Powered by i.TV
April 24, 2014

Major Dollhouse spoiler ahoy!

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 19th 2009 10:32AM
DollhouseJoss himself has promised that Friday's episode of Dollhouse is a game-changer. It's a pity that the episode is competing with the series finale of Battlestar Galactica. What follows is a major spoiler for Friday that I'm leaving until after the jump.

Those of you who do not fear spoilers, click away...
Alan Tudyk, known as the character of "Wash" from Firefly and Serenity, will be appearing on Friday's episode. Most likely he'll be playing Alpha, although that's not completely certain at this stage. However, given the character's penchant for knives and the fact that Tudyk is holding a knife, it's a fair bet. Since he's in the photo with Tahmoh Penikett, it kind of blows a hole in my theory that Agent Paul Ballard is Alpha.

Tudyk is such a good actor that his presence actually made me pay attention to that DirecTV commercial he was in, so I'm looking forward to this.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

12 Comments

Filter by:
bruce

It's simply outdated and irrelevant to use a data pool that ignores DVR viewing of a show. Some shows and some time spots are more prone to being 'time shifted' (recorded and watched later) than others. Shows on friday night are very likely to be recorded and watched the next day. Most people, even nerds who like sci-fi shows, go out and do stuff friday evening, whether it's getting laid, getting drunk, or playing dungeons and dragons at your friend's house while his mom is out of town so you can turn up the volume on your "Rush" CD as loud as it goes (at least that's what I picture nerds doing on friday nights).

Even live viewing numbers doesn't mean that commercials are being watched. When I watch a show live, I pause it on my DVR the moment it starts, go screw around on the computer for 15 minutes or so, and then come back and start watching the show so I have a buffer to skip ahead all the commercials. If I'm too lazy to get off the couch, for whatever reason, then I will at the very least mute the commercials or change the channel to watch a few minutes of news. Of course all the channels have conspired, in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, to show commercials at the same time - anticompetitive behavior clearly done in restraint of trade, but the federal government is never going to prosecute them for it.

Why would I want to watch commercials? One day a year, during the superbowl, they are mildly entertaining and have a modicum of cleverness to them. The rest of the time it's just (a) lame car commercials, (b) "not free" credit report dot com commercials making false threats and lying about being free ("free with purchase" means not free), and (c) a gecko and a deep-voiced african american both claiming their insurance company offers the cheapest rates.

Why the fuck would I, or any rational human being, voluntarily submit to the torture of being bombarded by such inane bullshit? If it were impossible to watch TV shows without sitting through every commercial, I would never watch television. Never. Not my favorite show, not one minute. And to base the ratings of a TV show on the fact that rational people will take the simple step of DVRing the show so as to avoid torture means highly-watched shows end up getting horrible ratings. Why should the future of a TV show depend upon how many masochists watch it?

And correct me if i'm wrong, but "nielsen families" who get a "nielsen box" have to set it up to bypass any DVR. The neilsen box only scores what is watched live. Even if two shows are on two different channels at the same time and you watch one and record the other to watch immediately thereafter, only the one watched live will "get the ratings" and the other show is treated as though it was never watched at all.

No wonder the networks can't come up with any shows that last more than one season. They have no freaking clue what people are watching. It doesn't matter WHEN they are watching it, assuming they watch a show within, say, one week of its live broadcast (or before the showing of the next episode, whichever comes first).

I've often said put me in charge of the TV networks, and working two hours a day - which i'd do for free - I'd improve the quality of television by at least 200%.

March 20 2009 at 12:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

Yeah I don't see how the mere possibility that actor X might be playing role Y in a TV show can be considered a spoiler. Even if it were confirmed that he was playing Alpha, we know the character of Alpha exists, so someone has to play him. I don't consider casting decisions to be spoilers, except maybe in some extremely rare situations... i.e. a unknown character is a key bad guy for the whole course of a few seasons of a TV show, we don't know who he is, and it's revealed that the person playing said bad guy is an actor already on the show, who some have suspected (confirming certain fanboy theories).

I suppose, if true, this does disprove the theory that agent Ballard is Alpha, but I've always thought that was a really dumb theory anyway (sorry). The Dollhouse people know exactly who Ballard is, they have people misleading him, and they know exactly what he's up to. Alpha, however, is a mysterious danger - they'd love to be able to track him down and kill him, for everyone's safety.

Then again, I'm on record as saying this show makes sense, so it wouldn't be a complete surprise to me if Ballard did turn out to be Alpha. Or Eliza Dushku for that matter. Alpha is her alter-ego. Idiotic? Stupid? Nonsensical? Absolutely, but completely consistent with every other premise behind Dollhouse.

I'm just worried that Dollhouse is going to hurt TSCC, one of my favorite shows on TV. Sci-fi Friday's are not a bad idea, Fox just needs to understand that they can't only look at the meaningless, outdated, junk-in/junk-out Neilsen data; rather, they need to appreciate that an extremely large number of people Tivo TSCC (and probably Dollhouse, too). To ignore DVR numbers is to ignore the majority of the audience.

I never miss an episode of TSCC, but I also rarely watch it live on friday night - I always Tivo it and it's the first show I watch when I go to my playlist. I've read TSCC is one of the most DVR'd shows on TV. Giving it the friday timeslot of death is certainly a guarantor that DVRs across the nation will be churning away.

Dollhouse will not make it a full season. It will last about as long as "Moonlight" did (15 or 16 episodes, no more). And Moonlight was an infinitely better show. My advice is not to become too emotionally invested in the altruistic acts of public service committed by the criminal organization known as the dollhouse, because the show is already in its last twitches of death. Don't worry, there will be some spiffy interviews with Joss Whedon on the Dollhouse two-disc "complete series" DVD box set. Yay.

March 19 2009 at 5:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to bruce's comment
Usama

I too wondered why DVR viewings didn't get added to the Nielsen viewership until I got my DVR (just recently). I never watch commercials now, and as an advertiser I don't want an inflated number that includes viewers of the show who didn't see the advertisement I paid to have on during the show, I want the 'true' live viewers you know? I guess that's why?

Also although I'm in agreement that Dollhouse hasn't been up to par, I'm holding onto the idea that perhaps that was Fox's involvement screwing things up.

Also having an actor one absolutely loves is reason alone sometimes to tune into a show. I did feel this was a spoiler only because if I hadn't read it, I would have been very pleasantly surprised tomorrow night (assuming he does come on tomorrow night). Still it's a neutral spoiler that, like you said, doesn't really give away the story itself, so that's good.

March 19 2009 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ryan

I share your concerns about Dollhouse spoiling T:SCC's chances. Dollhouse does get slightly better ratings and has more famous names attached, so FOX could cancel the superior T:SCC in its favor. Of course, Fringe slaughters them both in viewership, so we might not have cause to be bitter toward Dollhouse.

Don't forget to watch streaming T:SCC on fox.com, as those hits are counted, just not to the degree live viewing is.

March 19 2009 at 10:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dello

Wait, Alan Tudyk is showing up in episode six already? Are we sure? I thought that set photo was from much later in the season.

Pretty much gave up on this show but Tudyk is worth tuning in for. He's been excellent in everything I've seen him in so far.

March 19 2009 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Claire

Ok this is either the truth or Joss and company are playing us all. (I've read multiple sources with Wash as Alpha.) I'm happy either way. I adore Alan and think it would be a great way to be as un-Wash as possible. I also wouldn't mind if Joss was throwing us off the trial.

March 19 2009 at 1:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Usama

I'm going to miss both, thank God for DVR (just got it).

Anyway I read the spoiler, and I couldn't be more happy as I haven't really warmed up to the show yet but this could change things.

March 19 2009 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Willmore2000

So 3 months ago saying that Eliza Dushku was going to be in Dollhouse would have been a spoiler?

You do know that you haven't revealed anything in the actual plot, don't you? Just disproved one of your theories.

But, "Most likely he'll be playing Alpha, although that's not completely certain at this stage," you might not have even done that.

March 19 2009 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
katka

actually he is listed as alpha on imdb. Which is weird, becouse Whedon was suggesting that Alpha will be revealed in the series finale, and it'll be someone we already saw in the first episodes. So alll the stakes were on Ballard.

March 19 2009 at 11:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to katka's comment
tracey

Hmn... it's not on IMDB now (not on the Dollhouse page anyway; it is on his individual page).

In any case, I'm not sure how much stock I would put in IMDB. IMDB, like Wikipedia, is edited by registered users. They often post what they think is true, which may or may not turn out to be correct. In the early days of IMDB, I saw many mistakes. Some fanboy could have heard that Tudyk was going to appear in Ep 6, heard rumors that he would be Alpha, and posted it as a fact. We'll find out tomorrow night, and if necessary, somebody will make the correction.

March 19 2009 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Deadpan

That's what HULU is for.
SO SAY WE ALL!!!!

March 19 2009 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Deadpan's comment
Phish

PLS WATCH BATTLESTAR LIVE, SO THAT CAPRICA MAY LIVE.

This was a totally stupid and lame spoiler, what is happening to this site?

March 20 2009 at 12:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners