Dollhouse (TV Series 2009–2010) Poster

(2009–2010)

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10/10
Kind of a shame....
Zen41628 December 2009
...that FOX is letting this one go. The time-slot didn't help (Friday night is usually the go-out-and-party-night) so most folks (like me) would TiVo this or DVR it for later viewing (which doesn't count to the networks, I guess). More's the pity. This show is really picking up steam and the story lines are getting better and better, especially now that the Echo, Sierra and Victor characters are being fleshed out more and given extremely interesting back stories. Eliza Dushku is a find as the tough, enigmatic protagonist of this series and since FOX isn't going to allow this cool show to go past two seasons, I sincerely hope they have the common sense to keep her on the payroll for other projects. Her chemistry with both good-guy Paul Ballard (Tahmoh Pennikett) and with brilliantly insane psycho nut-job Alpha (Alan Tudyk) is palpable and riveting. The casting of Olivia Williams as the ice queen in charge of the Dollhouse is spot on while Harry Lennix and Fran Kranz (as cool head security dude Langton and as genius programmer nerd Brink, respectively) add another dimension to the whole show. I'll continue watching this unique and entertaining series until it finally bows out a short time from now and hope that some other network may step in at the last minute and save it though that seems unlikely (again, pity). This is just a cool, pseudo sci-fi type show that probably had the misfortune of a cruddy time slot because everything else (the acting, writing, casting) was brilliant. Too bad more people didn't watch it or give it a chance.
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9/10
Love it. Dark and thoughtful.
Heather7 September 2009
This show is amazing. And dark. Very, very dark. This has clearly made many people uncomfortable. However, Helo, sorry, Paul, essentially spells out the message in the pilot: when seemingly helpful technology is created someone finds a way to use it for evil.

I don't believe the show makes any apologies for the people at the Dollhouse. I believe it shows the ways those people rationalize what they are doing so they can sleep at night.

This show is a great vessel for exploring the nature of the soul and personality. What makes people who they are. Despite being wiped and implanted over and over, Echo retains some of her Caroline-ness. This show is not ultimately about "the world's oldest profession," but about what makes humans human. If you can't get past the creepy paying for people, and, yes, the singer episode, then this is really not your show.

And, speaking as a woman, I really don't find it all that offensive. I'm actually not all that certain why I should. The dolls are of both sexes and I see a strong female lead, may Whedon continue to put them on television.

I highly recommend this show. Get past the first few episodes (which Fox tinkered with) and see the brilliance beyond.
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9/10
This show is amazing. I wish it would continue for years to come...
desireeportia8 January 2010
Any Joss Whedon fan knows that he creates a full world. Beginning to end and at first he gives you the smallest glimpse. So the first season you don't really grasp his concept, but as it goes along you get pulled into that world.

The psychological background and action sequences keep getting better. I've fallen in love with the characters. The story line makes me gasp with amazement. The concept grows and just boggles my mind.

The first season was the slow start, thus far the second season is amazing. Now that I've watch season one and most of season two I find myself totally immersed in the show. I look forward to it being on for an hour every week... and when the episode is over I'm in TV shock.

And then I want more!!!
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10/10
Brilliant
veronicamars-545-2634492 October 2009
Okay, I'll admit, when I watched the first episode of this show I was a little let down. As a long time Whedon-fan I'd had high hopes for his TV return. The pilot didn't exactly have me clapping my hands and doing cartwheels. The next few episodes held my interest, but it was mid-way through the season (when Fox stopped interfering) that the trademark Whedon-brilliance really appeared.

The show was no longer just about Echo, but started to give more screen time to the other characters, who are all as perfectly flawed and human as they can be. We started to get a stronger sense of the underlying arc, the moral ambiguities that the Dollhouse presents became more apparent and I found myself counting the hours till I could watch the next episode.

This is a show that will make you think and question. If you want mindless fluff, go elsewhere (90210, anyone?). If you want real, intelligent television (with a whole lot of fun mixed in), then Dollhouse is it.
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9/10
Intelligent, complex and entertaining
WhyMe23 December 2009
Why do intelligent TV shows get cancelled all the time?

When this show moved away from single episode arcs, revolving about the assignments, and turned to handling complex themes like - how does one deal with the ethical questions around this kind of human trafficking (-> self-deception, mostly) - what makes a personality - how does an Active cope when confronted with the fact that apparently s/he gave up his/her personality willingly - what makes one give up his personality and allow oneself to be dealt with like a "thing"

Dollhouse became a truly fascinating show. Yet entertaining, captivating. Which of course led to it being cancelled. Oh, sigh.
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9/10
2nd season brings on darkness and rewards fans
dalton080425 October 2009
As with any show "Dollhouse" took a bit of getting into for me. The 1st season had some amazing episodes but nothing that really jumped out and grabbed you. As a fan of Whedon's I chose to stick with hoping that he had something up his creative sleeve. Thankfully we were rewarded with the Alpha episodes of season one and the 'unaired' episode which showed us what he had planned for the future and hope against hope this amazing second season.

4 episodes in and the darker style suits the show so much better, Whedon and his writers are allowing the characters to grow, within the conceit of the show, and you get the impression that a whole lot of trouble is going to descend on them.

My faith in Whedon has been restored and now I hope he has the chance to complete the show.
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The most underestimated new show is also the most brilliant
Warning: Spoilers
I was so eager for the new Whedon series (huge Firefly fan) and kind of shocked from the snap judgments everyone was passing on the show before it even aired. I was surprised that even Whedon fans seemed disappointed in the lead character, the plot and the fact that he seemed to support a morally dubious (at best) establishment. I have never seen anyone sold so shortly! The show is fantastic, and it's wonderful that Whedon chose not to reveal everything from the very start. I mean, have we become, as a culture, so impatient, that people thought that Whedon would go to all that trouble for producing a show that would offer nothing more than a different adventure every week and a main character no one can root for? Not only there seems to be an underlying concept that is slowly emerging, but the basic premise offers countless possibilities, and the opportunity to dwell on important philosophical and existential questions: what is it that makes us who we are? What does our humanity depend upon? One is reminded of Blade Runner, where memory was also key to identity. Far from endorsing human trafficking or the objectifying of women as some have suggested, Dollhouse is a brilliant show that offers both amazing action sequences and food for thought. Not to mention the hilarious brand of Whedon humor. I hope more people can discover how original and unique it is and give it the attention it truly deserves.
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10/10
Piqued my curiosity and I'm hooked into this show for the duration
Fidomom9 October 2009
I love/hate/love Joss Whedon - he upset me and wowed me a lot during the Buffy seasons; that said, from the moment I heard about Dollhouse I was excited and intrigued. Mr. Whedon has not let me down - he is still messing with me, bless his evil mind, lol.

I've also enjoyed Eliza Dushku from her days as Faith on Buffy, to her lead role in Tru Calling (I still miss that show) and in her role as Sissy in Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, as well - I think she's an incredibly gifted actor. She has also not disappointed me in her role as Echo/Caroline - she demands my undivided attention in every scene that she is in!

I love this show because it is different and it leaves me thinking long after each episode ends. It often makes me uncomfortable - I happen to like that in a show!

I still haven't seen Season 1's Epitaph 1, purportedly a necessary missing link between Season 1 and Season 2, and yet I am already enjoying Season 2 immensely even without it, and just 2 episodes in. Excited for episode 3 later tonight!

I am so puzzled and disheartened by negative feedback and rumours of early cancellation of this fantastic show that seem to be running amok online - IMO that would royally suck.

I love this show and I just want more and more story to be revealed. I love that the end of each episode is not all wrapped up neatly - no real sense of closure; more questions than answers! Yay! It puts me on the edge of my seat for next week's episode wondering what other pieces of the puzzle will be fitted into place next.

I don't want everything solved all at once; I just want this slow build story to keep going so I can savour it, think about it, look forward to more and mentally review what's already happened and why and speculate on what might yet happen. It piqued my curiosity from first episode onward and now I'm pretty much hooked into this show for as long as it keeps airing.

I do wish it would move to a different time slot because I think Friday nights is simply poor placement for it. JMO

My fingers are crossed that the stories inside the Dollhouse will go on, all the way through to the end of a 2nd season and hopefully even beyond that as well. That would royally rock!
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Is this show it's Own Worse Enemy ?
Beginthebeguine14 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Very similar to Jason Smilovic's My Own Worse Enemy; now canceled. At first I though it might be a hit with the Tweens because there was a possible romance and some bright, flashy colors during a motorcycle race that ended in a poorly staged dance scene where Ms Dushku was all gushy in love with some guy who gives her a hearted pendant, but then the show got down to business. That business was an episode of My Own Worse Enemy not starring Christian Slater, but Eliza Dushku. Not a format for those who flock to tween movies like High School Musical 3 or read tween authors like Stephanie Myers, because there is just not enough distribution of inane characters that have no purpose in life but to strike a pose and have some deep feelings about the death of puppy love. Sure Joss Whedon takes a swipe at that dribble in the opening, but then it becomes an adult drama. So who is your audience Joss ? Is it the Buffy/Angel crowd now grown up (wasn't that Firefly ?) or are you trying to cross that threshold into the Adult Drama World. Following Smilovic's canceled show into oblivion will not help such a career move. I give it 5 out of 10 because it's Whedon, and I give it a shot for the same reason, but I doubt it will even see 9 episodes like the show it seems cloned from did.

1/01/2010 - well it did last more than the 9 episodes I predicted above back in previews, and it did get much better. But it never found it's audience which answered to the confusion I mention above. Now it is gone forever only to be DVD'ed.
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5/10
Tries Hard, Falls flat
thecursor200212 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I tried pretty hard to love this show.

At first it would be easy, I loved Buffy, Angel, and Firefly. I own a Serenity poster and I hang on Whedon's every word.

But Dollhouse is kind of where he lost me. The premise, while fascinating, felt tired by episode 3. Eliza's acting skills, while impressive, are not always up to the chameleon-like requirements her character requires.

This often feels like a mash up of previous series, like it's made out of spare parts of Joss' other shows. Grab some Buffy feminism, add a little Firefly anti government paranoia, insert some of Angel's brooding self analysis. It had a "Xander", a character that should've been left out upon final analysis and it leaves a sour taste in your mouth when you realize that Wheadon needs to put a Xander in every show. Learn to grow, man. People keep telling me it's not the same has his previous shows, then why all the retreading?

It should feel fresh but it doesn't. Then there's the Season Finale which was hailed as the saving episode. Really it wasn't. Instead of the gutsy punch of previous Wheadon finales, this was a plodding and meandering discussion of Decartes and Satre using turgid dialogue and a rather limp Obama fist pump. Call me a neanderthal but philosophy on TV is just more effective when it's mixed in sugar and spoon fed instead of pounded into your skull.

At times it didn't feel like a Wheadon show, it felt like a parody of one.

On HBO, this show would've flourished but on Fox, where the viewers are sold an action show, you end up with a slightly confusing genre mix up that felt like it needed that one special ingredient to be something great. That's not Wheadon's fault of course but perhaps the blame needs to be spread around none the less.

There are bright points, solid ones. The FBI sub-plot was both fun and interesting. The revelations surrounding Alpha, Whiskey, and "The Girl Next Door" were all worth a good look and I was glad to see the direction they headed in.
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