Topher Brink Is the Stupidest Genius I've Ever Seen


So, the season finale of Dollhouse was Friday night. I watched it. I didn't hate it as much as I hated a lot of the other episodes, but I didn't like it. The characters all remain so repellent, and the smidgen of feminism spouted by Echo ("superior people don't carve up women" or some such thing) is too little late. And Topher continues to be a nasty, horrible, vacuous suck of television screen time.

This guy is supposed to be some technological genius uber-nerd, and he doesn't even practice basic freaked-out geek data safety. If you have really super-duper important data, you don't just back it up; you back it up A BUNCH OF TIMES and you store the backups in different locations, ideally as far away from each other as possible, so that if the one in Saskatchewan is destroyed by an avalanche and the one is LA is stolen during a burglary and a third in a safety deposit box in Chicago destroyed when the building is gutted by fire, you'll still have the fourth backup you stashed at the back of the walk-in safe at your mother's business in rural Arizona. (This is what I did with various drafts of my dissertation, except for the Saskatchewan location--that was too hard to swing.)

Not Topher! He makes one original and one backup, and he leaves them both in the same place. This bit of stupidity makes possible an important plot point--Alpha destroys the original "wedge" that contains Caroline's really identity and steals the backup, which means Caroline could cease to exist if someone just drops (gasp!) a black plastic computer whatsit. But it also means that Topher is an idiot, not a genius.


Yeah, I thought that was pretty idiotic. Also, I thought that line about superior beings not carving up women -- well, I actually thought it sounded sexist. Maybe I'm being way to picky here (and, like I've said before, I don't hate the show the way you do), but I kind of think superior beings don't carve up ANYONE. That line made me cringe because it gave me the same sort of feeling I always got hearing the Mormon authorities talk about their "sweet wives" and how they were the "crowning achievement" of Creation - basically on a pedestal, which is still an objectification.

True, that's not what she was saying - but it left me with the same taste in my mouth. Just a feeble attempt to seem like the show ISN'T objectifying women.

Okay, I'm scratching my head here. You have been consistently posting as to how much you hate this show, but you keep watching it? Is this analogous to the highway accident; you want to turn away, but can't?

Please enlighten me.

Hi Mr. Nighttime--

I'm not watching the show for entertainment; I watch it because it's part of my scholarship: it's part of what I study and I'm trying to be a responsible scholar. As I wrote in my first entry on the topic:

There will be additional installments of "Reasons 'Dollhouse' Is Misogynist Bullshit," both because there are many, MANY reasons to cite, and because sometimes I'm committed to showing the flaws in something I've invested strongly in, like the Mormon church or the feminist ideology of Joss Whedon.

There are plenty of things I don't care about and so don't watch, but I care about Joss Whedon's work and I'm still working on analyses of Buffy. I watched all of "Firefly," even though it bored the hell out of me (bored me, as opposed to offending me--I didn't dislike it enough to have really strong feelings about why it didn't work), so I would understand Joss's larger oeuvre. It would be irresponsible for me to continue to discuss Joss's feminism if I don't pay attention to how he treats gender in his more recent work.

Hi Rebecca--

I agree with your assessment. That line was REALLY annoying, for all sorts of reasons. And Alpha did cut up PEOPLE, not just women--we got to see him cut Victor up. All of which made him a sick, sadistic bastard, not the least bit superior.

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This page contains a single entry by Holly published on May 11, 2009 9:46 AM.

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