First Review Of Joss Whedon’s ‘Dollhouse’

Published 6 years ago by , Updated September 12th, 2013 at 1:52 pm,

joss whedons dollhouse First Review Of Joss Whedons Dollhouse

“Did I fall asleep?”
“For a little while.”

Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse is about a young woman, Echo (Eliza Dushku), who is a member of an illegal organization, has her memories and personality wiped clean and imprinted with new ones in order to fulfill assignments catering to the wealthy and powerful.

The show is coming at us in February and fans are a bit concerned about the show since it was relegated to its newest time slot on Fridays.  But for now, we await its premiere. Now WE haven’t seen this yet, but Eric Goldman over at got himself a preview copy of the first episode of Dollhouse (I’m so jealous) and gave his take on the episode, which we’ll summarize for you here.

dollhouse echo sc56pt 0049 First Review Of Joss Whedons DollhouseRoughly speaking, he says it doesn’t feel like any of Whedon’s previous shows but he is creating a completely new mythos, or world if you will.  This first episode lacked the Whedon wit we’ve come to expect from his previous efforts but has a strong underlying concept that makes one think of Alias meets The Matrix.  It has elements of a thriller but didn’t have the action-oriented angle that FOX reputedly asked for, at least from Echo.  FBI agent Paul Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett) doesn’t seem to be a real part of the first episode, but the presumption is his role will grow as the show develops.

Bascially, the first episode layed out the foundation for the show but didn’t grab the viewers attention as it plodded along with a mellow tone even as they presented two scenarios that demonstrated the active’s assignments.

Eric reminded us in his article that “… the circumstances under which this episode was made, as part of a decision to re-tool the series, have to be taken into account.”

dollhouse 103 sc49 1943 First Review Of Joss Whedons DollhouseI agree that we need to keep that angle in our minds for this first episode.  I fear that with viewers worries about the perceived ill-fated Friday night time slot, combined what some might consider a low-energy drag of an episode could doom the show.  Even though Whedon said the rewrite of the first episode was his idea, I’m suspicious.  It’s a terrible, nagging habit I have, but there it is.  Is it a political move to show he can play well with others, IE:  the networks?  Or is it exactly what it is that he says it is?

With Joss Whedon’s track record on his previous shows, I think that once the show gets over the premiere hurdle, it will probably take off just fine.

In the meantime, check out a scene preview of the upcoming show, courtesy of

Dollhouse premieres Friday, February 13th on FOX.

Source:  TV.IGN.COM

TAGS: Dollhouse
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Well, in all fairness, Firefly got over the premier hurdle and still got canceled by Fox (although it was a bigger hurdle considering Fox basically said “Nice premier episode, we like it… now write us another one over the weekend will you?”)

    Now, you could attribute that to poor handling on Fox’s part, but I don’t see them doing things any differently this time round, the Friday slot isn’t preferable. If this one also ends up canceled, one may hope that Whedon learns his lesson and either moves on to a different studio, or goes on to different things like movies/internet musicals.

  2. I hear what you’re saying Joshi. A very pragmatic approach to the whole thing.

    I just have that bad feeling he’s playing nice with the studios.

    I lump it in those actor interviews who ALWAYS say that it was a total pleasure to work with their co-stars. EVERY time.

    Gimme a break! Do you like everyone you work with at work? That’s all I’m saying… sort of… for now…

    Thanks for chiming in Joshi.

  3. I thik, Sadly that this show, which i am excited for, will be destined for cancelation by season s end.
    I say this for a copuple reasons:
    1) Its being distributed through fox and shown on Fox, Has Whedon learned nothing from his last expierences (Firefly and Angel). Had say NBC or ABC picked up it would have a better chance of survival.
    2)The Friday timeslot, I don’t know about anyone else, But Friday is typically the night of the week that people go out, because of a little thing called “the Weekend”.

  4. I am disappointed that Whedon went with Fox again after what happened to Firefly. I have never been in his position, so I cannot speak from experience, but I would rather the show not be made than to be cut short in life.

    You know the old saying, fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice….I’m not going to get fooled again!

  5. Maybe he’s looking for exposure.

    Sure, there are different people helming FOX now… but it still looks like they might be foxing up it, but the exposure thing is a funny thing.

    Folks who star in some of the B sci-Fi movies are reigniting their careers, as are some stars who grace the screen on Dancing with the Stars.

    Everyone is a commodity and this might be a “screen test”, if you will, as to how folks are still responsive to Whedon’s mind and it’s creation!

    I’m just thinking out loud with conjecture here.

  6. @Bruce
    You may be right on the Test Screening thing, I remember they did something similiar with American Dad

  7. Wasn’t American Dad a character in another cartoon before spinning it off into it’s own?

    If anyone watches House, the Private Investigator character was originally designed to be a spin off show. They tested the demographic waters first with the character in House… not sure how well that went. That was an ugly phase in House-dom so we’ll see how THAT goes!

  8. You know I totally forgot about that Private Dick character in House, from the latest few episodes I’m going to assume they’ve simply phased him out of the show quietly. I feel that unlike other shows, House works best when it simply deals with the same old same old. I do like the new characters, but certain character arcs are, I feel unneeded.

    But on topic… why do I get the distinct feeling that Whedon may have some kind of contract with Fox (something he maybe ironed out while getting Angel on the air) that basically says he needs to create x number of projects for the Fox network, and rather than phone it in and get out to go to a better studio, he figures he could do something halfway decent and might be able to make it work on Fox.

    I’m not basing that theory on anything (apart from the fact that certain actors and directors occasionally have similar deals with movie studios) and feel free to shoot it down if anyone knows something I don’t, but his willingness to go back to Fox after the Firefly fiasco (and especially considering Fox’s track record with canceling great TV shows) is a bit of a mystery to me.

  9. Maybe it’s a “social” stepping stone.

    I’m going back to my focus of NASCAR for a moment. There was this one driver who wasn’t performing as best he could… when he was dropped, he turned around and sued his old team owner and dropped some serious allegations about his bosses extra marital affairs.

    Even this this guy was a good driver, no one picked him up after that. Why would you when all he’s gonna do is sue, make stupid allegations, etc., etc.

    I’m thinking Whedon needs to play nice. Let other studios see what he’s willing to do, and still see how hard he works for it, regardless of the studio.

    That, in itself, can go a long way towards a proving oneself.

    Yes… I know he doesn’t need to prove himself to us, but the social interaction in the industry is, … rather interesting at best and you really need to play your cards right. It comes down to “Who you know”, not what you know.

    And who you know is who approves of you, who is willing to take risks, etc., etc.

    Does that make any sense?

  10. That’s certainly a new angle I didn’t look at before.

    That said, it should (and I know I’m talking somewhat naively now) be a two way street, the studio needs to treat its people fairly. Fox is almost unique in the number of shows it cancels simply because of it’s foreshortened view of the future and it prefers to think of shows as either “Successful now” or “canceled” and don’t, for a minute think that there could be something done to alleviate poor ratings like a new time slot.

    While a studio does need to think in ratings in order for it to be viable as a business, it also needs to think about the long run and what risks it should be willing to make in order to house a show that may grow to be great and since Fox, like any movie or television studio is essentially an assets and perpetuity business, having a good quality show on your record hurts no one and only helps.

    Speaking from the UK, I can’t begin to count the amount of shows Television studios over here buy in and air, there are more US television shows showing here than there are home grown UK shows aired and you’ll generally find the more successful US shows being aired on the more popular stations, shows like Heroes and Lost, whereas something like Firefly, while it did somehow make it over here (although it didn’t beat the DVD’s) it airs at obscure times on stations no one’s heard of.

    What I’m basically saying is that if a studio treats it’s people well and takes a few chances here and there, it can create a few really decent shows and as far as Fox and Whedon are concerned, they got lucky with Buffy and since then, things have gone down hill. I understand that Whedon needs to prove he can work well with the big boys, but from what I recall, he didn’t exactly go on a b**** rant about Fox after Firefly was canceled, even though most people knew it was (mostly) their fault and if anyones played nicely, even when the chips were down, it was Whedon.