Tuesday, March 17, 2009


When is a concept better (and more provocative) then the well-polished immaculately burnished results? Well, in the world of mainstream (particularly network) TV, with just about four out of five projects that make it to prime time. Still, one would hope that the mastermind behind the exquisitely far reaching and vastly pleasurable Buffy the Vampire Slayer might have one up on most of the next-big-idea guys and gals, but his newest slice of TV originality, Dollhouse, just doesn’t turn the final corner.
The drama, featuring actress Eliza Dushku ( Buffy’s memorable running buddy Faith), about a corporation devoted to providing the services of pre-programmed humans in order to fit them to the desires of their wealthy clients, and then “wipes” them clean afterwards is chock full of potential big themes (computers as substitute for souls, modern day enslavement, personality as social signifier, the rise of the robo generation, contempo fractured identities) and its damn certain to include a bit of feminine ass-kicking once or twice per episode. So far it seems all vaguely intriguing, seemingly percolating with some underlying darkly thematic thread, yet it just comes across as a less playful, more muted version of Alias, with Dushku donning a newly sexed out costume plus identity twice per sixty minutes.
Since it’s Weedon, we’ll hang on a few episodes more, and put the blame on the ever emasculating network powers that be, cuz so far it ain’t the sorta dollhouse that sticks deep within your TV induced dreamscape, and Dushku comes across as far too pouty and skindeep to carry it one her lithe shoulders.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you on this one, Scott. I've been watching, and I really, really, WANT to like it, but I'm disappointed so far. Wheedon's shortlived scifi/western "Serenity" was a far superior effort, but was never allowed to really get going. I only hope he's trying to lull network execs into complacency with this superficial start, and when they're no longer really paying attention, pull out the big themes that this series should be exploring.

mdoggie said...

Unfortunately Diane, Joss is not going to lull anyone with this one. According to Mr. Whedon himself; I think I'm referencing either "Rolling Stone" or "Entertainment Weekly", my only regular pop-culture input, Joss pretty much gave up on this one. In fact, his experience with losing creative control inspired him to drop off the grid and create his very own internet-only "Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" with Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion. "...Dr Horrible's..." is available as a download from iTunes. Well worth it as it may be the future of TV.

Anonymous said...

Doctor Horrible is my favorite thing that I've found on iTunes in the last two years! I wish Wheedon would make more!