So did you think of "Dollhouse?" As my headline suggests, I felt a bit "meh" about the first episode but there was enough going on to pencil it onto my calendar for this Friday. It seems most people had the ambivalence thing going on with this episode. At first, I thought it was just me; I have a long history of taking forever to get into Whedon's shows and then I feel truly, madly and deeply in love with them. It took me three tries watching "Buffy" before it clicked with me. Same with "Angel." I'm ashamed to admit it was even worse with "Firefly." I stopped watching it after the first episode and don't even remember now how I climbed back on board that wagon train. So it didn't surprise me that "Dollhouse" didn't grab me from minute one.
I'm thoroughly intrigued by the mysterious aspects of the show -- who runs the Dollhouse, why it was created, why Echo's memories seem to be bleeding through, how Helo the FBI Dude fits into all this, and most of all, who crazy naked guy was at the end of the episode. All of those elements pulled me in and I think it's those bits that will make me come back to the show.
The procedural element of the episode was pretty dull though and didn't grab me at all. I'm hoping that part of the show will liven up down the road and will intertwine better with the overarching aspects of the "Dollhouse" main story.
The one thing I didn't enjoy very much was all the posturing monologues, the dialogue that seemed to be trying so hard to say something Very Important Indeed. I hope Whedon lightens the touch a bit. I've always thought he was most effective when he used humor to undercut the darker elements of his story and/or shock the hell out of his audience, e.g., "I am a leaf on the wind" and then evisceration.
My one sticking point with "Dollhouse" and the single thing that might break the deal for me is Eliza Dushku. I just don't like her. I mean, I don't dislike her but watching her act, for me, is like staring at a blank wall. It's not a bad wall but it's flat and two dimensional. Her characters always seem cold and distant to me and I used to think it was just those characters, but the more things I've seen her in, I'm starting to think it might be her. I found more intrigue in the 15 seconds that Amy Acker was on screen than I did the entire time Dushku was and that's including her climactic emotional scenes. (Kind of makes me wish Acker had been cast as the lead actually.)
But from everything I've read, the series does indeed pick up from this initial episode. I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out...plus, it looks like we have a few visits from BSG's Mark Sheppard coming up, so there's something to look forward to. In fact, if Joss can just keep employing former Buffy/Angel/Firefly/Battlestar Galactica actors for the rest of the season, I'll be more than happy...and will pledge to work harder to love the Dushku.
What did you think?