Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hooked on Dollhouse

I think it's safe to say that I'm really enjoying Joss Whedon's Dollhouse right now, which is a little sad since there are a ton of rumors circulating about the show's "inevitable cancellation" in the near future. Despite enjoying Buffy and Firefly, and following Angel religiously, I was completely uninterested in this show when I first heard about it. I didn't even bother DVRing it the night it premiered, even though I did set the timer for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which airs right before it. [Note: I have not caught up on the Sarah Connor season finale yet, so I'm not going to talk about that show here].

But somehow, despite hearing mixed reviews about the pilot, I decided I would check it out online after it aired. And even though I didn't love the pilot and can't really remember much from it at this point, I was intrigued enough to try watching more of the show. I found it entertaining background noise at first, but the stories began to draw me in more as time went by. And then I heard that the sixth episode was going to be the episode that would truly kick everything into gear. Lo and behold, this actually turned out to be true. Ever since then I've been looking forward to catching up on the show each weekend, and I have to say that after watching last night's episode earlier tonight, I am even more hooked on the show.

I was watching it with a friend, and we were gasping and making all sorts of speculations throughout the episode. It was the first time in a very long time that I was so invested in a TV show. The show certainly isn't easy to get into — there are a lot of grey areas, there aren't any officially clear-cut protagonists (though you do feel sorry for the dolls), and the first few episodes were middling at best. But these last few episodes have been jampacked with all sorts of reveals, and the characters are starting to appear more layered. It's a really neat, dark and mysterious sci-fi series and I'm eager to learn more about the Dollhouse.

I would like to add that we, as a society, have become even more obsessed with our forms of entertainment being completely "awesome" from the very beginning. But a lot of classic TV shows have started out fairly average, only to go on and become excellent and extremely popular for a good chunk of their runs. Whedon's shows have always had a tendency to do this, and other major sci-fi shows like The X-Files were like this too. At this point, I'd rather see an average show with potential, slowly build its way to the top, than see a solid show like Heroes (Season 1) turn into complete tripe as writers keep writing themselves into holes.

I just hope that network executives take this into consideration when they're examining Dollhouse.

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