Dollhouse   1 comment

Well, the wait is over, and Joss Whedon fans have had just over a full hour now to digest the first episode of Mutant Enemy’s latest production, Doll House.  I’m a pretty solid Whedon fan, and I thought at first that I wouldn’t be able to watch it, but fortune smiled upon me and I was able to make the mad dash into my living room to flip the TV on.

My first thoughts concern Eliza Dushku.  Buffy and Angel fans will remember her as Faith, the rogue slayer, and when the episode first started we saw Dushku (did they call her Carolina in that opening?  Caroline?  I’m sure it wasn’t Coraline, I would’ve made note of it) playing what felt a whole lot like Faith.  I considered what a sci-fi show starring Faith would entail, and I got a very “Dark Angel”ish vibe off of it.  (One last note about that intro: “Have you ever tried to clean a slate?  You can still read what was on it before” simultaneously struck me as a really cool line, but also like the kind of line that people would never say in real life.  Make of that what you will.)

However, the rest of the episode quickly convinced me that we weren’t going to be seeing a show starring Faith or Max.  Instead, we meet Echo and the Dollhouse organization.

I enjoyed the episode, but I want to say that it struck me as being very different from Joss Whedon’s standard presentations.  He said once that all of his shows are about “created family.”  And while I can certainly see that as being a potential direction that the show might eventually head in, this first episode never gave a sense of  “these characters are your protagonists.”  Buffy had the core four of the Scoobies discussing why Buffy didn’t want to fight vampires but why she would.  Angel had the soon-to-be charter of Angel Investigations being fast-talked into setting up a proper business.  Firefly gave us a pull through of the whole ship which gave us almost all the characters (one who wouldn’t be a character, and one major player yet to be revealed.)

In this show?  I never got that sense of togetherness, and I think it was intentional.  I could tell who the main characters were, but they were clearly not a family.  They were coworkers, and in an organization such as Dollhouse it would make sense that familial relationships might not be a priority.

I also appreciate the fact that several characters repeatedly stressed that what was going on was criminal, and a variation on the line “we aren’t interested in justice” appeared at least twice.  It’s not a wacky-fun-lovin’ group, it’s a morally ambiguous (at best) and potentially evil (at worst) enterprise.

What we have here might be likened as the upside of Wolfram & Hart (keep in mind that I’ve only seen the first two seasons of Angel, and as such don’t know how very wrong later seasons might prove that comparison to be.)

Now, it’s altogether possible that the reason why this episode didn’t feel like your normal Joss Whedon Pilot is that it wasn’t the first episode created.  I believe that we’ll be seeing the original first episode next week.  Will it feel like a more standard Joss Whedon show then?  Possibly.  Would that be a good thing?  Possibly, but I’d argue no.

Of course, we’ve only got the first episode for a lengthy series (did they say the phrase “five years” at the beginning there?  A five year mission, boldly going into new TV conventions?)  Anything goes, and probably will.  However, this episode didn’t suffer from the weaknesses that so many pilot episodes suffer from, so I’m wondering what the show will be like months from now when I can look back at the pilot from an established status quo.

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One response to “Dollhouse

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  1. It was set in the future from the original Transformers series,
    with many story tie-ins. ” The company said the comics have been optimized for the i – Pad by a “painstaking re-coloring” of the digital versions. It just wasn’t that well made and Colin Ferrell wasn’t that interesting as Bullseye either.

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