Like many others, I have been really excited over Joss Whedan’s newest television show Dollhouse. After Firefly it is hard not to be hugely excited as that show as just so good. So last night, I happily sat down and watched the new show in hopes that it would be able to fulfill some of the scifi goodness that I so desire later in the week.
The storyline of Dollhouse is that there is a science in the not so distant future that allows people to wipe other’s personalities so that they can imprint new personalities on that person, therefor making that person able to fulfill any task you want them to have. This, of course, is illegal and so even the FBI doesn’t even really believe that there are still organizations who still practice the act. That is except for one particular agent whose goal is to find and crack down the biggest plant called the Dollhouse.
The story itself is kind of strange but I can go with it. It’s like some weird show about what pod people would be like if the were capitalists. It also has resemblances of The Pretender from the early 90s because the girls who are in the dollhouse can remember stuff from before their memory wipes which I am sure will lead to some sort of rise against the establishment. It is at the very least a very interesting idea that could really be cool if used right. It gives Joss a lot of ways to go with it and could be the basis for a very long show if it proves popular enough.
The acting was so-so. I think that Firefly had a much better base than what Dollhouse actually has, but it still has some promise. In particular is the casting of Tahmoh Penikett as the FBI agent. Penikett if you don’t know was previously cast as Helo in Battlestar Gallactica and in my opinion was one of their better actors despite not being in one of the main roles. Here again I think he gives a good performance and am happy to see him move on (haven’t kept up on BSG recently, did they kill him off???). I also am a little up in the air about Eliza Dushku who is previously known for Buffy and Tru Calling. She seems somewhat awkward as the main role, and even the main character, yet when she stepped into the role of the new personality she was pretty darn good. Though she didn’t really look the part of the new personality which is unfortunate.
Overall, I don’t think the show is as good as Firefly in the least, and that isn’t just because of high hopes. It lacks in story and in acting compared to Firefly. Still though, taking it on its own it still isn’t the greatest shows out there even for sci-fi. If they ever put it up against Heroes or BSG I would choose those two over Dollhouse. It isn’t horrible though either and could definitely get better with time as things start to come together a little more. I think the show has a great base, just a shakey start.
I give the show a rating of about a 7 out of 10. It’s definitely worth the watch but doesn’t knock me out of the park. I think this show could very easily do well if people sit down and watch it considering the horrible state of television on Friday nights. This could also ring a deathtoll for the show too as Fridays has only worked for a select few television shows over the last decade. Maybe Dollhouse can buck the trend, Joss Whedan seems to think so. But I tend to think he is just trying to do damage control.