Too Soon?

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Memo to rabid Whedonoids: YOU ARE DUMB.

It's funny. Yesterday, Ubisoft announced "Beyond Good and Evil 2". It's the next project from talented game designer Michel Ancel. The first "Beyond Good and Evil" was an undisputed* masterpiece that nobody bought, due to the holiday glut and limited distribution. Damn shame.

This sequel news makes me happy. So happy that I approach a level of giddiness most of you probably think is impossible. I hope it's good, and I hope it finds the audience it deserves, and odds are, on its eventual release date, I'll be hurling myself at Best Buy with as much velocity as I can get away with. But that's where it fucking stops.

It's not my job to help Ubisoft sell the game. And I'm sure as hell not going to mount some sort of preemptive evangelism campaign out of fear that, if I don't, I'll never get to play "Beyond Good and Evil 3". I'll buy the game. If it's good, I'll tell friends who might like it about it. And that's all.

Which, getting to my point, makes me a better person than Nathan Nolastname, who's trying to kick off a fan campaign to make sure "Dollhouse" doesn't get cancelled. No, don't berate your DVR for not catching the premiere of Joss Whedon's new show. This campaign is predating the show by a good seven months, apparently under the theory that a bad idea is just a good idea without a decent head start.

Why bother in the first place? Because Whedon nerds are still fucking nerds, that's why. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"I obviously know that it's abnormal to start a campaign like this so early, but I have watched so many shows end badly and talked with so many people who have stated 'I wish we had done this earlier'. We know that FOX is under new regime and are supporting the show completely. We would like the fans to be just as proactive as the network and hype the show to the best of their abilities -- so no one can ever say 'we should have done this, we should have done that'. - The Dollhouse forum leader himself.

Don't worry, dude. You'll never hear "you should have done that" from this corner. Here at You Are Dumb Dot Net, we concern ourselves with should NOTS. Like you should NOT use the word "proactive", ever. You should NOT be emotionally scarred by cancelled television shows. You should NOT believe that the reason all those fan campaigns failed was due to a lack of nerd dedication and early nerd action. If we've learned one thing from Snakes on a Plane and Serenity, it's that the combined force of the most dedicated nerds in the country can move maybe a million people, tops. And unless the first five thousand of them have Nielsen diaries, you're fucked anyway.

But don't take my word for it. Enjoy this brief listing of the five worst ideas for promoting a TV show to the general public known to man.

#5: "Why don't we make little cardboard dollhouses and set them up all around towns. A viral marketing campaign that gets people thinking 'WTF are all the dollhouses for?'" - Ultamatt.

Um, because viral marketing campaigns only work if you can pay them off with a big reveal. Otherwise, anyone who wonders what the dollhouse for in the first place will never actually find out. Also? Littering. You won't save the show, you'll just make Iron Eyes Cody's corpse weep.

#4: "You could make it artistic, with writing all over it, creepy, or just a dollhouse, like the personalities for the characters, the combinations are endless, but the vessel is the same." - Further elaboration from Ultamatt.

Amend my above comment. This is now littering that will get you profiled as a serial killer, and you'll probably be arrested for the murder of Iron Eyes Cody.

#3:"My suggestions are to use the principles of Word of Mouth Marketing and keep it cheap or free. Get the influencers to buzz about it. Get it on WWdN. You already got it on Whedonesque. Get everyone you know to Twitter it... Get regular updates on io9. Continue to get the blogging community to buzz about it, and then start spreading the arms of the virus beyond the standard scifi blog community and over to more mainstream blogs. Make some LOLcats. Get your friends involved in the facebook fan page... Can we set up a Dollhouse in Second Life? - "babydoll".

Put down the Web 2.0 and back away slowly, babydoll. I don't know who these mysterious "influencers" are, but I guaranfuckingtee you that if one of these influencers sees a Dollhouse-themed LOLcat, their next action will not be to call all the people they influence and influence them to watch Dollhouse. Even if said cat is in ur dollhouse, wastin' ur fuckin' time. Also, you can set up a dollhouse in Second Life, as long as you don't mind a parade of avatars coming through and fucking all the dolls.

#2: "another idea is for those that do fan art, where ever you post it (livejournal, fansites, fanpop ect) why not slash dollhouse with other scifi/fantasy shows like smallville or supernatural and post on sites and comunities such as that" - "amazondebs".

And this is why fan campaigns fail. Fans think the "broader audience" is people who enjoy Supernatural fan art. Also, since the show is seven months away, the only Dollhouse fan art people will draw are pictures of Eliza Dushku in tank tops, or Eliza Dushku in tank tops having sex with Sonic The Hedgehog.

#1: "What I would like to see happen is EVERYONE spreading the word about Dollhouse to their friends, web-friends, coworkers, and whomever else will listen and may be potentially interested. The point is not to come off as a superfan of a show that hasn't even aired yet (I agree that is quite annoying when people do it to me), but to show genuine interest in a show and make them believe that they MUST at least watch the first episode and make their own decision. - Forum Overlord Nathan.

That's the most awesome advice ever. Tell everyone who will listen, whether they choose to associate with you, are stuck being related to you, happen to reside in the next cube from you, or can't get away from you on the bus that they MUST watch the first episode of a TV show that won't air until January. But make sure you don't do it in a way that's annoying or comes off as a superfan. And if you can pull that off, I guarantee you you'll win a gold fucking medal the very first year they host the Asperger's Olympics.

*Or at least it damn well better be as long as I'm in earshot, fuckers.