I don’t remember why I didn’t write about the first season at all, but I think now that the show’s over I should put out some thoughts. So here ‘goes.
Dollhouse, if you chose to ignore it, is about a secret-ish organization that wipes people’s minds and imprints them with custom personalities for rich people’s fantasies. Sounds pretty great right? Yeah, nothing could ever go wrong there. Actually yeah, a lot of stuff can and definitely go wrong, which is what makes the show at all worth watching. I guess that’s normal isn’t it; entertainment isn’t entertainment without conflict. I don’t know why I’m stating the obvious.
This show definitely had its ups and downs, but since the great Joss Whedon was mostly in control of it, the ups were pretty darn high. I’d say about a third of the 26 episodes were excellent, a third were okay, and the last third, usually the first few episodes of the season, were pretty bland. I put a lot of the blame on Eliza Dushku, probably unfairly. I just don’t like her very much. Every episode that Alan Tudyk made an appearance was absolute gold. I wish he’d had a larger role; but I suppose if that had been the case his appearances would have been less powerful. Oh well.
As a sci-fi show, it was pretty okay, but I think I’m constantly comparing it to Firefly in my head and therefore it gets the short end of the stick. Topher was fun to watch as the nerd of the group, although his techy ramblings are better suited for a less educated/disenchanted audience methinks. The lower budget for this show really had an impact of the believability of the technology.
Really, this show was made for Joss Whedon fans. I don’t think the audience was comprised of much more than that. The usual female empowerment theme that Joss loves so much was there, which I guess might have brought in some more, but in order for that to happen they first need to get past the layers of nerdery and the sexy facade meant to bring more guys into it. I guess it wasn’t that much of a facade though; Joss loves to fill his shows with pretty people, and I commend him for it.
Ultimately, I think it’s a good thing the show is over. I don’t think it was really even meant to go as far as it did. It was just something Joss was doing for Eliza before he finally abandoned television for pastures that couldn’t cancel him. Still, it’s worth watching if you’re a fan.