Show Review: Dollhouse (Final Comments)


I’ve officially tuned out on Dollhouse. I was initially incredibly excited about the show. I thought the concept was brilliant and that it had a lot of potential. Then the first episode came out. It was good, I thought, and at least established the characters, but nothing special. Then episode two failed to add anything new to the series, and shortly after than we were left with episodes three and four, which provided some interesting side plots, but stuck us with the mostly uninteresting Echo. And that’s when I tuned out.

Granted, I am terribly picky about my TV shows. The problem with Dollhouse is that it fails to do what great shows like BSG have done: tell a good story. Dollhouse essentially doesn’t have a story. True, the subplots were building up to make it seem like there was a lot of interesting things ahead, but instead of focusing on those stories, Dollhouse focused on Echo, who, after one episode, is essentially the most uninteresting and useless character. If she’s become more interesting after episode four, wonderful, but I’m not going to waste any more time watching, because Dollhouse had the chance to get me interested and wasted it on four episodes where nothing happens. I simply don’t care about Echo. I really don’t. Her character is utterly pointless and not enough time is afforded to characters who deserve more.

Someone said (possibly Whedon or a producer) that you should stick with the show until episode seven to give it a good chance, but quite honestly if you can’t keep me entertained past episode two, what point is there for me? I’m making an investment of my time (an hour each episode) and blowing seven hours on a show that I don’t find all that great to begin with seems relatively pointless to me.

So, I suppose the question is: what do you all think of the show? Are any of you still watching? Do you think it should be canceled?

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

7 thoughts on “Show Review: Dollhouse (Final Comments)

  1. A friend of mine quoted the 6th episode (“There are three flowers in a vase. The third flower is green.”), and I was intrigued about what this phrase could possibly mean, so I watched the 6th episode. Then the 7th. And after that I went back and watched from the beginning. In my opinion the 6th was the best of the bunch, and the 7th was the second best, and after that I can’t order things properly. I am most likely mixed up because I didn’t watch them in airing order, but I am enjoying the series so far. Even if you’ve given up on it, I think you ought to watch the 6th episode anyway, because it has some great stuff in there about why people would want to use dolls.

    I also might be somewhat biased because the same friend pressed the Firefly DVDs into my hand shortly afterwards, and I’ve spent the past five days watching all of the Firefly episodes. And then watching them again with commentary. And then watching them in French. (Okay, I only did that for Ariel.)

  2. Carr: Firefly is a much better show because you had people to care about.
    But I’m done with Dollhouse. If it takes until ep 6 to get interesting, then there’s no point for me to hang around :P.

  3. I agree that the first 5 eps were generally weak, but the show really hits the ground running in #6 and keeps going strong. The network messed with the concept and insisted on the weak episodes to establish the concept, not Whedon’s fault. But his other shows took a whole season to really get the concept right. You should jump back in.

  4. Joseph and Ellira: It’s not so much my stubbornness as my complete disinterest in the show now. I know everyone is saying that it comes into its own about halfway through the season, but I’m already fed up with it. This is why I never saw the third Matrix movie in theatres. Number two was so terrible I just couldn’t see myself wasting my money/time to go to the theatre.
    I wonder this: Whedon is actually a damn good storyteller. Buffy is pretty good, I’ve heard Angel is good too, and I loved Firefly/Serenity. Why is he still dealing with Fox and not moving elsewhere where his talents will be appreciated?

Leave a Reply to Carraka Cancel reply