Sunday, June 21, 2009


Not to be outdone by Emeny, I decided to try my hand at writing a review for the latest TV show we finished watching; Joss Whedon's Dollhouse.

To start, the show is/was being aired on Fox, a channel that is notorious for canceling shows before they have a chance to shine, most notably a favourite of ours Journeyman and Mr. Whedon's own Firefly. So it was understandably that the news of Joss’ latest creation being aired on Fox was met with some trepidation. Would the show get a chance to establish itself or would the hammer of termination descent just as it’s becoming good?

The premise is fairly original. Volunteers are being wiped of their own personalities and imprinted with whatever persona prominent clients wish their dolls to have. So far so unique.

The show isn’t exactly a slow burner but for several of the initial episodes it does feel like it was going to be a “personality of the week” kinda show and a platform for the Eliza Dushku , a Producer and one of the leads who plays popular doll Echo, to show off her acting chops by being someone else in each episode. None of the other characters are all that engaging either, such as the cocky genius guy who reminds us of his superiority almost every time we see him.

Yet, about 6 episodes in, there is a shift. What threatened to be just another formulaic TV show suddenly reveals itself to be much deeper. Many of the characters become charming and interesting. The show becomes not so much about the concept but takes on a more philosophical angle; namely what makes us human? Is it our character traits or is there something akin to a soul that defines us?

No matter. It definitely feels like Whedon and co. hit their stride in the 2nd half of the season, be it because they didn’t know if another season was to be commissioned and they wanted to offer their viewers a satisfying conclusion regardless of what was to become of the show. Or the fact that everyone involved simply got incredibly comfortable in their roles (writing staff included).

To sum up: we liked it a lot and the pay off near the end is well worth the initial “struggle” through the first half a dozen episodes. There is reason to rejoice as well. Unlike other shows which had a cult following but then were canceled, Dollhouse is getting another season and, personally, I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.



Burnsy said...

Well done Burnsy. Keep up the good work :)

Andrew said...

The show sounds intriguing... and that's coming from someone who thinks that a lot of television is rubbish. (Or maybe I just don't look hard enough.)

I'm always up for a good character-driven sci-fi, so may have to look for a box set of this.

Great first post, Burnsy.