Joss Whedon's New Show Dollhouse: My Initial Thoughts

(Is it just me or does it look like we can *TOTALLY* make out Eliza Dushku's nipple through her thin little tank top in this picture?)

**Spoiler alert, if you haven't yet watched Dollhouse and want to keep it all a surprise for yourself, stop here and read no further and come back when you have.**

When I first heard that Joss Whedon was going to have a new show, I was stoked. Of course, I would loved for it to be another Buffy universe spin-off. Like "Faith" or "Spike" (OMG, how I miss my beloved Spike...) or even a "Dawn & Connor" kind of spin-off (wouldn't THAT be kinky?). I swear, any of those, and I would have peed my pants. But then, I read some online snippets about it being a new sort of show. Darker. More action (yes, more action than just slaying demons). The way Dollhouse was initially described, I thought it was going to be more like what we imagined the "Fox Force Five" pilot to be when Mia Wallace was talking about it in Pulp Fiction: a gang of hot babes with guns and knives going on dangerous missions being sexy bad asses. And well, that's not *exactly* too far off. Dollhouse is more complicated than that though.

I'm totally behind the show's premise which is -- straight from IMDB: A secret organization that employs mind-wiped DNA-altered humans known as Dolls who are implanted with false memories and skills for various missions and tasks. When they are not 'at work' they are living in a real life Dollhouse which gives the show the name. One of those mind-wiped humans, a young woman named Echo, is slowly starting to become aware of herself and what's going on - all the while somebody on the outside is trying to bring the Dollhouse down while getting closer to Echo - possibly not aware that she is one of the Dolls he is after.

But... But I'm not sure the Dollhouse is pulling all of that off with flying colors in the Whedon-style that we've become accustomed. I'm holding off my final judgement because we need to see more episodes. At this moment, I can't quite put my finger on it, but it just *feels* like it's trying too hard to work in the action sequences. I rather wished that the other characters, particularly Amy Acker's character, Dr. Claire Saunders, were getting more screen time. And how cool would have it been for one of the "evil nerd trio" from BtVS to play the part of Topher Brink since they're so similar? The second episode was enormously better than the first (which I've since learned was not the "original" first episode and possibly explains how it came to be as disjointed as I felt it was), and so I am partially reassured that Dollhouse could be the bomb. Still, to give us "A Most Dangerous Game" storyline for the second episode was, ahem, maybe a bit too cliche. The show has license to go into some very, very dark territory with this crisis of identity thing. Bouncing the Dolls back and forth from GFE providing fuck Dolls to bad ass ninja Dolls raises all sorts of issues. Maybe we'll even get to see some boy Dolls in action soon. Or at the very least, more of the Alpha-gone-awry storyline.

Was I the only one that loved hearing Eliza say: "It'll simmer your head meat down to a bubbly brainy fondue" in this commercial for Hulu? Now where is this sort of dialogue in the show? Does it really have no place in the Dollhouse? Hmmm...


    Yesssssssss -- LOVED the hulu ad and her swirly tongue! And yeah, it's like you can hear the FOX folks demanding "more ACTION! More JOKES!" from Joss and "no . . . not THAT for the pilot" a la Firefly. I sorta can't blame them, though, and ultimately think it might make for a more entertaining, accessible (i.e. long running) show. I hope.

    Speaking of ads during Dollhouse: Summer Glau is sure looking skinny. We missed starting at the beginning with the SCC/haven't been watching it so it caught me off guard during that advertisement how she looks like a totally different, skeletal person.

    See, I see the "MORE ACTION" from Fox but not the "MORE JOKES". The first episode of Dollhouse was almost completely devoid of humor or comic relief to break the seriousness. Between both episodes there's been next to no witty banter between the characters. (The Hulu commerical has more in 30 seconds than the entire first episode of Dollhouse.)

    Still, I've got my fingers crossed. :)

    And I can't wait to learn more about what Caroline did in her real life to force her to choose to become Echo. Like just how *bad* could what she have done been?