Dollhouse and Optimism

dollhouse-tv-series-1x07-stills-hq-01I hate Whedon fans. No, really. I hate them. I can understand when naysayers start saying nay, cause it’s sort of in their job description, but when the actual fans, the people whose very name implies, or should imply, that they are fanatics, start yelling nay as well, I hate it.

I believe I’ve already explained that I’m one of the starry-eyed optimists when it comes to Dollhouse (you can see that here, on the Dollhouse Deathwatch at Buffyfest) and I’ve already gone indepth about my feelings as regards to the Dollhouse Uncertainty Principle (see my blog post here). So, my point? Well, I had this great post I was planning to write, all about how much I enjoyed last night’s ep of Dollhouse, how we were given so much more backstory on Echo as Caroline, how I never saw her as Faith, not even for a second, and lots of other good stuff. But then I was reading about the ratings drop for last night’s episode, “Echoes” at Whedonesque. And do you know what I saw? I saw all these random people, people who should be able to call themselves Whedon fans, and they were tearing the show apart and calling the time of death.

It is completely impossible to judge a show by a few random episodes. Let me give you an example:

A show premiered to low ratings. After it aired, NBC did not pick it up and actually offered the show to Fox, which also declined to pick it up. However, head of late night and special events for NBC, diverted money from his budget, and four more episodes were filmed. These episodes were placed in a time slot where they followed the number 3 rated show on TV at that time. The series was then finally picked up. The series was renamed and placed in several time slots during its second season, before finally finding a regular time slot. It was not until the show’s fourth season that it finally broke into the Nielsen Top 30, shooting up to number 3 for its 5th year, and number 1 for it’s sixth year. Years 7 and 8 it landed at number 2, and then back to number 1 for it’s final season.

If we were to have judged that show the way people are now judging Dollhouse after just a few episodes, we would have lost out on nine great years of Seinfeld. I know people are gonna start jumping on me, saying that Dollhouse is not Seinfeld. But how do we know what Dollhouse is going to be, if we kill it off after just a few episodes.