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“Did I fall asleep?”

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Dollhouse, as many of you well know, is the latest TV outing from Joss Whedon and his production company, Mutant Enemy. It it yet to hit Aussie TV screens, but has been attracting decent air-time ratings in the States and even better DVR ratings. I was quite nervous about the show, because the last time Joss trusted the Fox network with something, we got Firefly, and look at what executive meddling did to that.

I really hope this show doesn’t suffer the same fate. Joss seems to have the Midas touch when it comes to writing – I don’t think he’s ever written anything that you could really say was bad (aside from maybe a few things when he was younger that he’d rather not mention, but I think every writer has a few of those.) I believe a large part of it stems from him being a nerd who knows his sci-fi/fantasy. 🙂

Dollhouse is his first TV foray into what many would consider a more literary brand of sci-fi. The concept behind the show is very ambitious – a Dollhouse is a building in which Actives are kept. For each assignment, an Active assumes a new identity and personality, according to the client’s wishes – this includes memories, fears, flaws and physical abilities or lack thereof. Between assignments, they all have the same sort of personality – docile and, I find, somewhat meditative.

This means that anyone could be an Active, and it’s where the plot starts getting really clever. Anything could be engineered by someone, somewhere. Add that to questions about the personal histories of these Actives, whether or not the people who run the Dollhouse are really the good guys, why the FBI are after them and who is this “Alpha” person … I have been hooked.

Eliza Dushku plays the main character, an Active named Echo. She’s a good actress who is capable of taking on the multiple characters that the role demands. I think the writers need to give Echo more varied personalities each episode though, because to me, Eliza proves she’s worth her acting salt in the episode where Echo has to infiltrate a cult. Most of Echo’s other personalities have been “kick-ass chicks with attitude.”

Here’s to the longevity of Dollhouse. I think the complexity of the plot, which so far is not as complex as that of Lost, as well as the size and diversity of the ensemble, demands it.


Written by jedielf

April 12, 2009 at 12:47 am

Posted in dollhouse, tv

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