Random stuff on Life, the Universe and Science Fiction

Dollhouse, Season 1

It’s been a while since my initial post on this blog but I think I’ve decided what I want to use it for now so it’ll hopefully be more frequent from now on.

I came to watch Dollhouse recently with some trepidation. I watched the pilot when it first came out with some excitement. I’ve been a Joss Whedon fan for a while. Buffy was good and Firefly and Doctor Horrible were both fantastic so any new Whedon project was something to be excited about. I sat down to watch it with my fiancée and the pilot was pretty… meh. It just didn’t grab me and the concept made us more than a little uncomfortable. Clearly the concept of the Dollhouse is morally wrong in every conceivable way and there just wasn’t enough acknowledgement of that in the script. Too many of the characters seemed to have no problem with it. So we left it at that and didn’t watch any more.

Over the intervening years, lots of people whose opinions I respect on the subject have recommended it to me and told me that it gets better after the first few episodes so when my fiancée got given it for Christmas and offered to lend it to me, I decided to give it another go.

The pilot is still the same and I still have the same problems that I did with it at the beginning. Morality problems aside, it just isn’t that interesting, and the next few episodes aren’t a lot better. However, in the second half of the season the plot really picks up and twists start coming thick and fast. Episode six, ‘Man on the Street’ is the first episode that’s really any better than average and from then on they get better and better. They also get more and more into the morality of what the characters in the show are doing and it’s delt with a lot better as it goes on. The episode 11-12 two parter that rounds off the season one story line is really exciting, with guest star in Alan Tudyk getting to really show off how fantastic an actor he is.

The real highlight of the set however is episode 13, ‘Epitah One’ that acts as the coda to the series. Set in the far future where the Dollhouse technology is out of control, it stars Felicia Day as the leader of a group of people struggling to survive in that future who stumble upon the long-disused Dollhouse and what they find gives us some teasers into the way the show is going to go in season two.

If they keep up the quality of the last few episodes of this season into season two, I can see it being pretty good, but I don’t think it’ll reach the heights of Whedon’s previous creations.

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