We bring special guest Stevo on this week to talk about Dollhouse's "The Left Hand" or, as we call it, "The Victor Show." Do other important things happen in this episode? Of course. Echo leaves to go on a personal growth journey, Topher cold clocks a cute girl, Adelle is a boss bitch and Rossum's senator gambit pays off in spades. More importantly, though, Victor is imprinted as Topher and we're all graced with probably the peak performance in this whole show, if not all of Joss Whedon's works. Don't @ us, it's amazing!! Grab a beer and appreciate the gift of Victor as Topher. Cheers!
Major trigger warning for the discussion on the first episode, Belonging. We finally get Sierra's full backstory, and it is a doozy of terrible and horrific experiences that continue to the present day. Topher gets a minute amount of "redemption" but as usual it comes at the expense of poor Sierra, who really can't catch a break. In episode two, we get into the politics of Rossum and how they're trying to take down our LA dollhouse. Ballard takes off and Echo is kidnapped by River from Firefly.
For a show that really seemed to learn and grow in season one, Dollhouse has completely committed to plot regression here in the beginning of season two. We speculate for a bit about why that might be. It's a weird thing to say about a show's main character, but is there simply too much Echo? As the second episode features Victor heavily, we're forced think that that may just be the issue. Luckily, Victor-as-Kiki saves an episode that seems to have an unnecessary and likely not purposeful "boys will be boys" vibe. Not cute, fellas. Bring on the beer!
Remember last week when we worried that some of the tension would leave the show post-Epitaph One? Well, not to be all "we thought so" but, well... This week's Dollhouse brings us an episode completely devoid of any meaningful forward progress for the two ostensible leads of the show, Paul and Echo. Luckily, Topher and Whiskey do the emotional heavy lifting, and it's just enough meaty moral questioning to keep the viewer interested. Unfortunately, Whiskey and her interesting plot leave us at the end of the ep. Pour one out for our aptly-named girl!
This week we have Finale Part II: Epitaph One. We discuss the risk Joss Whedon took with the episode; its ambitious, and it certainly commits to its dystopian premise. Unfortunately, perhaps due to budget, the episode falls a bit short of its potential. What it succeeds at, however, is pushing Dollhouse's usual moral questions: what is immortality? If you have a brilliant idea, can you pursue it no matter the cost? What do we owe to each other? Oh wait, that's The Good Place. Grab a drink and philosophize with us. Cheers!
This week we've got Dollhouse's season finale (not counting bonus semi-finale Epitaph One, which will be next week). All of our storylines coalesce at last, with Ballard finally finding relevance... unfortunately, it's as "the guy who brought a murderer in". Oops! Sadly, he is still the best investigator the Dollhouse has... EMBARRASSING. The sheer stupidity of upper management gets a real spotlight in this ep. We also get some Alpha/Echo action, as Echo ascends to, well, not much yet.
This week we have a bit of taco bell chat prior to our in depth discussion of two episodes with major implications for the rest of the show. We debate the concept of living forever-- is it really immortality if it's just a copy of you? Meanwhile, Topher makes Sierra into a best buddy in a plot that we suspect was supposed to be sweet, but instead comes off as entitled and skeezy. Ballard provides the bridge between the two episodes: he breaks it off with Mellie and then breaks into the dollhouse with surprise guest Alpha! Joss Whedon continues his love of reusing actors with Firefly's Alan Tudyk. He's awesome.
Alli and Mary get back to our roots and discuss some Packers drama (RIP Packers season #nopackno). After that, we chat two pretty great episodes of Dollhouse. Adelle and dollhouse management have gotten to the "winging it" stage of running a giant shady business and basically just brainstorm some ideas for how to cure the dolls of personality. It's a great episode, but the idea totally fails. In the next episode, Topher gets to continue his catchphrase: "It's not my fault!" as everyone learns that there's a mole. Echo pretty much catches the him all by herself (Bye Dominic!) bc the staff is incompetent. Some real Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Watcher vibes here, y'all!
Boom!! We are finally into the meat of Dollhouse: what is identity? who lives in the body of the doll? who gets to consent, and when? Ballard runs into Patton Oswalt; Echo wakes up more and more, and we learn that there is a spy working through her; and, most importantly, we get a bunch of victor and sierra, to go with a wonderful Topher/Adelle drugged up teamup. The first episode has, yet again, a discussion of rape due to the nature of the first episode: trigger warning there!
As we hope will be the case with the whole season, Dollhouse begins its incline to a truly great show. This week contains discussions of the importance of internal continuity, whether Topher even knows what the fuck he's doing and an extensive chat about man reactions. An 11am beer gets us through the last of Ballard's truly uninteresting plots: spoiler alert, he finally becomes relevant next week. Cheers!
The nice thing about Dollhouse compared particularly to Buffy and Veronica Mars (not enough data on Firefly), is that we're getting the mediocre episodes out of the way right at the top. That being said, we do have to push through a couple of episode-of-the-week snoozers. We get to see Echo as action-girl and Echo as back up singer. Unbelievably, Ballard's plotline devolves into a more pointless spiral than could be expected. Luckily, there are sprinklings of the great Dollhouse to come, and we could not be more excited for that. Cheers!
Alli and Mary discuss our feelings on the Dollhouse characters and actors (shoutout to Enver Gjokaj! sorry about my pronunciation my dude!), as well as what the differing goals of the writers/Joss Whedon and the network. Dollhouse's great strength is its grey morality, and how the characters react to the layered peel-back of corporate shadiness. Yet, Fox seemed to feel we were doing a sexy fun action time. We're pumped to discuss how that push and pull plays out over the course of the series. Also, Paul Ballard sucks. Don't @ us! Cheers.
Alli and Mary discuss Firefly's big comeback into popular culture, the much awaited, eagerly anticipated, loved-into-reality Serenity. Joss Whedon goes all out with the budget he never had on the show, which leads to one of the largest differences between show and movie: is Firefly a western with a hint of space, or futuristic sci-fi with a sprinkling of westerns? What you enjoy on that spectrum probably influences your feelings on the Big Damn Movie. For our part, we love it. ROBOTS, people. ROBOTS. We're pumped to hit you all next week with Dollhouse! Cheers!!
DISCLAIMER: we spend a large chunk of the opening (about 6 min to about 18 min) discussing the threat of rape/sexual assault in this episode/the series in general in depth. If this is not for you, skip ahead. There is some similar talk scattered lightly throughout the ep.
Anyway! We have reached the series finale, if one could call it that, of Joss Whedon's short-lived Firefly. MBT welcomes special guest Alex for what is certainly one of the best, if not the absolute best, episode produced by this show. It's trippy, it's creepy, and it plays to all of Whedon's strengths as a writer/director. If the show had to go out, this was the way to do it.
Alli and Mary lament what feels like a lot of repetition for a short show like Firefly: these episodes particularly suffer from two emotional funerals of one-off characters. Two funerals! In a row! Dear Joss Whedon, this isn't ER, we're not watching for that mad depressing drama dude. We also discuss how Firefly's character arcs are reminiscent of Buffy's season 6. Heart of Gold and The Message are an interesting contrast, the former is an excellent affecting episode, while the latter is a touch overwrought and melodramatic. Additionally, insanely sweaty sex scene. Tone it down, set sweat people.
17:20-17:45 MAJOR DOLLHOUSE SPOILERS.
This week Alli and Mary talk streaming services and bitch about Hulu's business model. Let us know your thoughts on the following: is Niska is supposed to play as Russian or German? What are your theories about what Book's backstory was supposed to be vs. the eventual comics? In the first episode, Wash takes a Xander-esque turn this week with a whiny snoozer of a storyline. Luckily, the rest of the ep is pretty fun. Then, Saffron returns for another heist. But more importantly: WHERE IS OUR FUTURISTIC TECH? OUR ROBOTS? OUR SOCIAL PROGRESS? Unbelievable.
This week on Firefly, we get insight into everyone's first interaction with and impression of the good ship Serenity. Mal captains his little heart out and manages, despite all odds, to scare off a large group of killer scavengers. In Ariel we get the world's easiest heist, only put into danger by Jayne's Big Bad Betrayal of Simon and River. Don't worry, everyone's ok in the end. Subject for discussion this week: comparing Firefly's plot-heavy nature to Buffy and Veronica Mars' character-based concepts.
We get into the particulars of two A+ episodes of Joss Whedon's Firefly this week, which bring us questions such as: just how dim is Mal, exactly, when it comes to Inara's feelings for him? If the mudders are all slaves, how come they have great dental care? How deep is Shepard Book's commitment to being a Debbie Downer? Should Mary get a perm? That has less to do with Firefly, but it is a big question.
This week we grab a martini and a beer to talk a couple of great Firefly episodes: Shindig and Safe. Inara gets the focus in the first episode, which brings up some issues with the concept of companions in the show: if they are so respected, why are customers always treating Inara like property? Then, in Safe, Simon and River are kidnapped by a town in need of a doctor which actually seems to work out ok until River outs herself as a weirdo and is nearly burned at the stake. So close!
This week Alli and Mary discuss Firefly's sad lack of robots, whether The Train Job works better as an opening episode and how much of a through line there is between the concept of browncoats and the confederacy. Both the Train Job and Bushwhacked explore Mal's character in depth: a guy who will break the law, but has a strict moral code; a captain who will do his own dirty work; a dude who knows how to get shit done. We also learn a bit more about reavers and the big bad alliance. Cheers!
Welcome to the new season of Must Be Tuesday! We're starting off Joss Whedon's Firefly with the exposition heavy pilot. We learn almost everything there is to know about the 'verse, the crew and the bad-guy alliance central government. If that wasn't enough, we're introduced to enough catchphrases and linguistic quirks to fill far more than the mere 14 episodes and one movie that make up Firefly's canon. Grab a beer and join us--cheers!
This week we grab a Spotted Cow and discuss the long-awaited Veronica Mars movie, a project that led the way of Kickstarter and fan-backed revivals (see also: Arrested Development). The movie leaves us debating if Veronica is really better off back in Neptune and, honestly, if Neptune is better off with her in it. Overall, it's funny, engaging and well worth the wait.
Next up for Must Be Tuesday: a short break, and we will be returning with Firefly, Dollhouse and iZombie! We're pumped and we hope you stick with us. Cheers!
In the blink of an eye, we've reached the end of (the TV version of) Veronica Mars. We're back season one-fighting form this week, with a vengeful and in over her head Veronica, a wrathful Logan, a morally dubious Keith and assorted Neptune regulars joining the fray and helping out. It's a bittersweet ending that sets up for a season four that never was, but you have to ask--if it had been like most of season three would it even be worth it?
We learn yet another valuable lesson in episode one, which oddly combines CW Relationship Drama (TM) and a mystery about child soldiers. Sooo, there's that. However, episode two snaps us right back into place with a Weevil-centric mystery that helps set up for the next season that never was. Join us to start enjoying Veronica Mars again right before it's snatched away. Cheers!
This week on Must Be Tuesday, we discuss the serious, interminable downturn in the episode quality post-Dean murder mystery. Guys, Paul Rudd shows up and these episodes STILL blow. All of our beloved characters are replaced by their pod-CW counterparts, full of angst, teen drama and handholding. It's a calmer, tamer, sweeter Veronica Mars. Bleh.