Fox Renews Dollhouse. Next up: Please Pair It with Fringe.

Like most of the things I currently love, I came to be a Joss Whedon fan fairly recently.  A friend at college noticed how much I loved “Serenity” in the theater and asked if I had ever watched “Firefly.”  I had no idea what he was talking about.  I simply thought “Serenity” was a well-done, standalone sci-fi movie (or SF for those of you who think that sci-fi is too derogatory).  He lent me his DVD set, and I became a fan of Joss Whedon by the time the pilot was halfway through (I mean the DVD pilot “Serenity” and not the aired pilot “The Train Job”). 

 Fast forward to today: I am dating a girl who has presented two different papers on Joss Whedeon at two different academic conferences.  Automatically, that makes me have lots of exposure to Whedon’s different shows.  I’m only on the second season of “Buffy,” though we’re on our way to working steadily through all of them.  I’ve watched “Firefly” through multiple times and use “The Train Job” and “Ariel” as literature in my English classes.  “Dr. Horrible” is a misnomer because he actually has a Ph.D. in Awesome, not Horribleness despite what he says in the show.

 And then came “Dollhouse on Fox this season, and I have watched most episodes of “Dollhouse” at least twice.  Needless to say that I think it’s fantastic.  Well, the second half is fantastic, the first half is good with potential for fantastic.  Ratings were low for most of the season, and fans were never sure if “Dollhouse” would make it to a second season, so when the finale aired, there was a decent amount of resolution just in case viewers never got to see anything else but DVD extras.  Luckily, Fox has decided to renew “Dollhouse” for a second season of 13 episodes, though it seems likely that it will still be on Friday night, a notoriously low-ratings night/timeslot. 

 So what should Fox do?

 Move “Dollhouse” to Tuesday night and have it air either before or after “Fringe,” J.J. Abrams’ newest series.  Not only are the two thematically similar because they deal with fringe science (forgive me for that, but it’s the best term) and advancing technology’s moral implications on both a personal and societal level, but they also have incredibly hot women kicking all kinds of ass every week.  Fox wants 18-34 geek viewers tuning in more often?  That’s how you do it.  Good writing and hot women. 

I love “Fringe,” and I am sure that there will be a couple of posts about it sometime in the future as I get to rewatch more of it and form more concrete ideas about what was going on.  The same can be said of “Dollhouse,” actually, but I’m only one man, and my writing time is going to be limited once I start teaching this summer.  “Fringe” was renewed early on and easily.  I am very glad was renewed so easily; it totally deserves it.  I do have to admit, however, the first three episodes took some time to acclimate myself, but after that it was generally stellar all the way through.  If you have not yet watched “Fringe,” give it a shot.  The finale aired last week, and I am not sure how many episodes stay online at any given time.  These days it seems like five. 

 Either way, “Fringe” is definitely a winner this season, and the prospects are only brightening for next year.  The same can be said of “Dollhouse,” but people need to watch it in order for that potential to be realized.  There is a lot (A LOT, I tell you!) of promise in “Dollhouse, and I think that a Tuesday night “hot girls kicking ass” night will net Fox a lot more ratings than what they’ve got airing right now.  Doesn’t that sound better than “House” and “Fringe” (yes, I know “House” comes on with “24” on Mondays)?  I mean, sure, stuff like “House” gets good ratings, but there’s no synergy there, Fox.  Put shows with other thematically similar dramas, and get a real “hot girls kicking ass” night (that one evening of having Eliza Dushku and Summer Glau host the “Dollhouse” pilot does not count as advertising that kind of pairing in my book).  

With the powerhouse team of Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams, it could work.  It would work.

By B.J. Keeton

B.J. KEETON is a writer, teacher, and runner. When he isn't trying to think of a way to trick Fox into putting Firefly back on the air, he is either writing science fiction, watching an obscene amount of genre television, or looking for new ways to integrate fitness into his geektastic lifestyle. He is also the author of BIRTHRIGHT and co-author of NIMBUS. Both books are available for Amazon Kindle.