Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"It's the profanity of the future"

So I've always been curious about the Amityville Dollhouse movie, because, you know, it's a movie about a dollhouse. That's rare enough, but ... one that's supposed to be scary?

The movie follows a bland blended family. The mom has a prepubescent son with a black Spock haircut and unnervingly dark circles under his eyes. The dad has a teenage son, a jock asshole, and an elementary age daughter who's mainly an excuse to get a dollhouse in the picture. The dad has built an enormous house on a vacant desert lot, but waits until the day they move in to open the old tool shed that was on the property, now in their backyard. Mightn't a tool shed have come in handy whilst you were building a house?

Never mind. In the shed, he finds the malevolent dollhouse, and gives it to the little girl for a birthday gift. Fortunately, his flakey New Age sister and her biker boyfriend are experts in the occult, and recognize its evil nature immediately, so I was fairly confident of where the story was going when I turned it off after half an hour or so, bored with the domestic drama. I was vaguely curious if and how they were going to explain where the house came from, but not that curious.

The dollhouse itself, a replica of the house from the original movie, is quite cool, and if the price was right, I'd take my chances with the curse.

So then I switched over and started watching season 3 of Veronica Mars. I bought season 2 sight unseen, and was kinda disappointed in it. Still well-written and all, but lacking the spark, wandering into some time-wasting subplots that detracted from the more interesting characters. (Hmm, Twin Peaks deja vu). So I'm test-driving this season, and two episodes in: so far, so good.

It's probably the best transition to college I've ever seen on a tv show. Also, it's nice that Veronica's in a temporarily angst-free relationship. I mean, why not? I always think tv shows break up couples too much and too fast, just because they're afraid of our short attention spans. Then the breakup/makeup wheel gets more tiresome than the perceived dullness of a happy couple could be.

The second episode featured a meaty Wallace/Logan subplot (always a good thing; they're the two characters whose occasional neglect is most criminal). They totally got to match wits, with Logan getting some hilarious lines, and Wallace quietly turning the tables on him. And Veronica's storyline put her in new moral dilemnas, this time based on her having too many scruples rather than too few. So far, everybody's new twists are still in character and true to their previous selves. Which is why (gush, gush), despite the occasional misstep, it's such a great show. If there's such a thing as psychological continuity, here it is.

Oh, and I loved Veronica's introduction to the word "frak," especially when she starts using it later herself. Thumbs down to the new mellow theme music, though.

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