So it didn't get off to a great start, but after checking out two more episodes, "The Target" (aka Ep. 2 which airs Friday) and "Gray Hour" (aka Ep. 4 which airs March 6), I'm sort of optimistic... at least cautiously. It is from the mind of Joss Whedon, which means due to my undying fandom that I will sit and watch every episode no matter how crappy... though to be fair, none of the episodes of Dollhouse I've seen are really that terrible, it just occasionally dips into the procedural realm, or makes things utterly perplexing. Read on for some reasons I'll be watching (not really too spoilery, just some big highlights).
I get why someone would want to hire an "active" for sex, or to handle a delicate kidnapping or to complete a secret thieving mission (see Ep. 4) but why would you need to hire an active to be your midwife (also Ep. 4, but not a huge part of the story)? Aren't there qualified regular people who would work for a lot less? And unless you are giving birth to the Christ child (or the Antichrist... either way) or an alien, do you care if the person that ushered your little demon seed into the world forgets that you ever existed? Plus, the nutjob company that Echo works for knows your dealio, though not necessarily all the specifics, so why bother? Especially since in tomorrow night's episode they establish that Echo's services are very pricey indeed. I realize this seems like a nitpicky detail, but these are the things that get under my skin.
Oh, and then Mindy mentioned yesterday that she thought it was odd that the "actives" were implanted with imperfections (as seen in the pilot), which now that she mentioned it, is really annoying. If you were shelling out boatloads of cash, wouldn't you want a perfect specimen? Because otherwise, why not just hire a real human? So now this is bugging me. But, if you can get past these sorts of irksome and perplexing plot points and just go with it, the show is kind of fun.
In "The Target," there's lots of a very athletic Eliza Dushku doing sporty things, like rock climbing and rafting. Oh, and there are some really great action sequences with bows and arrows! And we get a bit more backstory on how/why Boyd came to work at the Dollhouse.
In "Gray Hour," there's a scantily clad Eliza Dushku looking like a hooker, and then some cool cat-burgling stuff. I'm always a fan of that, especially because when Eliza Dushku's all bad ass, it makes up for the fact that she doesn't have the biggest acting range in the world. (Sorry, I love her and will watch her in anything, but it is true.) "Gray Hour" also gets a bit more into the "who is trying to take down the Dollhouse?" and "what do they actives do when they aren't on assignments?" angles, which I actually really liked a lot. Much more so than the "OK, this week she's a high class whore, which is much different than last week when she was just a fake paid girlfriend" storylines.
Fair warning: If you are in it because you adore Amy Acker, prepare to be disappointed -- she's got like less than five minutes of screen time between the two episodes, though you do find out what scarred up her face.
I know, I'm probably not doing a good job of selling it, but remember, it is Joss. It's clear that this show is still finding its footing and isn't quite living up to its potential, but it does indeed have potential. If you look at it in that My Own Worst Enemy fun action sort of way, instead of expecting it to be Buffy, then it should be OK. This is a very different show than Buffy, and while it does have a little bit of a procedural nature to it, it is trying to be something a little bit off the beaten path for primetime TV. I just hope that we get enough episodes to see how it unfolds and really finds its footing.
Will you keep watching? Sound off below.
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