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Is neuroscience still the bad guy in Dollhouse? (Duh.)

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When we posted Ed Connor’s essay “Psychology Bad” (from The Psychology of Joss Whedon) last week, I couldn’t help being impressed how prescient Ed’s essay was. He labeled neuroscience as the bad guy in Firefly and Serenity, and identified it as a major theme in Joss Whedon’s work–before Dollhouse was even a glimmer in Joss’s or Eliza Duskhu’s eye.

Here’s Ed extending the ideas in his essay to Dollhouse:


My major thesis in this essay was that River dramatizes what it means for us to be simultaneously neural and human. Neural, in the sense that we are brains–unimaginably complex wetware computers with rich potential and tragic vulnerabilities. Human, in that we are capable of love, courage, sacrifice, and self-determination.

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Apocolypse Nowish*

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Whether an inspired retcon, or part of an extremely clever plan, this past episode of Supernatural, “Changing Channels” (5-8),not only added to the richness of the mytharc, but shone a very focused light on what I think will evolve in the rest of the season. Using the conceit of being trapped in a series of television episodes, from an over-the-top color-filled generic laugh-track sitcom, to a Japanese game show, a herpes ad, a brilliant parody of Grey’s Anatomy, and finally, an homage to CSI/procedurals, the writers of Supernatural shows us what’s at stake, giving us oh so many clues as to the final denoument of both the Apocalypse and season five.

When I wrote my essay for In the Hunt

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