Sunday, February 15, 2009


So I've always been late to the party.

For example: I had heard interesting things about Firefly when it actually aired but I never bothered to watch it. Then a few months ago, I found the entire series on DVD and watched it all in a week. And then I spent a few months kicking myself because I had missed it.

Another example: Pushing Daisies. I heard good reviews and my wife insisted I had to watch it. I didn't, not at first. Then I eventually started watching and loving what I saw. Just in time for it to be cancelled.

So when I heard about Dollhouse, I was bound and determined not to miss out on a show, especially one created by Joss Whedon (see my first example above and, while we're at it, Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog). I didn't get a chance to watch it until just now.

For those unfamiliar with the show and its concept, Echo is an "active," an agent for an underground and illegal organization. They send out the actives after programming them with skills, personalities, and memories for various "engagements." Sometimes they're basically escorts. Other times, they're assassins. In the premiere, Echo acted as a negotiator/profiler to help recover a kidnaped little girl.

But there are flies in the ointment. First of all, there is an FBI agent determined to track down the organization and shut it down. And apparently, there's an "active" named Alpha who's a loose cannon.

After watching the premiere, my initial reaction is a bit of skepticism. The concept of this organization is a little hard to swallow. The FBI agent's superior made a good point: if all you want is an escort or an assassin, why go through all the trouble to hire one that's been programmed the way Echo and her compatriots are? I'm hoping that this question will get answered in more detail in future episodes, but let's just say that my suspended disbelief rattled its cage a few times.

I'm also worried about how well Eliza Dushku will fare in this role. It's hard to say after watching her switch into three personalities in one episode (a guy's perfect date, the negotiator, and the "blank" Echo). If Echo really is going to become different people each episode, that's going to take a lot of talent. This whole show is going to hang on Dushku's ability; if she can't pull it off, things might flounder.

There were bright spots. Echo's handler, Boyd Langton (played by Harry Lennix), will be interesting to watch. From what I gather, Langton was a cop who somehow wound up working at the Dollhouse. He had obvious problems with Echo's "engagement" this week; I'm expecting further conflict between him and his superiors.

I'm also thinking that exploring the Alpha subplot will be a blast as well.

Whatever the case, I'm looking forward to watching this one from the beginning. Hopefully it will live up to my expectations. And hopefully it'll be a good, long ride.

1 comment:

Avily Jerome said...

I LOVE Joss Whedon!!!

I'm so glad to have found a fellow-fan!!!

I've been waiting for Dollhouse to premiere for about eight months. The storyline is a little slow getting into it, but I'm really enjoying where he's starting to take it.

As for the show being hung on Eliza's ability- that's the point. She and Joss came up with the idea for the show when they were having a discussion about her career. She felt she'd been typecast, and wanted to really stretch her abilities as an actress, showing the world what she's capable of. Thus, Dollhouse, and it's many opportunities for diversity of character, was born.

Looking forward to seeing what you have to say about it in the future!