It's well known among those who cover TV that the Fox network sends out the best promotional swag with screeners of its shows. For last year's "24" premiere, they sent out a Jack Bauer action figure. With the DVD of this season premiere of "Bones," they sent out a Kathy Reich's book and socks (socks!). And, of course, they hand out t-shirts like candy. Over the past couple years, I've gotten a "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" tee, two "House" tees and a makeshift jersey celebrating the network's new sitcom "Brothers" (sorry, guys -- even a free shirt won't make me say nice things about that show).
So, when I received the screener of the season premiere of "Dollhouse," I wasn't surprised to see a t-shirt sharing space with my DVD. But even better than a shirt is the hilarious note from show creator Joss Whedon that accompanied the DVD and the soft, red tee bearing the words "Dollhouse Activewear."
Lest you think Whedon restricts his wit to his series, let me share with you a few excerpts from the note, which is one of the funniest things I've ever received with a screener (yes, funnier than the prescription bottle/pencil holder I got with my "House" DVD).
The note, addressed to "Press Member" starts thusly:
"You hold in your delicate paws a rough cut of "Vows," the first episode of the second season of 'Dollhouse,' premiering Friday, Sept. 25 9 p.m. on Fox. More importantly, you also hold a free t-shirt! So that's a thumbs-up right there, no? I mean, do you even have to watch the show? It's clearly t-shirt-tastic! Did 'Grey's Anatomy' send you a shirt? They did? (Did they send any extra? I'd kill.)"
The note goes on to reference how "Dollhouse" barely evaded cancellation and garnered a second season or, as it's put in the memo "Like a man with the bright-eyed euphoria of narrowly escaped death, "Dollhouse" is coming back from a hilariously unexpected non-cancellation with a verve, a joy and a visceral excitement that borders on manic."
After that, there's some more info on the show and a couple references to series co-star Olivia Williams's hair (apparently she has a new haircut). Look, I liked "Dollhouse" quite a bit last season, particularly the later episodes. And, if the new season is half as energetic and witty as this note, I'm sold. The t-shirt also helps.