Não percam uma excelente entrevista que Joss Whedon deu ao site iesb.net. Nesta entrevista Joss fala de tudo um pouco: 2ª temporada, relações com a Fox, Epitah One, Amy Acker. Leia tudo depois do salto.
Q: How does it feel to be back for a Season 2?
Joss: This process has been like skiing in a cartoon, where you go up the mountain and down the mountain, and up and down. Right now, we are pretty high up on it because we realized that we were actually going to have to work for a living, this summer. The first thing I did was get together with my writers and start talking about what possibilities there were, particularly after we had made an incredibly strange book-end to the show, with “Epitaph One.” And, what we discovered was that the possibilities were entirely limitless, and that we had more excitement and enthusiasm about the show than we did by a country mile, last year. We are in it now.
Q: Are you more confident in what the show is now?
Joss: Before, it was an idea that we had a lot of trouble defining, and America got to watch that. Now, we feel like it is defined. The network understands what it is, and we understand what it is. We know what our cast is capable of, which is wonders. We came in with the most excitement, and have been having a great deal of fun, ever since. The mandate has been, “How far can we take this? How much can we twist the knife? Where can we find alliances that we did not have? Where can we pull people apart, who seem to be together? And, most importantly, how can we build Echo up from nothing?”
That’s basically where she started last year, and we want to really give her a sense of momentum and purpose that will ground the show, in a way that it couldn’t be last year. It has been our mission statement to make things harder for everybody, find ways to bring back all the extraordinary re-occurring actors we had and, most importantly, let things begin to cohere. And, the good news about that is, once Echo starts really realizing that, as a person, she not only exists, but she has a mission and something she wants.
Q: Will what happened to Echo in the Season 1 finale affect her in Season 2?
Joss: This year, we are going to see the results of everything she went through last year, particularly the event with Alpha, where Echo was downloaded with all of her personalities. We are going to see what affect that’s had on her, and we are going to find her to be a great deal less passive and a great deal more directed in what she wants. That is, of course, going to make her life a lot harder. The more she finds out about what is going on around her, and the more we find out, the creepier it is going to get because creepy is what it makes it fun.
Q: How will “Epitaph One” change things within the series itself?
Joss: “Epitaph One” did present the particular problem of serving two masters — people who had seen it and people who hadn’t. I am used to that. I made an entire movie (Serenity) that had that problem, and only that problem. So, we talked about, “Do we want to just forget about it?” And, the answer was that we were fascinated by that world, in its connection to this world. We will see the future again. In fact, we will see it, first thing. We will go back in time, as a book-end structure for this first episode. So, if you haven’t seen that, it will explain itself. It will say what that episode said, which is that all of this will result in disaster.
The actual bulk of the show takes place three months after the events of “Omega,” but we will be visiting that future, every now and then. It will not be something where we can change it, or where we send people back in time, or that anybody has metal under their flesh. I love that stuff, but apparently that gets you canceled.
Q: What did you think when they told you that “Epitaph One” wouldn’t air on television? Were you disappointed?
Joss: When they told me it wasn’t going to air, I thought, “Oh, well, we’ve been canceled.” I was disappointed because I thought, “What a great way to go out.” And, I was so proud of what we had accomplished. I loved that episode and the performances in it, from the people we had in the future and from our regular cast, in the bits they did where they all got to play a little something that they hadn’t played before. I really, really wanted it to be on, so when all of that didn’t happen, after a lot of begging and whining on my part, I figured, “Well, okay, that is the death nail. It is just not worth it to them.” So, there was a little bit of re-calibration.
It wasn’t a question of panic, so much as, “Okay, well, it is going to be on the DVD. It will exist, and the true fans will go to it.” Now, it does create the problem of the new viewers versus the old, but any season does. We have so many regulars and relationships, and so much mythology already, around the central premise that this woman can be anyone, that this first episode has a lot of catching up for any viewer, whether or not “Epitaph One” was a part of it.
Q: You’ve said that viewers shouldn’t necessarily rely on what we saw in those memories in “Epitaph One.” Will there be a way that we can trust you, as storytellers, or will you be a wiggling out of some of the things that you showed us in the future?
Joss: Yes, I did say that the flash forwards of our own characters, and what they’re going through, was based on an imprint memory that could be somewhat faulty. And, I said that for the exact reason that we may want to fudge that. There is no way you can map out a television show completely, in the first year, because in the fourth year, you find out that, “My God, that works so much better,” and to be wed to the other thing would be a disservice, so we did allow ourselves some wiggle room. I also do not think of it as cheating because they are my rules. It is my show and, if you do not like my show, I’m going home.
But, no, it isn’t because this whole thing is about perceived reality. It is about the difference in how I think of you, and how you think of you, and the events. So, to me, it made sense to have that in our pocket. What we are doing is basically moving towards those memories, but we are also being very cagey about the context. The great thing about all of those scenes is that they asked as many questions as they provided answers for, and some of the answers to some of those questions will not be what people expect.
Q: In regard to the character of Echo, one of the common criticisms among viewers was that it was hard to connect to her, as a character, because she was wiped clean, at the end of every episode. Going forward, how do you envision people being able to connect to Echo if, in the end, she is just going to be blank again? Or, is she going to be that well impacted by all of those downloads in the Season 1 finale?
Joss: She has gone to a new level this season, and we will see that she has a cohesiveness and a mission that makes every engagement mean a great deal more to her. And, Echo has her own agenda, which is something she didn’t quite have before. We built to that in “Omega,” when she had been dumped with all the personalities and we heard her say her name. At the end of the first episode back, we are going to see how far she’s come, and it’s a little further than the people around her know. So, we are addressing that exact thing.
Q: So, even after her wipes, she is going to have a personality that viewers will see?
Joss: We are going to see her as we know her, and then we are going to see something very different. That is pretty much all I can say.
Q: Whether it’s really true or not, how does it feel to know that Kevin Reilly says he is motivated by fear from your fans?
Joss: He should fear them. God knows, we do. I think he was probably motivated by what we are all motivated by. It is definitely true that the fans made themselves heard, but that was by loving the thing and DVR-ing it.
There was no angry campaign. There was no bottles of anything being sent. There wasn’t any of that. It was just the studio’s understanding that the math of television is different than in used to be. We may not go out as broad as something like Lost, but the fans will come, forever. That revenue stream does not dry up. That is the thing that ultimately motivated them.
Q: You’ve talked about having trouble defining the show, in the first season, which seemed to have a lot to do with having very attractive people doing shower scenes. Can you talk more about the pressures that you had from the network, and what you are doing to deal with that?
Joss: The network did not pressure us to have shower scenes, in every episode. That just happened, naturally. But, we actually haven’t broken a story with a shower scene yet, in Season 2. We are a little disappointed in ourselves, and we know that we have let America down, too.
They were not pressuring us to make the show sexier or edgier. They were basically pressuring us to make the show safer and easier to take, which is completely understandable, on a perfectly reasonable agenda. I’m just not very good at that. So, if there is something in the show that seems a little bit off, or maybe a little bit racy, know that that was totally me and Andrew Chambliss. The other writers are all Mormons.
Q: What was important to you, in defining the show for Season 2?
Joss: Defining the show meant getting out of the idea that it was only an engagement-of-the-week adventure show. Ultimately, the reason that people were coming back to the show, and the reason the show became fascinating, was the cast. That’s what people tuned in to see. It wasn’t necessarily the engagement-of-the-week, though we work very hard to make those as interesting and as useful as possible, to reflect back on everybody.
But, ultimately, it was the ensemble. It was the people and the characters that we wanted to talk about. As soon as we had license to do that, and as soon as the inner workings of the Dollhouse became as important as the engagements, then we felt that the show started to work, and the network felt the same thing.
Q: You said that last season, you didn’t necessarily have the show defined. In retrospect, do you think you might have just been a little too candid about the difficulties you were having, finding the show?
Joss: The thing is, I can’t help it. The struggle we were going through was monumental. The struggle the cast was going through was reflective of the fact that we never shot one single episode in order. We literally had to give them memos about what they knew or didn’t know yet, for every show, because we were scrambling so much.
I may, in fact, be too candid, but we were under a microscope. Every time we got shut down, people wanted answers and some explanation. And, if an episode was nothing more than diverting, and we hadn’t quite gotten in the experience as much, I wanted people to know that I knew that, and that we were trying to get something out. The struggle we had was causing it to stumble a little bit. I can’t put something out there that is less than what it could be, without some sort of explanation. If I didn’t say anything, the fans tended to panic. But, I also can’t help myself. I wanted people to know the truth.
Q: Can the post-apocalyptic stuff in “Epitaph One” be avoided?
Joss: I tend to think not. “Epitaph One” makes our job more interesting. It basically did give us a sense of direction, and a sense of exactly where we wanted to go with the season. The stuff that happens in “Epitaph One” is 10 years down the road. The show could run for a long time, before any of that stuff starts to manifest. But, it did give us a sense of what we wanted to talk about, in terms of the external world, the abuse of power, the internal workings of the Dollhouse, the alliances that are going to form and the feuds that are going to happen.
Q: Can you still make a show for however many million per episode, if you are only on TV for a few million people, but you are number one with these other new measures? Does the business model change, depending on where and how the show is watched?
Joss: The business model does change. It breaks down, between the studio and the network. The network has the revenue of airing it. The studio has the revenue of owning it. And, ownership is now part of television. DVD is really the market, although that market will, of course, be sucked up by the Internet, once that technology progresses, in a few years. It’s not so much about being streamed for huge amounts of money, but all of those revenue streams are taken into account.
It used to be who was tuned in that night, but our DVR numbers were about the highest, while our Friday night numbers were hilarious. So, they are taking all of that into account. Also, DVDs and feeds are being bought now, 10 years after the fact, so they are thinking long-term, which is not something you expect from these people, so we are really grateful for that.
Q: If you got the same exact numbers, at the end of Season 2, given your experience this past year, would you still be worried or would you be more confident?
Joss: I do not think I have a worry left in me. I think I have reached a zen place. And, the fact is that I got to tell stories with this cast. Had they taken all of that away from me, I felt like “Epitaph One” was a hell of a way to go out, even though it was made for very strange reasons. But, I am so grateful to be back here now, taking it one day at a time.
I’m always preparing for the storm. That is how I used to live with Buffy. We ended every season knowing that, if that was the last episode, we’d feel some sense of closure. We are trying to do that same thing, without ever closing the door. So, as long as I am getting to play with these people, I’m happy. The numbers have never been my concern. I have never done huge numbers. I am not a big hit guy. What I do is find the best ensembles on television, and then I make them work their asses off. And, as long as I get to do that, I am happy.
Q: How much can you use Amy Acker this season, given her new series?
Joss: Not nearly as much as we would like, but we are going to make the most of her in those few episodes.