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Spoiler Alert Thursday: Catching Up

On account, no doubt, of a combination of my exquisite taste and penchant for watching more television than I should, Adam has kindly invited me to assume the duties of the “Spoiler Alert Thursday” feature here at The Weblog (unless, of course, Adam decides to draw upon his sovereign authority in order to discuss either “Mad Men” or “Breaking Bad,” two shows I do not watch).

The holiday season is good for, if for nothing else, catching up on missed programs. Thus, we decided to catch up on our “Battlestar Galactica” viewing by finally watching both “The Plan” and “Caprica” made-for-iTune-download-movies. The latter, of course, also functions as what they now call a “back door pilot” (this, I am assured, is not a term drawn from pornography).

  • “The Plan” — while generally boring, it was, at the same time, generally interesting. The faction between the two Cavil (fleet and Caprica) was rather interesting, suggesting that Sharon’s decision to vote against her model thus igniting the Cylon Civil War was not as radical as it first seemed. I gather this is only because Caprica Cavil was boxed, per fleet Cavil’s threat. Their airlock-ing was touching.
  • “Caprica” — the sheer amount of tit was more than a little off-putting (although there was some unexpected tit in “The Plan” as well). I suppose this is the advantage of an “unrated” feature. Overall, as a pilot–which tend to suck more often than not–this series looks promising, although more than a little forced at times (e.g., the first Cylon consciousness being Zoe, a theme, no doubt, which will appeal to the Agambeniams in the audience–is there a brother Bios forthcoming?). Likewise, the ethnicity subplot surrounding Joseph Adama was a bit forced, as was his new-found love for his ethnic background come the end of the episode.

I will assume that no one wants to read my “thoughts” regarding our ill-advised viewing of the entirety of “Style Dept.” on HGTV On Demand or our equally ill-advised sampling of the “Income Property” marathon on HGTV on Tuesday.

It is also worth mentioning shows which one might look forward to watching, which one might not look forward to watching, and which one will watch even though it will completely suck. Personally, I have no mid-season replacements falling into the second category, but surely the new Mark Valley vehicle, “Human Target” falls into the last category. In the first category, while I remain skeptical, I’ll put “Caprica.” Oh: and the sheer violence of “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” should make it a festival for the eyes, if nothing else (although the threat of a full-frontal Xena or John Hanna does not inspire).

I should add: despite my constant complaints about “Dollhouse,” I will be sad to see it end just as it gets moderately interesting. Maybe the CW will pick it up (my attempt at starting a rumour). While Eliza Dushku remains one of the worst actresses ever to star in a TV show, the supporting cast is not so bad: viz., the black guy with a heart of gold, Helo, and Victor. Even Adelle has her moments. This will leave a void in my 8:00PM Friday timeslot which I will have to fill with “48 Hours” or something.


December 31, 2009 - Posted by | Spoiler Alert Thursdays


  1. I made a valiant effort and have just now finished watching all of the second season of Dollhouse. I have to admit, it’s in some ways better than season 1 — at least, the story hangs together a bit more. A couple of things though:

    1. Craig is right that Eliza Dushku is a terrible actress, but he’s wrong about Helo, who is even worse. Dude, clenching your manly jaw muscles at critical moments in the storyline does not constitute “acting.” Also, he walks like an asshole. Victor on the other hand is amazing. Sierra’s not bad either.

    2. Season 2 is no less gross and fucked up than season 1 — in fact, the show is even more pro-rape than before, with Sierra willingly returning to sex slavery after a moment of freedom. Why does she do this? Apparently because it’s super fun to watch pretty girls get sexually abused on television; and because Joss Whedon has a very special message to deliver about how rape is bad, except he has to show a bunch of rape first, to totally make sure you understand the message. Because he’s a feminist or something.

    3. OK, so I just saw The Attic episode, and it was exactly like the Buffy episode, Fear Itself, where the gang are trapped in a house haunted by a fear demon. In the Whedonverse, every nightmare is a mad chase through drapery hung haphazardly around a harshly lit sound stage.

    Comment by jms | December 31, 2009

  2. The only TV I’ve watched in the last couple weeks was a marathon of MacGyver season 1 (available on Netflix “watch instantly”). As with most network shows, it started to drift mid-season, and I also thought they had too many episodes where MacGyver’s notoriety had put him in danger and he had to escape from the evil mastermind — save that for later seasons, right? — but overall, it was pretty fun. The best moment was in the season finale, where the villain was a kind of anti-MacGyver who carried a ton of fancy James Bond-like tools and who hid a lock-pick under a fake moustache. MacGyver’s way with women was impressive, too, though they never really made it clear whether he was sleeping with them or not.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | December 31, 2009

  3. It should be well established by now–at least to everyone who doesn’t sign “Twitter petitions” demanding the renewal of continually canceled shows–that Whedon is not a particularly good writer, director or, indeed, especially imaginative. “Recurring themes” for him at taken quite literally: the exact same seen in all of his series (and actors, too).

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | December 31, 2009

  4. I resolve that in the New Year I will only watch tv programs I actually like. Except that I have a continuing social obligation to watch Project Runway, as it’s the only time I ever see certain friends anymore, even though that show is so pointless I can’t even bring myself to complain about it in this forum. Oh, and I’ll probably watch Jersey Shore from time to time as well.

    Comment by jms | December 31, 2009

  5. Returning to the original substantive comment. I don’t disagree about Helo. (Although I am told that a certain subset of the population finds the “Helo in a towel” to be the best thing committed to film since “Apollo in a towel” episode of “Battlestar Galactica.”) He will have to remain satisfied having, in essence, one character modified by clothing (e.g., flight-suit-Helo, tanktop/wifebeater-Helo, business-casual-Helo). Admittedly, I was impressed with the scene (given Helo’s ability) where he was imprinted with himself in order to bring him out of the coma. For his sake (aside from the financial considerations, of course), it is good that the show is canceled because he would have been as convincing as Eliza Dushku when the inevitable episode came along where there was no alternative but to imprint Helo with another personality.

    I have never been convinced by the “Joss Whedon is a feminist” line. Sounds more like marketing than substance. I recall suffering through an interview on CBC Radio 1 (discovered by chance via the “scan” feature–I would never be caught listening to that crap willingly) prior to the premier of the show wherein he explained sitting down with a bunch of women (white, upper middle class, educated, presumably) who are “active” in “stopping” human smuggling. He assured the audience that if they weren’t offended, no one else should be offended either. Having said that, given the prevalence of male dolls, who routinely work as sex-slaves as well, the rape theme is, at least, marginally “problematized” (to use the lingo of the “critical” social sciences and humanities). Although certainly never brought to the surface of the show. Perhaps now that Victor (the only good actor on the show) is back with the Dollhouse, it might be the case that the question as to whether a man can be raped or not will be addressed (and however horrible it is, it will have to better than the Michael Crichton movie/novel).

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | December 31, 2009

  6. He will have to remain satisfied having, in essence, one character modified by clothing (e.g., flight-suit-Helo, tanktop/wifebeater-Helo, business-casual-Helo).

    This is hilarious. It’s even more true of Apollo, whose limited acting ability would have so impeded the audience’s recognition of his character’s development that the writers had to change his costume constantly in order to provide the audience with an easy-to-read signposts (e.g., flightsuited hotshot Apollo, fatsuited depressed Apollo,* and pinstriped monkeysuited asshole Apollo).

    I think Apollo was on Dollhouse for like five minutes as well, but I can’t remember, and for obvious reasons don’t really care.

    *This was the worst idea ever. Dude, it’s not like you’re on this show because of your stellar dramatic talent.

    Comment by jms | January 5, 2010

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