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Inside Joss' Dollhouse: From Alpha to Rossum Paperback – October 12, 2010


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Frequently Bought Together

Inside Joss' Dollhouse: From Alpha to Rossum + Finding Serenity: Anti-heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon's Firefly (Smart Pop series) + Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon's Firefly Universe (Smart Pop series)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Smart Pop (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935251988
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935251989
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #817,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jane Espenson is a television writer and producer. She has written for shows including Ellen, Gilmore Girls, The O.C, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse and Caprica among many others. She is the co-creator of Warehouse 13 and is best known for her work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Battlestar Galactica.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer VINE VOICE on October 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jane Espenson, editor for this essay collection, is a princess within the Whedonverse and has contributed mightily to all of Joss's key ventures, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete Series (Seasons 1-7) to Firefly - The Complete Series, and has worked on companion books similar to "Inside Joss Dollhouse" for the Smart Pop series. I think her work on Finding Serenity: Anti-heroes, Lost Shepherds And Space Hookers In Joss Whedon's Firefly (Smart Pop Series) is especially commendable.

"Inside," less so. It's not a bad book, and some of the essays are appropriately provocative, but the overall sense I was left with is that the work was hurried, unpolished, even unfinished. That there were good ideas here that lacked the maturity of ripe development. But on further thought, that state of affairs seems to describe the series (Dollhouse: Season One and Dollhouse: The Complete Second Season) the essays are about as well. Dollhouse didn't catch fire until well into the first season, faltered a little at the beginning of the second season, and then became something truly compelling.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Arlo J. Wiley on April 26, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dollhouse premiered in February 2009 and went off the air in January 2010. As far as Joss Whedon shows go, it's not the shortest-lived--Firefly lasted only three months--but at times it felt like the most incomplete. Network tampering harmed the show creatively more than it did Firefly, and its cancellation just as it was finally delivering on its potential was devastating. But Joss Whedon never leaves his stories unfinished, and what little of Dollhouse we had proves surprisingly fertile ground for analysis in Inside Joss' Dollhouse.

The essays in this collection, edited by longtime Whedon writer/geek goddess Jane Espenson, discuss the show's characters, themes, and structure in often enlightening fashion. Thematically, the show primarily dealt with matters of identity, or the "soul," and that the book would deal with the shifting identities of composite characters like Echo and Alpha is to be expected. But in examining the twisty-turny arcs of Adelle and Topher, and the hidden nature of Boyd, the essays make one realize that everyone's identities are fluid.

Before it earned its praise, Dollhouse had to deal with a heavy level of scrutiny and criticism, and remains the most underrated Whedon endeavor. With time and distance, though, I think that Dollhouse will be regarded as the fascinating, compelling science fiction story it is. This book is a necessary first step in its re-evaluation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. LeFevers on June 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
Dollhouse, for all of its divisiveness among fans, was a complex and philosophically challenging show. It had the feel of the best sci-fi (Asimov comes to mind) in the way that it used its speculative fiction premise less as a geeky adventure and more as a vehicle for exploring humanity.

The depth of the characterization and writing on Dollhouse renders this book of essays uniquely rewarding. Almost none of this feels like a high school English paper, grasping at straws to prove some paper-thin thesis. The show is deep enough that each essayist is able to sink their teeth into the material without overreaching or making weak conclusions. The character studies (one essay focuses on Topher's moral development, and another analyzes the way Boyd is viewed by those around him) are especially good, shedding new light on these complex characters.

This book kept me interested, and made me want to re-watch the series from the start so I could see it with fresh eyes.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dollhouse ended way too soon. There are so many meta and micro stories within the show that have not been told that it would be ideal if Dollhouse was eventually continued on in film form, much as Star Trek found new life through feature films. I absolutely loved this series, and loved thee essays on the philosophical themes presented.
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By Tabby on December 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this book to be an interesting, and even at times insightful, read. The essays chosen are well-written and very in-depth as far as each look into Dollhouse. Reading the opinions of others on a show that I enjoy, and have my own thoughts on as well, was fascinating; even going so far as to at times make me see things that perhaps I did not before or marvel at the fact that I wasn't alone in some of my own views. The essays that Jane Espenson decided on for this novel were chosen well, and that makes me wonder more about those essays that didn't make the cut.
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