Austin News


Joss Whedon: New Media Badass

This is basically to push our DOLLHOUSE premiere, Joss Whedon's new sci-fi series, at South Lamar on Friday, so if I'm too long winded for you SCROLL DOWN!


We here at the Alamo (okay, at least Henri & me) have been Joss Whedon fans for a long time. We also know there there are a lot of Alamo goers who feel the same way. Remember when we had BUFFY: ONCE MORE WITH FEELING Sing-Alongs? Ah, bliss! Well when the powers that be pulled the plug on Buffy shows, we had a Whedon-shaped hole in our programming. Then BAM, last year, in the peak of the writers' strike, DR. HORRIBLE'S SING-ALONG BLOG came outta nowhere and DAMN was it good. Really, really, funny and good. The real beauty of DR. HORRIBLE was not just that it starred an adorable Neil Patrick Harris going "No really you guys, I'm totally evil!" but that it was a piece of independently produced, original content designed for the internet, distributed for free (originally - then iTunes, the Hulu, now DVD) and made with love and favors from friends.

As a student studying television and media criticisms and fan culture, I get super nerdy if someone within the industry has a lot to say about those things. For example, Joss Whedon's got some beef with this industry. If you're into reading things, there's a great interview HERE of Whedon's discussing, in more detail, his concept of DR. HORRIBLE. He talks about how they made the whole thing for a little over $200,000, and then after distribution and paying the crew, made double that cost. He also goes on to discuss how the current business model of television production and distribution is slowly smothering the ideas of an independent television producer.

We are now in such a homogenized, globalized, monopolized entertainment system where studios are swallowing all independent producers and productions. And they're swallowing each other. Eventually there will just be Gap films and McDonald's films. And that will be it.

The worst thing that's happened in this community is the death of the independent television producer. We have to make sure that that doesn't happen on what is, right now, a public forum, and not a privately owned forum.

Especially with the economic disaster that the last bunch of presidents has left us with, independent film production is shutting down. The film and television industry is finding itself in the position the music industry found itself in [a few years ago]. The difference is they have a chance not to do what the music industry did, which was to ossify and to basically lock themselves in their fortress until they ran out of food.

They have an opportunity to try to stop the revolution by making evolutionary deals. They're not inclined to do that right now. So the trick is to create a venue that becomes attractive to them and [where] there is still an independent voice that can partner with them.

Ultimately, they have the power. They have the advertising dollars, they have the distribution systems and they're a force to be reckoned with. I would like to [sit] at the table as an equal, and not as one of the goddamn serfs who is giving them all my goddamn grain.

In the same interview, he discusses the short-lived FIREFLY and how it was killed by Fox.
I never swore not to go back to Fox. I left my deal at Fox because I couldn't think of any TV shows, and I didn't want to be paid to not do anything. Looking back -- I can't imagine why I didn't want that [laughs]. It sounds so cool.

Fortunately for us, the same people that lead to FIREFLY's demise are not the same people at Fox now, which is why Joss Whedon is returning to television.


You may be thinking: "What the hell does this have to do with the Alamo?" Well hold on I'm gettin' to it! We just found out yesterday that all shits are go and that we will be premiering Joss Whedon's DOLLHOUSE Friday at midnight, at South Lamar! The year’s most anticipated new series, at least among Internet fandom, DOLLHOUSE stars Eliza Dushku (BUFFY, ANGEL, TRU CALLING) as Echo, an eye-popping shebot who can be programmed with almost any personality her employer desires, whether a gun-toting rock climber or a dressed-to-the-nines hostage negotiator fluent in Spanish.

Echo is employed by a super-secret organization, run by a queen bee with a British accent (Olivia

Williams). Her mad software genius, a dude named Topher (Fran Kranz), rewrites Echo and scores of her fellow “actives” before each of their sexy/dangerous missions, for which the firm is handsomely compensated by clients. Throw in some nefarious government investigation (or is it a cover-up?). Add a dash of intrigue in the form of Echo’s protector, Boyd (Harry Lennix), a shadowy ex-cop with a heart of gold. And then stir in the possibility that Topher may not be completely erasing Echo’s remembrances of things past, so that eventually she may figure out what’s being done to her.

This showing is free, but you can reserve your seat by pre-purchasing a $5 food and beverage voucher, redeemable during the show, online right here! Oh, and plan on sticking around after the episode airs for some other Whedony goodness on the big screen (HINT: It'll be HORRIBLE-y awesome). Whedon fans unite! We'll see you there...

- Caitlin

News Categories: General News, Austin


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