On Dollhouse

Dollhouse Lives!

Inside Joss' Dollhouse Introduction

By Jane Espenson

Introductions for books of this sort often discuss why the
show in question elicits so much devotion and accommodates
so much analysis. But I’m starting to feel that a good enough
answer is just “It’s a Joss Whedon show.”

Whedon shows are challenging, full of compelling characters,
plot twists, and moral puzzles. Most crucially, they don’t
baby the viewer by leading him or her to a single simple point
of view. Complexity is the mother of wanting to write an essay.

And just as with Firefly before it, Dollhouse was frustratingly
short-lived. The viewer has the sense of stories untold,
of lines of sight that are forever obstructed. It’s tantalizing to
speculate about the lost seasons of Dollhouse that exist in some
alternate universe where things are a bit less cancelly.

Given all that, I knew that Dollhouse would engender some
really interesting analyses, just as Firefly had done. But there
was a crucial difference between this book and the two Firefly volumes (Finding Serenity, Serenity Found) that preceded it. The
essays in the Firefly volumes were specifically solicited from
established writers. The essays for this book, however, were
submitted as entries in a contest open to anyone who wanted
to give it a shot. The submissions in fact did include some from
accomplished writers, although I read  …

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