Series of Tubes #1.13 - Dollhouse

I just finished watching the series premier of “Dollhouse”, the new FOX show by Joss Whedon starring Eliza Dushku.

I really want to reserve judgement on it until I’ve seen a few episodes, but part of me worries that FOX won’t give me the chance to see a few episodes (see: “Firefly”, “Drive”), so I’ll drop some early opinions off the first episode.

As always, Eliza Dushku is hot. But I need more than that to stick with the show. Fortunately, Joss Whedon has delivered as always.

”Dollhouse” is much like “Firefly” in that there’s an overarching mystery behind the characters, but on an episode-to-episode basis, that’s not the focus. Every week, it seems Echo (Dushku) is going to get a new assignment, which comes with a new personality, a new set of memories and a new wardrobe (that’s where the hotness comes in).

The mystery is why the Dollhouse exists and how it gets its agents (called “Actives”). We’re going to get some of that through a rogue active, called “Alpha” (apparently the first one). But on a week-to-week basis, again, I’m only assuming, the individual episodes will be kind of a case-of-the-week thing. FOX has hit on a success with this format with “Fringe”, and hopefully “Dollhouse” will be just as successful.

As for the first episode itself, I really enjoyed the storyline. The plot had Echo playing the role of a hostage negotiator trying to help a father get his kidnapped daughter back. Only the personality the Dollhouse gave to Echo had been kidnapped as a child, and this was the same kidnapper.

It was cool to get the backstory of how the personality imprinting on the Actives worked, while it was weaved into the plot. Sure, some of it seemed kind of exposition-y, but that’s always going to be the case in a pilot episode (except for “Lost”, but that show’s philosophy is “explain nothing”).

So far, through one episode, I’m loving this show, but I don’t have faith that FOX will see it through.