Dear Fox Network,
About a year ago, the news broke that Joss Whedon had found a project he was willing to come back to television for. The moment these reports came out, there were legions of excited fans who had loved his previous work, clamoring for information. As more information came out, we got more excited. There were some bumps in the road, namely a writer's strike, but enthusiasm and anticipation was high.
Then we started to hear the words every television fan dreads to hear about an anticipated series. Creative difficulty. We heard that you, the network, was less than thrilled with the initial pilot and wanted something else. We started to hear about episodes getting shifted around, rewritten and filmed, etc. Hope started to wane.
And then, like a final stake in the heart of our hope, you scheduled the show for Friday night, a night we know is the place you send perfectly good shows to die.
Even despite all that, I had hope. Joss has never done wrong by me. Maybe the many loyal Joss fans would keep the show alive. I can always hope. I read with dismay as my favorite television critics gave less than favorable reviews.
And then Friday night, I tuned in to watch for myself. I have to admit the opening scene made me cringe. But as the show moved on, I found myself incredibly intrigued by the premise. I felt tremendous empathy for Echo, who has no real sense of self, but is not without pain. I saw so much promise in the idea of this show, that I could forgive the fact that the chemistry is not quite right yet. So yes, the execution is a little sloppy. But I might blame that on the pressure you exerted on the show, rather than the creative team. I am more than willing to keep watching, and let this show find it's footing.
But there's another issue I want to bring up, something that's been bugging me since you started promoting the show and that's the promotion itself. I understand that Eliza Dushku is an incredibly beautiful and sexy woman. I also understand that you are attempting to reach that elusive male demographic. But since this particular show uses human trafficking to make a statement and in fact, makes a statement about the horrors of human trafficking, it bothers me tremendously that you have objectified the beauty of Eliza Dushku to attract viewers. The thing is, there would be no human trafficking without people looking at each other as mere objects. So in fact, the idea that perhaps you'd like to entice viewers (subliminally if not overtly) by having them imagine what they would do if they could afford to "rent" Eliza Dushku, does not sit well with me. I feel it would have been more appropriate for this show to be showcased more seriously. Believe me, Eliza's appeal will come through anyway. Human trafficking is an issue we should all take seriously and we should recognize the way our society feeds into those who would use the ones being trafficked.
In any case, I am asking that you give Dollhouse a chance and stop interfering. I will be writing a letter to the potential audience for Dollhouse later to hopefully help you get more viewers.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Dear Fox Network,