I wanted to see if I was alone in my solace, and I was confirmed that I indeed was when I Googled a certain phrase and found one result, which was the result of a complete coincidence in sentence construction much to my chagrin. And so, allow me to say it now so that any similarly afflcited souls may find themselves guided to this site where they shall find, indeed, no matter how differently it may seem, You Are Not Alone.
EPITAPH ONE SUCKS!
Or, to put that in a slightly different way
EPITAPH ONE SUCKED!
And, just for the sake of keeping all bases covered
EPITAPH ONE FUCKING SUCKS THE BALLS OF IDI AMIN'S PUBLIC LICE AND LOVED IT BECAUSE IT'S SEXUALLY DEVIANT AND LOVES WARCRIMES.
Obviously, it would be rampantly hyperbolic and loser-ish to say that a TV show could make me consider suicide, but at the same time in the aftermath of watching the most anticipated DVD extra ever , the 'missing' episode of Dollhouse (until last night one of my top ten favourite shows) I was reminded of Kevin Smith saying recently that all entertainment is is a tool to distract us from the fact we're about to die. E1 was... like leukeamia to that effect on me, I was so horrified at what it did. In the wake of suddenly being told I had a job interview and feeling on top of the world, this one fucking episode shattered that entire effect that our culture has gifted me with, the ability to consider death as irrelevant. I was depressed for the whole day. Before after and during watching two episodes of Scrubs that I'd never seen. I couldn't even bring myself to finish watching what seems to be the best Ashes to Ashes episode ever, because I was just imagining myself decomposing slowly in the chair, a fucking corpse with a short lease on life the bank manager of the universe is wanting back now.
Okay, I'm going over the top here. I hope. But... fuck man. I've never had a negative reaction to any TV show this bad. It's so deconstructionist it's made me think of TV as just meaningless filth that I am engorging myself on like a river of brain-arsenic. Is that what you were thinking, Whedon? Is that the way you get more ratings?
At some stage I guess I'll need to talk about the episode itself rather than just describing the sheer awfulness of it and setting up the mere fact that I watched it to explain all my oncoming failures in life Arnold Rimmer-style. But there's a trouble there. A certain regular reader may have an ongoing interest in DH, and not want to read spoilers. But E1 IS spoilers. It's nothing but.
And, see, there is actually a reason for it. It turns out that this episode was written when everyone was convinced that the show would be axed and soon. So... Joss decided to condense fucking five seasons of character development and action into 50 minutes of television. So much of it that when you actually watch it all it becomes completely meaningless. Get ready for the spoilage ...
Alpha dies, Dominic comes back, Ballard and Echo escape, Victor's body gets stolen, Adelle takes on Rossum, Rossum somehow get Topher to replicate Alpha's remote-wipe technology, this technology is used to call every house in the world and program whoever answers to kill everyone, Topher goes mad with grief, Claire gets with Boyd before he disappears, everyone becomes badass rebels with assault rifles, Claire loses her scars, Caroline becomes a messiah, Victor somehow gets his body back and gets with Sierra, everyone gets tattoos, Ballard and Caroline don't get together, Mellie dies, Penny from Dr Horrible's Sing A Long Blog turns out to be alive, and Whiskey ends up braindead and probably dead as well.
Wow, don't you feel a whole lot better knowing all of that? No?! My word, how is that possible??? Don't worry, though, we don't get to see whether Caroline kills Adelle or not. Thank god for that one bit of ambiguity. That mystery can keep me going for YEARS!
Until now, DH has been a good constant for me. I know Doctor Who will always have dud episodes, and Fringe made it clear from the start that it was too cheesy to be a truly great show yet is excellent junk food for the mind, the writers from Scrubs need to cut down on the meth and a solid episode of Ashes to Ashes is really the freak occurrence. But DH had a great, well-written episode every time. I always finished it feeling satisfied.
E1 is a fucking slap in the face to me. It does a complete 180 on the shows themes, takes all the characters and bitch-rapes them in the blink of an eye. It doesn't even build on any hints of what we saw earlier. Nothing in the show says that Rossum corporation wants a giant army of soldiers. Nothing says that humanity is about to end. Nothing sets up Caroline as a messiah for the human race. No, this is five years of stuff dumped on us suddenly.
I don't care if Whedon thought his show was about to get axed. So fucking what? End it on a finale that works on a few levels. You know, like Omega did. The type of ending that leaves you wanting more. This... just introduces a lot of shit that's never been hinted at in the show, and then resolves it. It doesn't fit anywhere in an arc or the mythos in general.
My big hope was that this was going to turn out to be a weird epsidoe that would make sense in a few season's time when we suddenly realise "Ohhh, that shit episode was just what would have happened if Adelle did that instead of this ohhh it makes sense now!" Nope. Whedon's come out and said that was the future. The world does get destroyed.
A final episode is meant to keep you wanting to watch the show. This did the exact opposite. I never want to watch DH again. I couldn't care less. How can I laugh at anything Topher does when I know he's going to turn into a tragic, gibbering halfwit? How can I be worried for Paul Ballard when I know he lives another nine years at least? How can I enjoy Adelle's wit knowing that she is responsible for the destruction of the human race? How can I be amazed at the plot twists that Whedon has given me with absolutely no setup at all?
The worst thing is that in pure technical terms of what has gone on the script for 50 minutes of television drama, independent of an actual TV show, there is nothing wrong with the script. Well, aside from a minor plot twist in the framing narrative that makes no sense at all which I can't be arsed to explain at all. Now, because it is, on that one level, faultlessly written it rubs it in worse. People who just like to see writers be clever, which unsurprisingly seems to be 98% of the Whedon fanbase, are all over this and don't even care about how retarded the idea is. But it also lets me know that... this could have been good. There is no real reason for it be so terrible to the series as a whole other than Whedon's paranoia that his show was going to die.
Again, I feel the need to apologise for the supersized scale of everything that I've said in this review, but I have never known such strong feelings toward any show before. What can I say about something that's nearly put me off an entire medium?
Interestingly, I'm now back where I was seven years ago, with a complete dislike for Joss Whedon rather than the loving respect I had until 7.35 last night. To close this entry here's something I wrote to a friend at that tender age, when he kept trying to force Firefly on to me, stricken by memories of a crap Buffy episode:
Oh, yes, I GREATLY look forward to watching Firefly. You simply cannot understand the leviathanic scale of my longing to see it. You cannot comprehend the ease of which a simple mention of Joss Whedon's name throws me into a cataclysmic orgasm over thoughts of his insurmountable genius. YOU WILL HAVE NO CHANCE of understanding the lengths I went to creat a shrine to Whedon from nothing but flimsy sticks and dental floss. Why? BECAUSE I LOVE HIM! Yes, that's right, I have fallen uncontrollably in love with Joss Whedon, this man who has given so much to the artistic world of the Planet Earth, and who I will never let die, as I have decided not to donate my body to medical science at all, but straight to the Whedon estate so that Mr Whedon can continue his existence past his life-expectancy which is not worthy of a man of such unbridled genius as he, and I will breed many children, so that once my body has also expired they may take up the all-important mantle of ensuring that the Northern Star of Wisdom, the burning bright light of Whedon's imagination shall continue to glow for all eternity, so that he may continue to serve us all. All worship Whedon or die, for if you cannot appreciate his magical works, you are not worthy of life.
BTW I was being sarcastic.
Ah, how my droll wit has nurtured. Weird that in that email I actually mentioned the technology that is a key part of Dollhouse, too...
Anyway, somehow I get the vibe that this would be the wrong time to finally watch the copy of Children of Earth that I've got..