Dollhouse 1.01 – ‘Ghost’

Dollhouse Dollhouse is the new TV show from Joss Whedon, starring Eliza Dushku. You may not have heard much about it, you certainly haven’t from this blog because I’ve been keeping a low profile. I’ve been deliberately ignoring hype and information for two reasons:

  1. I think I’ll enjoy it more with less pre-conceptions
  2. I think I’ll be less invested in it if it gets cancelled.

However it’s Joss Whedon and it’s the first new TV from him in a long time, virtually the first new anything. So I’d lying if I said I hadn’t been looking forward to it.

Unfortunately it’s not great. I mean it’s not great, not insanely fun and re-defining what you can do with the genre, it’s merely OK. At least that’s true of episode 1 – Ghost. I hope and pray (almost truthfully) that it will get better. All three of Joss’ previous TV series had merely ok eps, Angel and Buffy at least had some not good at all ones. So I’ve been trying to convince myself that it’s ok, that it can have a mediocre start and get better. I’m having a little trouble though because all his previous shows were better than this from ep 1. Even Firefly‘s “The Train Job” which was a re-tooled, and significantly less-good, pilot from the original two-hour Serenity – even that was better.

By now you’re probably thinking I hated it. I didn’t but let me put it this way. If you’d shown me this and I didn’t know it was from Joss I would never have thought he’d been involved. It had none of his humour or flair for dialogue. It pretty much just played it straight all the way through.

Unlike some other fans/reviewers I don’t see the concept – agents or ‘actives’ are programmed with personalities/skills, hired out and then have their minds wiped on return – as inherently a problem. I can see that it could mean there’s no chance for character development, that we’re watching Eliza play a different role each week and so it’s hard to care – but someone as smart as Joss will have thought of that.

I’m more worried that take away the Joss humour and edge and what you’re left with, on the evidence of Ghost, could be a ep of pretty much any lawyer/cop procedural – albeit with a scifi twist.

I’m writing this now, over a week after I watched it because I’m about to watch ep 2, “The Target“. I’ll report back soon as to whether it got any better.

Eliza wakes up

Almost forgot the most important part – 5/10

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