Warchief Annabella wrote:
Why hasn't Joss Whedon really broken big into the mainstream, even in the way that a show like Gossip Girl or some sh*t like that has?
Honestly? Because Whedon's material is too intelligent for the general populace.
for instance. You had two levels to that show. On the surface was the cheesy, campy B-rate monster movie stuff with one of the most laughable premises ever (cheerleader fights vampires.) Underneath, you had layers of metaphor, both obvious and subtle. Unless you were smart enough to catch the metaphor, though, the show would have just looked downright STUPID. And I think the average American TV viewer wants their stuff spoon-fed to them and doesn't look deeper for the metaphor.
Now, to be fair, you also had the baggage of a truly bad movie by the same name which dissuaded people who might have otherwise given the series a chance (it nearly did me.) But overall, I think it was simply that the show was too smart.
Another good example of this problem is the original 1998 series Cupid
. I recently found a low-quality VHS-to-divx transfer of this show on BitTorrent and downloaded it so that I could see if it was as good as I remembered, or if I had idealized it due to my trauma of its early cancellation, and also to do a side-by-side comparison to the NEW incarnation of Cupid
presently airing on ABC.
It was still good. But what's more, it was much more subtle. It was witty. The dialogue was rapid-fire. You had to actually pay attention to follow it. No wonder it did so badly.
Alas, Rob Thomas learned his lesson; the new Cupid
is neither subtle nor witty and has essentially been lobotomized. The dialogue doesn't hop along, the characters don't talk over each other the way real people do, the ambiance of Chicago is gone with the change of venue to NYC, and rather than having to pay attention and THINK about the show and characters and story, pretty much everything is spoonfed to you until you feel like you're being bludgeoned about the head and shoulders with the clue-bat. And since the new actors have pretty much no chemistry, the show isn't nearly as good. But I'm sure it's appealing to a much broader audience, the audience that doesn't expect their shows to be smart.
I will say, I have no issues with the Friday night time-slot for Dollhouse--
while yes, that is generally a bad time-slot, for FOX a number of series have found a great audience there, especially cult series like The X-Files
, which also started in that slot and didn't move to Sundays until its fourth season.