Monday, March 09, 2009


I have made no secret of the fact that I am a fan of Joss Whedon's work. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my all-time favorite television series, with Angel not far behind. Firefly never resonated with me in the same way, though I still enjoyed watching it. So I began watching Whedon's newest series, Dollhouse (airing Fridays at 9:00 on Fox), with great anticipation. I have now seen four episodes and based on those, I would describe Dollhouse as a show that is currently good (though uneven), but with the potential to be great. Classic Whedon themes are all there: girl power, the creation of identity, the quest for redemption, the nature and responsibility of power, and ruminations on the meaning of existence. What is notably lacking is the trademark wit and clever dialogue we've come to expect from a Joss Whedon production.

Dollhouse is the kind of show that will have a difficult time in today's media environment. It is a slow starter. The initial episodes have focused too much on stand-alone stories with not enough emphasis on the overarching narrative that carries the series. It is that overarching narrative that creates the potential for this show to transcend "story of the week" mediocrity. I liken this show to a roller coaster. Right now it is on that first leg where you make the slow and steady journey upwards. But as it approaches the top, I expect that we are merely a few episodes away from it really taking off.


At 9:12 PM, Blogger Jared Cramer said...

I've been watching Dollhouse since it started too (you're the one who got me hooked on Whedon so I hold you responsible!), and think you're right. I'm hopeful for the show, but the real test for it, like Firefly, will be if it is able to draw enough of an audience. Hopefully as the series as a whole continues to develop, that draw will occur.

At 10:20 PM, Blogger Naomi said...

I am anxiously anticipating next week's episode, as it is the first Joss Whedon-penned episode since the speedily remade pilot. Perhaps there will be wit to follow!

At 4:11 PM, Blogger Greg said...

Jared and Naomi,
Good to hear from both of you and that you are watching Dollhouse. Of course, I would expect nothing less.


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