Whether Joss Whedon’s new show Dollhouse can be good surely depends, most of all, on whether Eliza Dushku is actor enough to convincingly portray a new character in the same body every week — or, if the arc of the show is as promised, each week a new character through which some slowly revealed constant character bleeds through, in the painful sense of the word “bleeds.”
After the first episode, I’m doubtful. But then, the first episode — said to be a hurried compromise forced on Whedon by Fox, just as with Firefly — wasn’t very Whedonny at all. Lots of chunky exposition, poorly delineated dramatis personae, quickly revealed and as quickly resolved “dark secrets.” Very little snap, with the exception of a fine tough-cop men’s room scene that would win this year’s Best Men’s Room Scene Emmy if not for Madison rocker Shirley Manson’s star turn as a homicidal urinal — really! — on Sarah Connor Chronicles.
I can’t lie; I trust Joss. I will watch.