thing, which is a great fit for modern systems. Now, instead of automatically loading the next level, now you can travel half-way across the fucking MAP to get to the next fetch quest/escort mission.

It was also the first popular series to deal with the vicious and morally ambiguous world of the aspiring gangsta. For a few brief shining hours, nerdy little Shively Nasalwart can slip into the skin of Thuggly von Terrormonger and wreck all sorts of havoc on a world full of bullies and chicks who won't go out with him.

(and please don't tell me that there's deep levels of satire in the game. There are, but 99 percent of the audience doesn't give a fuck about this. They just wanna play make-believe gangsta. Don't argue with me on this. I used to sell these games for a living.)

All this is well and good, but the game is basically unplayable.

Let's go to the earlier iterations of the game. Remember GTA 3 and GTA: Vice City? Remember how there would always be a mission that you'd keep failing at because of dodgy camera controls or your character's inability to actually target the person shooting at you? Remember that? Hmmm? Shoddy. I say shoddy.

The old games were the ultimate triumph of style over substance. They were frustrating and tedious, and if the subject matter wasn't the sort of thing that appealed to idiots and angry adolescents the game's flaws would not have been tolerated.

Now we've been graced by GTA 4. And it also sucks.

I will grant that the gameplay has been significantly improved. Now I can actually shoot the people I want to shoot. And I can hire taxis to drive me from point A to point B. But in Rockstar's attempt to make an immersive world, they wound up making a dreary, bland little game. Every five minutes we get another phone call from some idiot NPC wanting to go play darts or see some horrible show or do some other pointless diversion. And if you don't do it, they're gonna stop giving you their perks.

Also, will someone please explain to me why, after all the technological advances we've had over the years, do the characters still all look like marionettes? Why do they all have the same body, same movement, same wooden-dummy limbless motions?

And let's not forget the bad writing. The games can never seem to decide if it's trying to be funny in an obnoxious Adam Sandler kinda way or if it's trying to tell serious tales of crime and retribution.

So, yeah, crime stories have been done better. So has open-world gaming. People will keep buying these and they'll keep getting inflated review scores. The emperor is still butt-nekkid, though. And kinda boring.

So, yeah, that's my rant. Now to cleanse your palate, here's a video of a cute girl playing GTA 4. Look at her! She can't do it and she's offended. And she makes cute sounds! How adorable! Girls are so useless.

disclaimer: GTA: San Andreas was pretty good. The targeting system was pretty good and the story was interesting and engaging. Well, until you got recruited by the CIA to do dumb missions.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Robot Chicken

Dear stupid, stupid fucking bastards.

You know what comedy is? Comedy is when shit is actually amusing. Y'know, point out the absurdities of our existence, play on words, chuck a pie, bring a smile to our faces.

This is what you give us:

Watch more Robot Chicken videos on AOL Video

Let me explain something to you assholes: the stuff you're doing isn't actually all that funny. It's shocking. It's horrible. And when people encounter stuff like that, their natural response is to laugh NERVOUSLY. It's not actually a response to a funny subject. You're making people uncomfortable and mistaking it as genuine humor?

Once in a while is fine. Hell, it's actually amusing. But no, you can't be satisfied with that, can you? You have to keep drawing water from that corrupted well over and over and over again.

Look, the people of my generation are Pavlovian gods. You show us stuff from our stupid pop culture collective memory and we'll lay at your feet. You could have used this shared bond to say genuinely clever things. You had a great thing going. And you pissed it away.

You stupid, stupid bastards.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

I think I just came a little.

No, seriously. This thing could punch through the space-time of stupid out into the other side of awesome.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Things I learned from Battlestar Galactica.

There's a lot to hate about the Battlestar Galactica finale.There is the fact that a show that is supposed to be Science Fiction somehow sees spiritualism and ludditism as the answer. I mean, are we supposed to accept that this whole thing, the never ending cycle of Cylon/Human warfare, the almost complete destruction of two civilizations is somehow God's plan to build a better human? Am I supposed to believe that 40,000 people would voluntarily agree to give up all their technology and all the good things that come with it (modern medicine, decent shelter, abundant food supply, indoor plumbing) to go back to starving from year to year, fighting their environment for their continued survival and infant mortality rates in the 50% range? All for this vague idea of breaking the cycle? That's a fantasy that could only be concocted by someone living in L.A. 

But worse than all the "breaking the cycle" crap and angels mumbo jumbo is the idea BSG promotes that somehow anything is okay if you do it for Love. Let me illustrate exactly what I'm talking about here.

Athena murders two people over the course of the series, but she does it because of her daughter so she gets a free pass.

Tyrol helps Boomer escape unknowingly making himself an accessory to Hera's kidnapping. He gets a pass because he did it out of Love. 

Tyrol murders Tory causing the extinction of one civilization and the death of who knows how many of his own people in the process. He gets a pass because he did it because of his beloved Callie (who he hated by his own admission and who's illigetimate child he doesn't think twice about dumping on somebody else when he finds out the kid isn't his).

Roslin, who once tried to shoot Starbuck in the face because she thought she might be a Cylon, decides not to let Baltar die (or even stand trial) for his part in the death of billions, because an "angel" tells her to Love her fellow man.

Anders blows Gaeta's leg off. Does it for his wife so its cool.

Col Tigh Knocks up a prisoner. It's cool. He loves her.

Baltar helps engineer the destruction of humanity, follows it up with four years of self serving lies, deception, manipulation and treachery. But he loves Caprica Six so it's cool.

What does everyone else get? What about the people who did what they thought was right or did stupid things just because people do stupid things?

Boomer. Executed.
Gaeta. Executed.
Jammer. Executed.
Racetrack & Skulls. Dead.
Kat. Dead
Crashdown. Executed (by Baltar no less.)

So in the BSG Universe love does conquer all. Just don't fuck up for any other reason or its a bullet in the head and a swim out of the airlock.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sy? Fy?

Sci-Fi changes its name. Next up a nipple piercing and two tone hair. Take that Mom and Dad! 

I did "Imagine Greater". All I got was Sasquatch Mountain

Can't say I didn't see this coming. Sci Fi pretty said it all it needed to say to Science Fiction fans when it passed on Season five of Farscape to instead fund the production of  Raptor Island and Manticore. Now that the last best hope of the Sci Fi Network is going off the air, it is of course the perfect time to let go and let the blue frozen body sink to the Ocean floor. Good riddance I say. The only thing I'll miss about Sci Fi is the Dadaist convention booth they have at San Diego Comic Con every year.

I do kind of feel bad for the people of Stargate Universe however. I can't imagine the fans of ECW Wrestling and the human rights violation that is Scare Tactics will be much interested in what they have to sell. 

Sci Fi if you ever decide to give up this empty trendy lifestyle and return to Sci Fi Fridays glory I'll be over at FOX's house playing with her toys.

Call me.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Scarface's Audience

Apparently, the most popular shirt worn by people getting their mugshots taken are pictures of Tony Montana:

So, what do these people have in contact with their cinematic icon? Like their hero, they aren't very good at being criminals.

This particular post isn't against Scarface. I like the movie quite a bit. What does mystify me about it are the legions of little wanna-be hoodlums who walk around the food court at my local shopping mall, wearing their Tony Montana tee-shirts with pride, as if trying to communicate to me thus:

"I am a gangsta. I am opportunistic, ambitious, and amoral. I reject the societal notion of working full time for modest wages, but I shall instead strike out for fortune outside the realm of contemporary laws and morality."

This is what I read:

"I am a person who chooses to admire a moron with poor self control, no planning skills, and an incestuous streak a mile long."

Let's get the obvious out of the way; Tony Montana is not a very good criminal. He's impulsive, reckless, foolhardy, and dumb enough to get addicted to the very drugs he sells to people. These aspects of his character aren't a mystery, but they're clearly worked into the storyline and inform the character's thought process.

I suppose we're supposed to see these traits as being an exaggeration of the ambition necessary to reach the American Dream(tm) but I don't think the fan base thinks that deep into this stuff. Tony Montana is himself something of an exaggeration. His accent is broad to the level of parody, he behaves like some barbarian thug king, he's childish in his temperament. The point of the movie is that he lives at such an extreme pace he is doomed to flare out into self-destruction.

All this is well and good for a tragic hero. But he's not exactly someone to emulate if you're into the *cough* thug life.

I could go on and on about this, about how successful drug dealers need to be more discreet than he chooses to be, about how you can't chose a life of crime and murder and suddenly balk at the notion of murdering innocent people, how you can't go through life pissing off all your connections, and how gross it is to want to fuck your sister, but the long and the short is that some of these cats walking around wearing Scarface clothing missed the point of their movie.

However, I won't say it to their face. They'd probably kick my ass.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Shaky Cam

Dear jerk.

Dear stupid, stupid jerk. Dear the fresh-out-of-film-school pretentious jerk who invented the shaky-cam.

You took my action movies away from me.

Oh, sure, I hear professor elbow patches in the back of the room. I hear him sneer, his lips curling in disgust around his meerschaum pipe. Action movies are not the domain of the superior intellect, he says. They glorify violence, anti-intellectualism, misogyny, and an outdated notion of masculinity. Better to devote, he says whilst contemplating a tryst lately undertaken with his grad student paramour, the mind to pursuits of subtlety and sensitivity. A man can be measured in the things he values. All of which I agree with, but that doesn't stop me watching Lethal Apocalypse Pew Pew Gun Guy number tumpty-tumpty X when it wanders around.

But I digress. Onto the lecture:

Where was I?

Oh, yeah.

Hey jerk. Why did you take away my fight scenes?

Oh, I see. You wanted to put my right in the action. You wanted me to not be a passive viewer but a participant! Well, thank you so much. Now I can't tell what the ducks is going on until the camera stops pirouetting like a Russian ballerina off the wagon and the Square Jawed Reluctant Caucasian Lead turns to the Useless Female and asks if her delicate constitution was offended.

Look, I'll be the first to admit that most of the fight scenes from my childhood look like this:

It's static. You might as well be watching a wild west shootout at Uncle Buck's Discount Western Jamboree. It needed improving, sure. But is this any better?

Come on, man. You had Jeff Imada, JEFF IMADA, probably the best fight choreographer in movies today and you might as well have chucked a rag doll across the screen.

Anytime someone utters "in the center of the action" I die a little inside. I don't want to BE in the center of the action. Pain hurts, death is pretty fucking final, and I'm pretty sure the actual lives of spies/commandos/ninjas/cops (on or off the edge)/soldiers/etc aren't anything like what they're portrayed on the screen. If I get too close to that, it's harder to maintain the fantasy. That's why the remake of Rambo turned me off so much.

Immersion is all fine and dandy when you're doing works of drama or tragedy, when we need to really understand and sympathize with the characters and their struggles. Alls that's needed in action movies is skill and clarity. By your immersion argument, wouldn't it be more immersive to hire some studio thug to beat up the audience every fight scene.

You want to make movies that challenge audiences perceptions of stuff, go be the darling of the indie film circuit. We pay you to make action movies. Shut the FU and do the job, monkey.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jedi Fail

Being a diehard fanatic Star Wars fan in this day and age is the nerd equivalent to being a Creationist. If you accept that shit without question or criticism then you are either an idiot or you're just willfully not paying attention.

I get it: pissing on Star Wars in this day and age is like kicking a three legged dog: the poor little bastard had enough crap dumped on his head. Get two geeks together anywhere, fill 'em up with booze and wait long enough, and sooner or later you'll hear about how Star Wars let them down.

Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way: it's pretty clear to all of us now hat George Lucas didn't have any idea what the fuck he was doing. He'd waited too long, got too isolated by his own success, and got too rich and safe for the story he was trying to tell. He was a good ideas man and a lousy screenwriter, he lost characterization to spectacle, and he couldn't quite figure out if he was trying to reach a new generation that frankly ain't gonna give a fuck or if he was gonna keep pandering to the arrested development crackpots like myself. Somewhere inside the folds of these points are a million essays on the decline and fall of the Galactic Empire, but we'll get to those later.

Let's start with my number one problem with the new trilogy: it put the Jedi in center stage.

Being a Jedi wasn't a job title. Being a Jedi was a state of grace. It represented an abandonment of the self, a victory over base violence, and the ability to keep yourself centered and at peace when the everything around you slides into corruption and cruelty. It took Luke Skywalker three movies to get there and he didn't just do it by waving a lightsaber around: he did it by looking past the monster that his father became and saving the man inside.

Now look what a Jedi has become: a bunch of repressed, invincible eunuchs who wave swords around, fail to see the Sith forces EVEN AFTER THEY TAKE MEETINGS FROM HIM, and allow themselves get suckered into a devastating, morally compromising war.

Even Yoda came off looking like a schmuck. First off, that backwards talking bullshit worked just fine when he was on Dagobah dispensing Shaolin monk fortune cookie advice, but he came off sounding like that Pharoah guy from Mystery Men. Also, narrowing your eyes and looking suspiciously at Anakin or at Chancellor Palpatine as they wander off doesn't actually count for shit if you FAIL TO STOP THEM.

Let's talk about the crux of the story: Anakin's damnation. He falls to the dark side because he has a seeeecret love affair with Queen Flat Delivery, which is forbidden by the Jedi order for ill-defined, nebulous reasons. We're never told exactly WHY the Jedi order condemn romantic connections and in truth there really isn't any reason other than it's a source of cheap conflict.

It's probably my core problem with the Jedi code: too much of it is built around repression of emotion. The Jedi code . It's the difference between spirituality and religion: the isolated Jedi leaders were teachers, but get a bunch together and they become as corrupt and unwieldy as the Catholic church.

Put bluntly, Jedi aren't very interesting characters. They lack fire, they lack emotion, they lack everything that makes good drama. Blog help me for defending Anakin Fucking Skywalker, but he came alive when he learned Amidala was going to die.

When Anakin discovers that the person he loves is about to die, he wants to save her. The Jedi stuff him full of the same bullshit platitudes about acceptance and passivity you hear from every benumbed, doe-eyed spiritual leader. Chancellor Palpatine offers him a way to fight back. That's not corrupt, that's plain old fallable humanity. Don't go gentle into that good night, as better men have said.

Call me crazy, but I was on the Sith's side during the new trilogy. Sure, they were meglomaniacal tyrants but they were human. Give me Han Solo to Qui-Gon Jinn any day.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Adversary


I call Bullshit, sir.

There is a force of tremendous darkness loose in the bucolic lands of fandom. A dark worm at the heart of our kingdom, it's whispered voice seducing the young and naive towards it's ends. Legions of the tasteless and stupid turn their souls to his service. Based on false martyrdom and illusory promises he has build himself a kingdom of shadows, and his armies grow daily.

But there are those among us that recognize this villain for what he is. We see the effect among our people and we raise our swords against him. Though we are few in number and the battle seems hopeless, we see the villain behind the painted smile. We see the ruin, the devastation he has done to our people.

We have named him The Adversary.

You know him as Joss Whedon.

On Quality

Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way: most of the TV shows he does isn't actually all that good.

Oh, sure, he can write a good script. And he has a team of marginally competent drama-club rejects working on his properties. But look carefully at his work and you see a certain heat-wave formlessness around them as characters and storylines are bludgeoned into awkward, distasteful shapes.

Take a look at Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Originally a trim, tidy, harmless little fanboy hodgepodge of nifty monsters, martial arts, and teenage drama, the show became ugly and unwatchable. Buffy became a completely unlikeable mess, competent in battle but mean-spirited and ornery to the people she cared about, she got shoehorned into unlikely romances with murderous pretty-boy Brits WHO TRIED TO RAPE HER, she made irrational choices that were clearly foisted upon her by writers who were trying to appease some mewling fanboy/girl contingent, and eventually degenerated into a series of nickel-and-dime battlefield speeches and an all-talk-no-walk lead villain.

There's always been something kinda strange about the relationship Sarah Michelle Gellar had with The Adversary. Reading between the lines of some of her interviews, you get the sense that she was unhappy with the way her character was forced to progress. I'm inclined to agree with her. The direction Buffy's character arc took couldn't really be called anything but sick. It's as if The Adversary demanded that her character be dragged to the mud, to be stripped and beaten and demeaned until there wasn't anything left in her.

Also, all his characters sound the same. From Buffy to Firefly to Astonishing X-Men, The Adversary has the same comedic delivery, the same rhythm. After awhile, you tend to lose character and story to this kind of forced cleverness. No one actually speaks in the labored, clipped way that his characters do. It's cute at first, but after awhile it becomes like nails on a chalkboard.


Moving on to our next point, The Adversary's perversity. You ever notice that every story he conjures up involves a vulnerable-yet-vicious little girl who is only allowed to be so tough?

Buffy, River, Willow, (probably) Echo. Listen to The Adversary in interviews and he'll tell you that he's attracted to his character's strength. Yet none of his characters are actually all that strong. Sure, they're competent fighters in the comic-book worlds they inhabit, but once you get past their fictitious ability to do harm to other beings, the characters are wrecks. Willow is a supernatural junkie, River is a babbling lunatic, and Buffy fights with this world-weary misery, offering her life over and over unwillingly, because she has to.

The ability to speak didn't make Jar-Jar Binks intelligent, and a supernaturally-gifted ability to fight doesn't make your characters strong. It's in the ability to stand tall, to embrace challenge, and to accept defeat gracefully that makes a person strong. The Adversary's female characters fail on all these counts, and this need to degrade his characters seem to be consistent in his work. That, my friends, is perverse.

The feminist claims that people keep laying on The Adversary's doorstep are false. His female characters all tend to fall apart under duress. Buffy, in particular, never actively embraces her duty, acting through the entire series like some pissy Vietnam draftee, griping about how unfair it all is. The males, on the other hand, are competent, collected, wise, and able to overcome whatever the world throws at them, usually with grace and humor. Malcolm Reynolds has his ruthless sense of independence, Giles has his battle-hardened wisdom, and Angel has his brutally forged sense of ethics.

So, what do the female characters share? A specific body type. They're all petite, they're all finely featured, and they're all worshipped by the camera's voyeuristic gaze.

Don't believe me? Take a look at the way River's feet are followed as she moves around a battlefield. Take a look at Faith's predatory sexuality. Take a look at Astonishing X-Men's focus on Kitty Pride and the introduction of the new Japanese teen girl Armor. And, most tellingly, take a look at the recent gawdawful Buffy comic book series.

In every issue there is a fanboy moment. Dawn bathing. Xander falling into a box of her oversized panties. Buffy's elaborate sexual fantasies. "Don't mind me. I'm just thinking of sex with Daniel Craig. Or a three-way with Spike and Angel." Or perhaps the best fanfic moment (and believe me, the entire comic book series reads like fanfic) Buffy having her first same-gender sex experience with one of her Slayers.

Look, I'm not a prude. But I can tell when someone is indulging a sexual fantasy. The Adversary has creative control over his work in the comics. When you have 22 pages to tell a story and you highlight elements of the character's sexuality without any particular service to the story, you're just servicing your inner fanboy. Which is fine once in a while, but EVERY FUCKING ISSUE? Christ, why don't you just cut to the chase, insert yourself in the book, and have all those lanky, nubile young women rubbing up against you...with...those...woman....parts.

This is not a tribute to the strength of women. This is the same bad girl comic book crap you used to read in the early nineties. It's lusty and it's tacky and it does no one any good.


I won't lie and say that I haven't enjoyed The Adversary's work. I have more of an issue with his reputation. You want to be fixated on vulnerable-yet-vicious girls? Fine. But let's not dress it up as some noble undertaking on behalf of the opposite gender. Dude's a fetishist, not a crusader.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Recently I was enjoying a hot cupa at my local beanery when a girl walked by, hanging off a dude's arm with the above blazoned across her chest.  That was bad enough, but as she moved on past I noticed it was also blazoned across her (not especially lovely) ass. Enough has been written on the phenomenon of ass word sweatpants that I'm not going to bother with that one, but the rise of the "I love my boyfriend" slogan has me baffled.

Someone explain this to me. I've seen a number of variations on these shirts in the wild, always worn by a certain type of young female, usually in the presence of a male, whom I assume is the referent. Is this a shirt a woman buys for herself? Is it worn as a reminder to herself, to other women or guys on the prowl? Does said boyfriend have in his wardrobe somewhere a "I Love my girlfriend" T-shirt? At the very least, I guess its transferrable to the next boyfriend.

Boggles the mind.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I’m a little amused by the hype surrounding Dollhouse. I’m not personally a Whedon hater; I enjoy the man’s work, but I’ll readily admit he only works within certain tropes, and exhibits a number of quirks that some may find…questionable. The Whedon fan machine (Das Uberwhedonmachina) on the other hand, would have you believe the man only gives birth to golden unicorns while farting rainbows.  Dollhouse is prime example. Months before the shows premiere, certain genre websites were spending unjustifiable amounts of fan energy trying to convince us, the fan populace, that Dollhouse wouldn’t suck. There are even Save Dollhouse fan campaigns already being organized. Here is the real problem kids; you’re going about this all wrong. 

First, you’re pretty much preaching to the choir. Joss Whedon is never going to have the mainstream crossover appeal of a J.J. Abrams or a Bryan Singer. Now, that’s not a bad thing. I personally respect Whedon for the fact that he has singular vision and voice even if it often brushes up against, and breathes heavily into the ear of creepy. 

Second, no matter how you feel about Whedon, there is a well documented history of his TV shows being molested by overzealous execs. Genre Works + Capitalist Pigs = Suck.

 Third, this was all Elisa Dushku’s idea. As far as I’m concerned she spent all her Faith cachet on Tru Calling. The account is empty. Insufficient Funds.

Which brings me to the root of fandom's problem. We as fans need to Stop. Stop with the pre-emptive "Save …" campaigns. Stop running out and buying overpriced tie-in crap, or the 15th"special edition" release of the same movie. We need to stop supporting stuff because of misplaced nostalgia for something that was good 20 years ago (Lucas, Romero, Miller…I’m looking at you). We need to stop fueling the fires of fan appeal mediocrity and start taking, and subsequently rejecting, things on their own merits.

Unless you’re really looking forward to the Punky Brewster reboot.