"Dollhouse" Review: I Just Didn't Get It
I was excited about watching the premiere of “Dollhouse.” After all, it comes from the mind of Joss Whedon, who created “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
And even though I’ve never seen an episode of “Buffy,” I know how respected Whedon is in television circles.
But I have to tell you, I just didn’t get “Dollhouse.” Maybe I’m just tired from all the “Idol” stuff last night or maybe I’m just really excited to watch my tape of “Lost” and I wasn’t really focused on what was happening.
Whatever it was, the dots just didn’t connect and I’m starting to think that all those stories about problems behind the scenes may be true…
The Dollhouse of the title refers to a facility of individuals known as Actives. Actives are people whose minds are wiped clean of their memories and personalities so that they can be imprinted with new personas. The Actives are hired by the rich and famous to be whatever the clients need them to be.
Eliza Dushku stars as Echo, the Dollhouse’s newest Active. Her handler, Boyd Langton (Harry Lennix) is a former cop who seems unsure about the Dollhouse’s activities and wants to use the organization’s resources to help people—regardless of what the client wants. The Dollhouse is run by Adelle Dewitt (Olivia Williams) with the help of the enigmatic Laurence (Reed Diamond). Topher Brink (Fran Kranz) is the genius who programs the Actives.
In the premiere, Echo takes on the persona of a hostage negotiator to help a wealthy man get his kidnapped daughter back. The mission runs into problems when the persona Topher programmed gets too involved in the case.
Meanwhile, FBI agent Paul Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett) tries to find some way to close in on the Dollhouse, which his supervisors think is a fairy tale.
The episode gets off to a confusing start as it tries to show us how Echo came to be a part of the Dollhouse. Although I’m sure we’ll get more about her past later, what we get in the premiere doesn’t really make sense. And the action jumps around so much it just doesn’t really all come together. And just when it does, the storyline completely falls apart because the persona Echo takes on in the premiere just isn’t that interesting…
The premise of the show is a good one and it does show some promise—especially with its cast. But it’s going to need to iron out some serious wrinkles.
Maybe someone should wipe it clean and start over too…
“Dollhouse” premieres Friday, February 13th at 9 p.m. on FOX…
Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/FOX