Dollhouse is an intriguing scifi show. You may know that it was created in
part by Joss Whedon, who also created Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and
Firefly (Serenity). Eliza Dushku, who stars in Dollhouse and was also Faith
in those first two shows, co-created the show.
If you are expecting the show to be as good as those other Whedon shows, you
may be disappointed. It is not a show that immediately grabs you or changes
your life. It is definitely good, and better than most other TV shows. Once
you get into the show, though, you will be hooked. It has excellent writing,
acting, and tons of action, and it makes you think as well.
The Dollhouse is a secret organization. People who want to leave their pasts
behind sign up to be "Dolls", which means the organization erases their
personality and uses them on various excursions. They can put a new
personality profile in to give them whatever skills or knowledge they need
to get the job done. Of course that's the science fiction part.
The ethics of the Dollhouse are questionable because they do get the dolls'
consent in writing before they make them into dolls. They sign up for five
years to be dolls and get paid well in return. The jobs they send them on,
however, are often risky and not always legal. Also, the technology is new
and untested, so the dolls could be hurting themselves.
Eliza Dushku plays Echo (formerly Caroline), a college student who gets into
trouble when she and some friends break into a lab to find out what this
corporation is doing. Her boyfriend gets killed, and she gets caught, so she
signs up with the dollhouse to get out of trouble (the same corporation that
she was investigating runs the dollhouse). We learn all of this from various
episodes. There are other dolls, too, that we learn about, like November,
Sierra, and Victor. There is a doctor, played by Amy Acker (Fred in Angel),
some scientists, and other characters, all cast very well. You get to know
them all gradually. The writing keeps you guessing and takes lots of twists
The main hero of the show, besides Echo, is an FBI agent named Paul, played
by Taminoh Penikett (Helo on Battlestar Galactica). He has learned bits of
information about the Dollhouse and wants to stop them, which is very
difficult because no one else believes they exist. Another hero is Echo's
handler, Boyd (Harry J. Lennix), who was in law enforcement and clearly has
trouble with the dollhouse in many ways.
It's a complex show in many ways, but it's not hard to follow. There is
plenty of action, especially when the dolls are kicking butt. You will be
entertained. Some episodes are better than others. It's definitely worth
watching. It has made a good pairing with Terminator: Sarah Connor
chronicles up till now. Both air on Fridays on FOX.
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