I could go into more detail but who hasn’t? Just thinking about Whedon just now. I like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but it could have been better. It got better, no doubt, but it took its sweet time about it. I think if it wasn’t a Joss Whedon production, it wouldn’t have lasted the season. The dialogue certainly wasn’t his, at least in the beginning. I’m pretty sure that no one wanted to deal with the fallout of another cancelled Whedon show.
Dollhouse started reasonably strong, arguably stronger than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but it didn’t last. It took a while to reach any kind of point, but it was good while it was going. If it had run its course, based on what I saw of the end of season 2, the part that wasn’t broadcast, it would have blown everyone’s mind. The acting and story twists were phenomenal. The outcry over Dollhouse’s demise wasn’t what it was for Firefly, but I think Whedonites had just come to expect that network television thinks viewers are stupid. I think maybe they were projecting. Network TV is okay at best. It’s not cable. A decade later and Firefly and Dollhouse come out on Netflix and everyone’s happy. As it was, network television (FOX) told us what was good for us and we’d damn well take what they wanted us to have.
In a Facebook discussion about Whedon shows, someone mentioned that Dollhouse ran out of money. Dollhouse didn’t run out of money, they ran out of support. FOX is Whedon’s bad boyfriend. “Come on, Baby, I know I destroyed your life before, but it’ll be different this time. I promise not to schedule you at stupid times and move you all over the known universe of time slots because I’m afraid that your fans won’t understand you. Yeah, yeah, I know your fans love you, but I want you to make more shows for me! I’m who’s important here! Yeah, I know you made Firefly for us, but we didn’t get it, so we figured your fans were morons, too. No! Wait! Where are you going?! I promise it won’t be like last time! I know the way we destroyed Firefly broke your heart! I know you’re only here because you wanted to work with Eliza Dushku and we had her under contract and if you had a choice you’d have gone somewhere, anywhere else! This time it will be different! I swear! Oh, wait a minute. You want to do what? How about I do all those awesome things for you NEXT time? No? What? You want out? Aww, Baby, don’t you trust me? I swear this time it will be different. Well, next time for sure. Where you going, Baby? Come back!”
Too bad, FOX. He’s making the Avengers now and he’s with someone who takes him seriously. Comic book movies are more serious and darker than they used to be. I’m glad because it means they’re taking the movies seriously, and that means they’re taking the fans seriously, too, and Whedon has always taken his fans seriously.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer continued her story in comic books, and Whedon understands the format. I’d like to see more darkness, in the Avengers, but there’s a limit to what you can do with a two hour movie. I wonder if without the Firefly and Dollhouse debacles if we’d have him on the Avengers. I’m glad he’s on that, but all things being even, I’d rather it had gone another way. At the end of last season of Castle, I swear, my first reaction was, “Now we can have Firefly back!”