Monday, 16 February 2009

First Impressions - Dollhouse

Alright, wow. I thought I'd do a few posts in between this and my Heroes first impressions however that obviously isn't that case. So here we go with Joss Whedon's new show. Now I'm not the biggest Joss Whedon fan in the world. I love Firefly and am getting through Buffy at a steady pace. So whilst I'm a fan of most of his stuff and think he's an amazingly talented bloke, I'm not as big a fan as the people who hound after single little thing that he puts his hand to.

So after last years amazing Dr. Horrible and the announcement of this my interest was piqued. After some rave reviews of the pilot script I got a lot more interested. Then the problems started. There were script rewrites, hiatuses in production, recasting and re-shoots. So we finally made it to what I saw yesterday. Critical reception was middling, especially from those who had read the original pilot script. So I went in with lowered expectations.

It did meet them and I was sort of impressed but it's not the "WOAH OMG" feeling I got from Lost and even the Firefly pilot. So I'm going to carry on watching the show (it's only going to make it to 13 episodes so it's not a massive chunk of my time). Overall you can tell there's a far better show trapped in there but for the first few episodes I don't think we'll be able to see it purely because of the need to introduce this to a mainstream audience (which it already hasn't).

So overall the concept is very cool. People being essentially blank slates and then having personalities imprinted over the top to do certain jobs such as in the pilot the perfect date or a hostage negotiator. It leads to a lot of moral problems such as whether these people have free will and whole notions of slavery (luckily there are no black Dolls which definitely wouldn't have helped). I'm anticipating the later episodes because you can just tell that it really is going to expand very soon.

However I do have some complaints. It just really feel like a Joss Whedon show. Now obviously we warned about that by the man himself before the show began but still. There isn't his trademark wit that made Buffy, Firefly and Dr. Horrible shine. There were moments like when Echo says that something fell on her, only to get the answer "well I hope it was something really great". But the show is missing the deft balance of humour and drama that makes Joss' other work so amazing.

Secondly I'm just not feeling the FBI story at the moment. Whilst it's cool to see Battlestar actors after the show has finished (well it hasn't finished yet but you get my drift), the story doesn't have any ties to the many story which I hope it develops soon.

Finally I'm a bit upset we won't be seeing many other Dolls. In the main cast two of the main characters are Dolls but we were originally going to get four. The problem being the script rewrites which necessitated recasting. I'm hoping we get to see the original pilot at some point because what we got last night just wasn't meant to be our opening taste to the show.

So overall the show is good, not as good as Joss' other stuff but fun and with a load of potential. I'm going to keep watching if only because I have faith that it's going to blow up and be amazing by the seasons end (just like Fringe is sort of kinda proving to do.)

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