This Friday's 'Dollhouse,' titled 'Belonging,' focuses on Sierra and it's a good one, but we've told you that before
The fable is told...
Back in the old country, there was a village and in that village lived many TV fans. Above that village, in a poorly ventilated shack in the mountains, lived a TV critic. He liked to recommend programs to the villagers. Sometimes they listened. Sometimes they didn't.
And one day that TV critic saw a show he thought the villagers would love, so he ran down the mountain and went into the town square and yelled, "If you do not watch this show, the seas will boil and the trees will topple." And the villagers, always looking for good new shows, and occasionally suggestible in the face of extreme hyperbole, decided to watch. At least a few of them did. But they didn't like the new show and those who didn't watch noted that the trees went untoppled and the seas were as cold as they'd been before.
Several months later, they noticed the TV critic practically rolling down the hill in a cloud of dust, rushing back into the square. And again the townspeople gathered, but warier this time.
"Remember that show I told you to watch last month?" the critic bellowed. "Sorry about that. It wasn't really as good as I thought it was. But it's gotten better. Much better. And if you don't watch it now, disease will afflict your cattle and your chickens will stop laying eggs!"
Well, the townspeople still enjoyed good TV and they still occasionally trusted the judgment of the critic, even if he usually saved his kindest words for premium channels they didn't get. So some of them tuned in for the episode and found it better, but still not proportionate to the critic's excitement. And while there was, indeed, a small and dedicated portion of the town population who had become fans of the series, most didn't bother with the next episode. In addition, despite poor viewership, they were unsurprised to see that their cattle remained robust and beefy and omelets flowed as freely as they had before.
Then three months later, they heard a cacophony of hooves, as the critic galloped down from his shack on his horse. After the initial confusion regarding where the critic had gotten a horse on his salary and how he was feeding the horse, given how rarely he came down to town to get provisions, they turned away and returned to their business at hand.
"Townspeople!" the critic screamed in the middle of an empty square. "I told you to watch that show and it was good, right? Right? It has a complex mythology and attractive lead actors, right? Well, as good as I told you it was before, it may be even better now! Watch! Watch! If you do not watch, your crops will fail and you'll never again be offered this kind of quality serialized programming on network TV. Watch!"
But the townspeople didn't fear for their crops and it was obvious that their appetite for serialized programming was more suited for cable or the Internet. Some of them watched the show, but they watched because they watched already and not because of the critic, but most of them stayed true to the old ways and just watched CBS procedurals instead, for CBS procedurals were reliable and close-ended, if not necessarily dynamic and challenging.
And the critic sadly rode back up the mountain on his horse.
On the way up, he was eaten by a wolf.
That, dear friends, was the parable of The Critic Who Cried "Dollhouse." And yes, it's a paraphrased version of the original story by Isaac Bashevis Singer, who I believe wrote of a critic unable to convince his followers to watch "Manimal."
And yet here I am again... I'm not urging you to watch "Dollhouse" on Friday (Oct. 23) night. I'm just saying that Friday's episode, titled "Belonging," is a really good episode. If you watch? I'm pretty confident you'll be happy, but I can't vouch for what will happen to your livestock or your fields of wheat if you don't.
[More after the break...]