New Serenity – Online, Free and Cool

 

Hey hey, USA Today, way to get on board with something cool.  Serenity: Downtime is an exclusive, online comic that is being made available free via USA Today.

With panels like this, how can you go wrong?

 

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SHIELD Hellicarrier Concept Art

Here is what Joss Whedon will be flying around in as he films The Avengers:

Bigger and more pics at io9.

It would be cool if Joss took the Serenity approach and built the actual ship, but I guess that is not likely as this will only be one of many locations, as opposed to the primary location with Firefly and Serenity.

Social Media: Emergency Fail / Smarten Up Whedonesque

Just came across this post on Whedonesque: Who will Joss Whedon kill in the ‘Avengers’ movie?

Over a month ago I posted Which Avenger Will Die?

Epic Fail on my part, I would say.  I have not blipped that radar.  C’mon, people, I need some advice here.  How do I crack that nut?  A community that gets behind a long dead TV show with such fervor should want to support a little independent writer / Joss Whedon nut like me.  Spread the word.

To be honest, I’m a little disappointed in Whedonesque.  The ability to join which then gives you the ability to participate in the commenting has been shut down for a very long time.  It is disappointing to see something like this being exclusionary.  The reason stated is resource issues, which I guess I can understand to a certain degree, but responding to it by closing things off will hurt this site in the long-term.  So those of you in my position who cannot participate in the Whedonesque magic, I invite you to use my site as a place for B-List commenters.

Anyone?  Hello?

Shame on You, Television Networks (a.k.a Party Down Deserves to Live)

I realize that Barak Obama is a busy guy, and we all appreciate the work he has done saving the world by gathering up all the nuclear weapons and throwing them into the sun, but there is another big issue in America that needs his attention.  The television studios have opened up a hole in the earth and are dumping quality television shows into it at an unsustainable rate.

I can’t even fathom how much time and effort and money goes into the shows that the television studios produce, but when you look at successful shows ripe with quality and social conscience, like Two and a Half Men, for example, you definitely see the artistic rewards being reaped.  Okay, maybe it is unfair of me to start poking fun at the shows I don’t like when I can’t really argue with the mass appeal of the show and therefore the success.  They make money on a show like that, so big pats on the back all around.

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Avengers Be Assembling

I’m trying not to get too excited about this, but the pics from ComicCon have given me a raging nerd-on:

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Dollhouse 1×01 – “Ghost”

It is interesting when you think about the expectations of series openers and series closers.  Expectations on openers are high from the studios as they want to prove the investment right off the bat and start building an audience, but I think that expectations from viewers are generally low.  Even if you have high hopes for the show it is more likely than not that the first few shows will be bumpy as the cast and crew get their sea legs.

On the flip side expectations from viewers are huge for series enders as they want the investment they have made to be wrapped up in a satisfying way.  That is assuming, however, that the series has had enough time (more than two years, say 🙂 to breath and get somewhere.  We will get to that, though, in about 26 episodes.

Episode 1 of Dollhouse did not blow me away, but it was quite strong.  In terms of Joss’ history, I would rank it just below Firefly’s The Train Job, but nowhere near Buffy’s Welcome to the Hellmouth.  Buffy’s opener (parts 1 and 2) is what the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie should have been, but we are all glad things worked out the way they did.

Note: I am approaching the series in the way it has been aired.  I know there was a different pilot shot (I will be watching it next).  I also know that The Train Job was not meant to be the pilot, but once again that is what was aired first.

The strongest aspect of the episode is that it reveals the various facets and complications of the Dollhouse world right from the start.  I’m sure a common pressure after the success of Lost is to “drop them in the middle of the shit and then drag out a slow reveal of everything over the course of months / years”.  Right from the opening recruitment, which we zoom into from a camera feed (someone else is watching…), we are introduced to the players.  Dolls, handlers, scientists, management, customers and the law.  There is obviously a lot to learn about the Dollverse but what comes across to me is that as a viewer I’m not going to be jerked around with “reveals” and “cliffhangers” for what are ultimately minor details.  The mysteries and dramas of the Dollverse are going to be of substance because right from the start the rules of engagement are being laid clear on the table.  This is why we love Joss Whedon.

The episode drags a little bit in the middle as the engagement plays out.  The climax pays off, though, as we bounce around within the struggle of moral vs. corporate obligation and come out of it in a rewarding way.

In the end, I am intrigued to see where this series goes, but I wouldn’t say I’ve been immediately sucked in like I was with Dexter, for example.  I’m concerned that this is going to be to much of an episodic show driven by the engagement of the week.  That doesn’t seem like it would have staying power.  Also, how do you develop an investment in the characters (which is always the strongest part of anything from Joss Whedon) when every week their personality changes?  A great challenge for Joss, no doubt.  He certainly has my confidence.

Dollhouse – It Is Time

I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan.  Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse.  Buffy, Toy Story, Alien, Serenity.  Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.  Television,  Movies, Comic Books, Internet, Musicals.  Avengers!!!!  Excuse me, I need a moment to myself.

Okay, that’s better.  I liked Dollhouse a lot when it started, and I really like it in the middle of the first season, and I really, really liked it when it ended.  I didn’t quite fall in love with it, but I think it is just that I wouldn’t let myself.  The writing was on the wall.  Joss’s “second chance” with full confidence and backing was about as reliable as a promise from Ethan Rayne.

Don’t even get me started about Firefly….I blame myself entirely (well, I blame my wife 20%).  I was so skeptical of the premise and my wife was against anything sci-fi.  And anything sci-fi on a Friday night.  Okay, so I blame my wife 90%.  But I should have fought harder.

Anyway, I decided to bank season 2.  I knew what was happening.  No future for you, and all that.  Plus I live in Canada and my igloo does not register on the American “should we keep it or cancel it” scale.  Now, many many month later I’m ready to go back to the well.  I’m starting at the beginning.  That’s season 1, episode 1, for those that can’t keep up.  I’m going to watch it.  I’m going to write about it.  I’m going to hold my breath and pray for 2012, when the Avengers movie will save the world from Roland Emmerich.

Exclusive Firefly photos (not by me)

Oh yes, I loves me some Firefly.  Titan Books has some exclusive pics here.

Just makes me sad for what once was, but then again….Avengers Assemble!!!