TV Meme, Day 02 – A show that you wish more people were watching

This is the first season in a while that I haven’t had a proper bubble show in my viewing list. I’ve almost always had a “MORE PEOPLE NEED TO WATCH THIS SHOW OR ELSE IT WILL DIE” show in my lineup, be it Veronica Mars, Pushing Daisies, Middleman, or any of the other shows I sent packs of M&Ms or Mars Bars or NYC postcards or whatever to.

Castle seemed to be on precarious footing after season 1, but for now, it’s safely renewed for a third, thanks to solid ratings and an ABC exec’s wife’s crush on Nathan Fillion. And Dollhouse was pretty bubbly, but Joss seemed to do his best work when he was operating under the belief he would be canceled, so I wasn’t too broken up to see it axed. Except for how I wouldn’t get to see Dichen Lachman and Enver Gjokaj on my teevee every week anymore, and that’s tragic.

(I am so gay for Dichen Lachman. Maybe because she needs to play Kitai. The number of photos I took of her versus Joss, Eliza, and Fran at the SDCC Dollhouse panel last year verges on creepsterdom.)

Anyway, to answer the question, I’m going to surprise myself and say I wish more people were watching Community. It no bubble show; it doesn’t need higher ratings to stay afloat. It was just renewed, in fact. But as Jane Espenson raves, “it’s a master class on new and fresh ways to tell jokes. And on how to actually be about something at the same time.” (How much do I love that Jane is blogging again? A lot, I can tell you.)

It’s consistently hilarious, and it’s a love letter to film and television culture. Also, Abed is a god. It’s very episodic, so you don’t need to watch every episode to understand or fully appreciate it. Just tune in and be entertained!

Man, I hope I’m not getting my roommate’s cold. It’s phlegm city in Priscilla’s head.

Last night, I saw Coraline with Will and Craig. Coworker Matt was supposed to join us, but he didn’t get a ticket in advance, and the show sold out. Now, I was already predisposed to loving the movie. The perfect storm of a story by Neil Gaiman, the directorial chops of Henry Sellick, the voice acting of John Hodgman, the music of They Might Be Giants, and the stop-motion wizardry of Laika pretty much guaranteed my affection. Therefore, I may not be the most neutral party when I say OMG LOVE GO SEE IT NOW BEFORE THE STUPID JONAS BROTHERS EKE IT OUT OF THE 3D THEATRES.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Friday night, my friend Adam hosted a Dollhouse viewing party. What better way to ring in Joss Whedon’s new series than on a 50″ HDTV? I was somewhat stunned to realize that this was the first Whedon production I saw live–I’m choosing not to include downloading Doctor Horrible the instant it was first posted. It’s so strange to think that it’s been so long since he’s done TV.

I enjoyed the episode, but I’m concerned. On one hand, I’m concerned about how long the show can sustain itself without getting gimmicky, but I trust in Joss’ combined twelve seasons of television experience that he knows that he’s doing. On the other hand, I’m also concerned about how the show is being marketed. In the interviews with Whedon surrounding the premiere, he’s emphasized the tricky territory he walks between telling a story about exploited woman and becoming one of the exploiters himself. The first episode expressed the former well–the bit about Topher having no qualms about handicapping Echo for verisimilitude was quietly horrifying–but the ads? Ye gods!

I know sex sells like hotcakes with boobs, but to have brunette bombshells Summer Glau (holy cow, when did River grow up?) and Eliza Dushku smirking about the enviable position of being capable of being anything “you” want them to be? NOT HELPING. Amping up the titillation factor of the show’s fundamental moral questions doesn’t feel like “girl power,” it feels like misogyny.

But oh well. I’m used to loving unmarketable TV shows. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what direction Joss and Fox take the show. Thirteen episodes have been contracted so far. I wonder how many will air.

In the meantime, I’m quite amused! Friday night has become my Night Of Shows Featuring Actors I Picture Playing Jim Butcher Characters. BSG already gave me Starbuck as Murphy, Dualla as Amara, and Adama as Morgan (if you were to convert a little of the old man paunch to muscle), plus Lee as one of my OCs. Now Dollhouse has Dichen Lachman, who would be the perfect Kitai, and Amy Acker, who Jim says he pictures playing Isana. Yay for one-track minds!

Oh! And in my previous post, I mentioned my woe at once again being faced with the dilemma of What To Read Next. Looks like that issue is going to be delayed a bit! I’m nudging Bujold’s Barrayar aside for the moment to down Jhereg by Stephen Brust, who will be at ConDFW. There will be a number of authors there, and I feel a bit silly that the only one I’ve read is Jim, considering how many write in the genres I fancy. I also downloaded his Firefly novel, but I’ll stick with the original stuff first.


A Cut above the Rest?: Wrinkle Treatment Uses Babies’ Foreskins. In other news, *shriek of horror.*

KILL IT WITH FIRE. Most terrifying-looking woman in the world breaks record-length fingernails in car crash.

Photo of a sleeping dormouse curled up on a rose, to compensate for the previous two stories.

And speaking of girl power, have some Old School Ju-jitsu. Thanks to Peg for the link!

Thoughts on Dollhouse, by the way:

Although the “Fox” part makes me cringe, I’m delighted to see that they’ve already picked up the first seven episodes. Hopefully we’ll get to see at least three of them before it’s canceled to make way for a reality TV show about ordinary Americans performing oral surgery on each other. On the other hand, the success of Lost and Heroes and my beloved Pushing Daisies gives me hope that the world at large is starting to appreciate high concept genre TV, rather than it just being beloved by a niche fanbase. Maybe it has a chance!

Regardless, it’s always better to have lived and loved and gotten preemptively canceled and launched massive, fruitless renewal campaigns than never to have loved at all.