We’re three episodes into Joss Whedon’s new show Dollhouse. So far I think I do like it, but I don’t love it. Yet. And I can’t tell if I will. Vaguely spoilery thoughts for the episodes that have aired, I guess, so here’s a jump cut just in case. I’m not talking plot though, just premise and presentation.

The premise is definitely interesting, and I find that I’m more into it than I expected. I liked the second episode better than the first, and probably better than the third so far. And it’s cool, the layers of storylines and intrigue.

Like Kate, I’m planning to give it more time to find its footing and voice, etc., because I want it to start blowing my mind and being as must-see as Buffy and Angel. (Firefly only achieved must-see status on DVD for me, because of how FOX kind of botched up Joss’s storytelling by airing the episodes in weird offputting order.)

I think my two reservations about the show so far are:

  • Joss is kind of known for his feminism, deservedly so, but something kind of rubs me the wrong way, like the show wants to have it two ways. Making it look all sexxay and glamorous to blatantly objectify and (ab)use the “dolls” from the “dollhouse”. It’s hard to do that without, you know, objectifying the actresses. But still turning the tables on the objectifiers in the end, and making the “dollhouse” management seem pretty skeezy, which they are… I dunno, part of me is clearly overthinking it. But let’s face it, those are some awfully skimpy clothes the “dolls” are routinely wearing, yeah? So at some level, I wonder if the show is participating in what it supposedly denounces? I don’t know how you get around that though, as a show-maker. And yet, I think it does successfully make you feel skeezy as a viewer for whatever knee-jerk objectifying you’re doing, so… ow, my head hurts.
    • P.S. I’m a bit of a hypocrite here because something I enjoy about the show Chuck is the amount of time Captain Awesome spends shirtless. I guess Chuck doesn’t perv on him the way Dollhouse seems to perv on its females. Not to the same degree of grossness, but still. So yeah, uh.
  • Eliza Dushku. Much as I really like her, she’s no master thespian. Most of the time she’s doing a fine job but there are definite limitations to her range. Eh, whatever.