Saturday, May 09, 2009

All Hail Joss

Sci-fi routinely deals with deeply philosophical questions in a way other genres just can't. The Mind-Body Problem and related issues of identity and personhood are forefront in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, the Borg race from the Star Trek franchise, the original Star Trek movie, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, The Matrix, Blade Runner, Terminator: Salvation (from what I gather from the ad campaign), and probably a dozen more I can't recall at the moment.

The season finale of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse series on Fox takes the mind-body problem, shakes it, turns it completely inside out, and sets it on fire. Individual episodes of Dollhouse might have been shaky, but the finale "Omega" was brilliant.

Self-aware dolls apart from their original selves or their imprints, references to Nietzche's √úbermensch concept, and the absurdity of Echo chasing down the "wedge" (hard drive) holding her original persona... what's not to like?

I'm not a full-bore Joss-o-phile, never watched Buffy or Angel, and thought Firefly was good but significantly shy of great. This, I'm all on board with.

Which, of course, means it will be canceled promptly.

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UPDATE: 5/11 - Dollhouse didn't do too well in the E! "Save One Show" poll.
Terminator- 53%
Chuck - 25%
Dollhouse- 10%
Life- 8%
Privileged- 4%

(via Jonah Goldberg, who is apparently pro-Terminator)

This would have been a tough pick for me. I'm very pro Terminator and Dollhouse. I like Chuck, but think it's run its course and would suffer if extended. I wouldn't have thought Dollhouse was in such jeopardy just yet, but then again, it is Fox we're talking about here.

To paraphrase the Robert Oppenheimer/the Bhagavad Gita, "Now I am become Fox, destroyer of awesome shows."

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

For additional Mind-Body considerations, I strongly recommend "Dark City" by Alex Proyas (same director as 'The Crow'). It explores the theme as to whether a person is the sum of their memories or if the soul is actually something innately held within a human, separate from memories and environment.

~MJA

JoeCollins said...

Never heard of it.

Memento was good, seemingly along similar lines, but not very sci-fi.

Anonymous said...

It flew under the radar somehow. Great cast, too, with William Hurt, Jennifer Connelly, Rufus Sewell, Keifer Sutherland, Jurgen Prochnow, etc.

I've watched it about 5 times. I'm not sure if I prefer the original version or the Director's Cut. They're both so good...

~MJA