Remember Dullhouse, the cute paraphrased name I chose to confer my thoughts on the new Joss Whedon series, Dollhouse? Well, after several shows the series is beginning to take shape - and though not as erectifying as the shape of co-star Dichen Lachman - is at least becoming interesting.
By the way, I’m not sure if its DYE-chin or DITCH-en but wouldn’t it be suggestively awesome were it pronounced DYKE-in’ ? The two dolls Sierra (Lachman) and Echo (Dushku) discovering new “funny feelings” in the shower would be an … intriguing character development. Ah, the mysteriously seductive name pronounciations of Tibetan-Australian hotties.
Cool characterization and sharp dialogue have always been the halmark strength of Whedon’s writing and we see both evidenced in the latest episodes of the new FOX series - which may be a curse if it gets cancelled now that it’s starting to take off. The dolls that I feared would be underdeveloped are actually changing and much to the fear of their controllers. I foresaw them becoming composites of all their past selves and rebelling but Joss already wrote that in the form of the phantom menace, doll Alpha. Echo’s handler, Boyd - a “chaperone” that overseers a doll on mission cause they don’t know they’re on missions - asked the geek boy question of why dont they just program the Actives with a slew of awesome ninja/spy skills. They did: Alpha killed everyone in the building, except Echo. *cue mystery music*
Aside from this, much has been devoted to Echo’s character being special. She can think outside the box to serve her instinctive mission in very entertaining ways, fotunately for us the audience. She been abused, as have other dolls, and some of her true self may be surfacing. Humanity is showing up in the others as well, especially given the revelations of recent shows. Not only are the dolls gradually becoming real people, many people you thought were real … are actually dolls. No spoilers here but it’s surprising. The organization is MUCH bigger than the one branch office we see. Whedon manages to further bring up the implications of this kind of secret control over people without being too Big Brother with it.
The witty dialogue? They gots that:
Topher - the boxer-briefs donning boy genius type that actually crafts the personas of the dolls like a soul artist - is the nerd representative of the cast, like Xander in Buffy and Wash in Firefly. His is a font of trivial exposition and technobabble. Other choice lines of the cast:
Echo as cult follower: “God has spoken to us. And he says, ‘Get yer asses outta here!’”
Daniel the doll in the shower with Sierra: “Yes, the water feels good,” glances ignorantly at his own hard on, “yes, very good.”
Troubleshooter Laurence Dominic feeling weird: “I’m really sorry about that whole trying to kill you thing. Knocking you out to be burned alive in a building on fire? Who does that?”
Something I was wrong about was that this role would give Dushku a chance to stretch as an actress. Actually, I was right that it offers the chance but Dushku doesn’t really take it. There is a certain underlying flavor to all of her personas that could be faulted to her hammy acting but is nicely written by Whedon as Echo’s uniqueness surfacing. Still, the premise offers some intersting potentials, like when Eliza and Dichen play the same character in one episode. Weird shit like this - and the hope of prolonged shower scenes - are good reasons to check out Dollhouse.
Eating crow? Me? Fuck no! I mentioned in Dullhouse its hard to gauge a show on the first episode (unless it’s hosted by Jimmy Fallon). What’s a good number to watch before dominion Truth can be measured upon a work? Citizens, speak on it.Related Posts
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