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.
Yeah, I thought the first episode was pretty flat as well. Dushku seemed strained in the role of the hostage negotiator, like she was trying too hard to exert authority. Maybe part of it is that I only ever saw her on Buffy, and so it’s hard for me not to identify her as Faith. The line in the opening scene, “You must be so loving this”, which Faith used in any number of verbal confrontations, didn’t help with disassociating things. In addition to the scene you mention, I also thought the setup for kidnapping itself was well-done.
I read that the first three episodes are supposed to be able to stand alone and the ones that follow are different in tone. As a total Buffy and Firefly fan, I have my fingers crossed, though I didn’t much care for Angel…
I thought the second episode was a lot better than the first — there was some snap and the parts we saw of the overall arc seemed to have potential.
Exactly what I would have said.