David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines
hradzka

SCC: "Desert Cantos" and DOLLHOUSE: "The Target"

SCC, "Desert Cantos:" Aaaaaaand it's back to unfortunately clunky form for SCC. There were some good scenes in this one, and some decent ideas -- I liked Sarah and the widow together, and Weaver and her daughter are terrific (that little girl is a *really* good actress) -- but in general it felt draggy and slow, again. Especially noticeable to me after the last two really good episodes.

Two bits did really stand out, though: the aformentioned bits with Weaver and her daughter being one, especially that nice moment where the girl sits on Weaver's lap and says, "Your lap is cold." Gahhh. God, how much do I want the scene where the little girl asks Weaver who or what she really is! I know it has to be coming, but I am really interested to see how it plays out; I can think of several potential outcomes, many of them being really compelling, so I'll be interested to see if what they do is something I've considered or something I haven't thought of. The other bit is Cameron pointing out that if Derek had a photo of Kyle Reese, he'd look at it. Nicely played, and a good example of how Cameron's more explicit understanding of the mechanics of human socialization lets her see things that are too obvious for humans to see. Made me realize, too, that yeah, of course with time travel being what it is, Derek doesn't have a picture of Kyle. Neither does Sarah. So John's never seen his father's adult face.

You know who does have a picture, though? The LAPD. Kyle's mug shot, from 1984. Dunno what the LAPD does with their 25-year-old mug shots, but if Sarah, Derek, and John want a picture of Kyle, it's not inconceivable to think they could find one.

(Although, if Cameron met Kyle and has internal recordings of that, I guess she could export her memory somehow, maybe. Do Terminators have a USB port?)

DOLLHOUSE, "The Target" -- wow. They waited all the way until their SECOND episode to rip off "The Most Dangerous Game!" I am not a TV writer, folks, but my suggestion would be to hold off on that until maybe season four, when you're bogged down for ideas and behind in production and need to bang out something now so you can shoot it next week. Doing it right off the bat just makes you look lazy as hell, or, worse, like you don't have a goddamn idea what kind of stories your premise -- you know, the thing you're making a TV series out of -- is actually *good* for.

I do like the vibe of the Dollhouse itself a little better now -- it feels less deliberately creepy than it does a workplace -- and Echo's relationship with her handler seems interesting, perhaps because it's the only real interpersonal relationship at all. But at some point this show is going to need to demonstrate to us that there's a real reason to have Actives as other than a perfectly compliant fucktoys. You know, show them meeting *other kinds of needs.*

I can think up a bunch of gimmicks: say, revise my earlier relationship idea, and do one where a dying man knows his late wife was scanned several times over the course of her life, so he spends a truckload of money having Echo imprinted and reimprinted as his wife in different periods of her life and their relationship so that he can have a "last day" with his wife that's just what he wants it to be. It winds up being a post-mortem of the relationship done in reverse, as he goes earlier and earlier in their relationship trying to find the Golden Days. The problem being that no matter where he goes in it, there he is.

Or, if they really want to go the horrifying fucktoy route, here's an especially revolting one, inspired by the Michael Jackson auctions: a rich pedophile who's always been too terrified to act on his inclinations, but also terrified that he would, goes to the Dollhouse to have Echo implanted with a child's personality. What he's desperate to prove is that it's the child's outlook on the world he's sexually attracted to, not a child's body; he'll be able to satisfy his urges on occasion without harming a real child, or risking criminal charges. And he discovers that he's wrong.

Another one: what do they do if a client, say, meets an Active before the imprint is made, and decides *he wants that?* A freakish, polite, compliant, living doll.

I mean, I am just sitting here on my ass, and I can come up with ideas that actually involve the premise, so it'd be nice if we'd see some stuff like that on the show.
Tags: reviews, scc
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