Fox took a chance – a huge chance – when they ignored all the social media hype about The Sarah Connor Chronicles and focused on Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse. At least at first glance, that is what it looks like.
Friday overnight ratings for the premiere episode of the fantasy TV series Dollhouse were rather miserable looking.
Which could make perfect sense if you count on the fact that it’s a Friday night and there were other shows premiering on other networks, but Dollhouse averaged 2.5 million viewers. At least they beat out the encore episode of America’s Next Top Model. LOL.
(Sadly, it also looks like Smallville only brought in 2.5 million viewers for it’s Friday night premiere… but that’s for another article.)
For me, the premiere of Dollhouse was fractured and yet satisfactory.
THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS SECTION. Skip Spoiler Section
Having watched last season, it was odd seeing what looked like a new feel of the relationships in the Dollhouse. The Dolls are having some form of subtle social interaction (Sierra (Dichen Lachman) and Victor (Enver Gjokaj) smiling and holding hands?) and that threw me for a loop, considering all of last season they just walked around between assignments in a haze, as they went to their yoga, swimming or other activities.
Echo (Eliza Dushku) was off on an assignment, being married to arms dealer Martin Klar (Jamie Bamber). If you saw the episode, that was not Jamie putting on an accent. That is his accent. It was refreshing to see… or hear, actually.
But Agent Ballard… sorry, former FBI agent Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett) was using Echo to bust the arms dealer and Ballard has an uneasy relationship with the Dollhouse. He was the client, of sorts, for this assignment. Eh?
As if that wasn’t hard enough, Echo’s mind programming started to snap and other personalities were sparking up in the middle of her assignment. At one point, in front of Klar, Echo asks out-loud, “What did they make me this time?” That is until Ballard fixed her.
You know how sometimes thumping the copier machine helps it work? Ballard thumped the copier machine a few times before it kicked it in gear. Literally.
Dr. Saunders (Amy Acker) is flipping out. She found out at the end of last season that she’s a doll and this information is not going over well with her. At all. To distract herself, she’s playing practical jokes on Topher. At one point, she tries to sneak into bed with Topher (Fran Kranz), which creeps him out… considering that he programmed her to be repulsed by certain aspects of himself.
There was some serious deep conversation between these two that revealed there’s more character to Topher than met the eye last season.
Unfortunately, from what I can tell, you had to have watched last season to understand this first episode of season 2 of Dollhouse.
What I mean by that is not everyone is as involved in the show as some fans are. Not everyone cruises the internet looking for back episodes. Not everyone is a fan of Whedon. Sometimes, shows have to be able to grab uninitiated viewers and gently pull them along, as well as keep the seasoned viewers engaged. It’s a very hard mix to accomplish.
I get where Joss is coming from in this premiere episode as everyone is still picking up in the aftermath of Alpha’s attack. Yet I fear potential new viewers could be confused.
I asked a friend who watched this episode (at my bidding) and I think I’ve created a distant shell of conservative trust. He said it was an odd, dark and fractured episode. Too many things happened for him that kept him off-balance.
It was truly Dollhouse / Whedon as we know it. It did not disappoint this fan and yet the ratings are scary. The episode was dark and angst-filled for me, but that’s what I’d expect at this point in the story.
I just hope all those other ratings commodities help keep Dollhouse around for it’s full 2nd season run.
Did Joss make a mistake by shoving the uninitiated viewer into the show like this? Was he just focused on the veteran fan of the show?
Speaking of fans, Was Dollhouse all you expected it to be? Or have you even seen it yet? Let us know your thoughts. Screen Rant wants to hear them!
Ratings info source: TV By The Numbers