wFeb 14, 2009

Dollhouse, 1.1

If you were out on the town Friday night like I was, you can watch the episode for free at

I should start by saying that I don't usually like Whedon pilots. By the end of Angel's "City Of," I was cackle-laughing. No, literally: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Buffy's was all right, but took a while for me to fall in love. It's been too long since I've watched Firefly to remember quite clearly, but I think I actually did like the first episode (I didn't watch until the DVDs were released, so it was the original pilot). So, I'm looking at the show through that lens. I know that Whedon's mastery over TV comes from witty dialogue, but also from the building of relationships, alliances, betrayals, and human emotion, flying all over the screen. It takes a while to build that, and I'm willing to stick with him as long as it takes.

Also, I totally get how the premise of the series is pretty skeevy from a feminist stand-point. But I'm still going to keep watching. I think every TV show I watch fails in at least one regard, usually in multiples. I really don't think Whedon is stupid enough to not realize what kind of set-up he's got going on.

So, it wasn't horrible. It was very pretty. I am interested in seeing more of all of the characters. And watching Caroline's video at the end really tied things together for me. Also, that guy! Who is he?! I want to know more about everyone.

Of course, I tend to dislike it when messages are whopped into my head. "Look! There's Echo, literally freeing a trapped girl from a refrigerator! In this show, women will be liberated from the boxes to which they are confined!"

I sometimes fail at plot: When "Ms. Penn" asked to be wiped, her handler was visibly upset, running toward the mind-wiping room, and then stopped, resigned, when he saw she was in the seat. So he thought she got wiped back to being Echo again, right? But when Echo got up, she still had the memories of Ms. Penn, right up until the end of the episode, when she was vacantly fresh mind-wipe Echo again. So what happened? In the first wipe, with disgruntled Handler coming in at the end, was she just getting her Ms. Penn memories reinstalled?

I missed the Whedon wit, and hope it appears soon. For the time, I remain curious. I'm a bit baffled by checking out the community, where people profess their maddened love for Joss. I mean, it was an okay pilot, but it was by no means fabulous.

References I Caught:
-Was that a picture of Illyria on the bulletin board behind One Who Wipes Memories and the other dude, when they're looking out into the Dollhouse?
-I had some rofls for the fatherly figure reference to Edward James Olmos.
-Gratuitous boxing scenes with Tahmoh! Because unnecessary scenes in BSG should work just fine in other shows! Really, the boxing didn't bother me much, just reminded me a lot of BSG's "Unfinished Business."

I intend to continue to watch every week. I keep seeing quotes from the actors on the Internet, saying it takes 5 (well, some people say 4, but whatever) episodes to really gel. I'm willing to believe that, and in the meantime, the plot and characters are interesting enough to keep me watching.


scribbled mystickeeper at 1:24 PM

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