WisCon by the Twitters: Dollhouse – Made of Win or Full of Fail?

I was recruited to this panel the night before as Charlie Jane wanted to balance the panel out. She was apparently afraid there’d be too many “made of win” people. The discussion got heated several times and no one recorded my meltdown of fury at Anastasia. But overall it was productive and awesome:

@tinytempest #Dollhouse panel starting. This ought to be good.

@cabell Feeling a little trepidatious at the Dollhouse panel.

@MsAnastasia Starting my last panel of #Wiscon – a Dollhouse debate that already is sounding potentially heated. First up: separation of body from self.

@cabell Is Dollhouse biz model realistic? Only if u assume rich ppl are all in a big self-protective club… so yeh, probly.

@swanberg Dollhouse is a big hot mess. Sometimes the mess outweighs the hot, sometimes the hot outweighs the mess. -Kater Cheek

@swanberg Hiring a doll is like saying to Jessica Fletcher “Yes, I’d love to come to your cottage.” -Kater

@swanberg Enver was the best part of the show. He is amazing. – panel & audience

@madmarvelgirl ‘a piece of art does not have to be a female empowerment story to be profoundly feminist

@swanberg I don’t think a story has to be a female empowerment story to be proundly feminist. – member of audience

@cabell How does English prof afford Echo? Tempest: He edited a book all freshmen have to buy that w/new edition every year!

@cabell Tempest & Ana agree: any feminism in Dollhouse happened by accident & had nothing to do with Joss Whedon.

@tinytempest “The less I liked Echo, the more I liked the people who were keeping her down.” Kater Cheek

@madmarvelgirl ‘i will take evil & competent over cute & feckless any day of the week’

@swanberg Black handler with no sexual interst in Echo. If her handler had been white “what, is he gay?” Erases Boyd’s sexuality

@jdawley Audience member: Alpha gave Echo the ability to integrate her personalities. Charlie Jane: Well, she had midichlorians.

@cabell Come on, if ur working w/Eliza Dushku, u need her 2 act confused as much as possible. Play 2 her strengths

@Hamaker88 Oooh. Panel fight!!

@cabell I have no patience with authorial intent. Intentions don’t matter. WHAT YOU DID/PUT ON MY TV matters.

@rhiannonrevolts @cabell That’s my POV. Also, cultural studies all about reading any authorial intent through lens of sociocultural influences, so…

@sigridellis Dollhouse panel was raucous and wild, but ultimately productive, I thought.

Comments

  1. says

    That was my favorite panel I went to at WisCon. It was exactly the sort of conversation I’d been craving since I started watching the series. Even the people I disagreed with made some interesting points. (I’m mostly on the “FAIL!” side of things.)

  2. says

    I was really frustrated with the Dollhouse panel last year because it was all “Dollhouse is awesome!” and squee, and I was expecting a more critical discussion of it.

    This year, had I gone (woe), I would have wanted to discuss the horrible episode that everyone thought was so powerful, which I sum up as “It’s okay if you do it to a crazy person, but it’s evil if you do it to someone who matters”, or Topher’s “humanizing” moment re: Sierra. I watched that episode, and never went back. I don’t need to be reminded that Joss is really really scared of people with disabilities.

  3. Jonquil says

    Me, too. Of course, I stopped watching in disgust halfway through S1, so I’m sure I could be shouted down as unfamiliar with the text.

    Tempest, do you feel like summarizing your (I’m quite sure justified) meltdown?

  4. says

    Hey thanks so much for being on the panel! I really felt like this ended up being one of the stimulating discussions I took part in at Wiscon. Even though I’m mostly one of the “made of win” people when it comes to Dollhouse, I was really glad that people were being eloquent on both sides. And I think we proved that even if you hate the show, it gives people lots to chew over. :)