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Joss Whedon's Dollhouse - R.I.P


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Why does Whedon continue to work with Fox, when all he ever seems to do, is encounter problems? Baffling.

He says there's a completely new regime in charge now, some of which he's worked with in the past. I'm still pessimistic.

I'm intruiged by Dollhouse. The idea is rather interesting, but I'm finding it hard to see how it could be developed into a show spanning several seasons.

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Why does Whedon continue to work with Fox, when all he ever seems to do, is encounter problems? Baffling.

Yeah, in fact I'm sure he said in an interview after Firefly was treated the way that it was that he'd never work with Fox again. And now that he's back working for them and encountering problems he's surprised? Poor Joss, why don't you ever learn? :)

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Reviews are in........... and they're pretty bad. :)

Entertainment Weekly gives it an “B-minus” and says:

… Dushku's acting is dexterous and beguiling. Given the artfully vague hints of an intriguingly desperate past for Echo, as well as Whedon's track record, we ought to cut the show some slack. Let's see if Whedon can bring this doll to greater life. …

USA Today gives it two and a half stars (out of four) and says:

… an empty-vessel premise that probably couldn't support a series even were it more adroitly cast … The result is a show that his most devoted fans will debate and embrace, and a mass audience just won't get. … We love you, Joss, but please, build something else.

Time Magazine says:

… If it weren't for Whedon's pedigree, I'm not sure I'd be dying to see a second episode. …

The Los Angeles Times says:

… beyond disappointing. Overcrowded with plotlines, high-tech gimmicks and ambition yet empty of emotional connection and purpose, "Dollhouse" tries so hard to be so many things it winds up being nothing much at all. …

The Chicago Tribune says:

… is "Dollhouse" worth watching? Though Whedon fans no doubt want the answer to be a slam-dunk "yes," I can only, at this point, supply a more tentative "Yes, but …" …

The Washington Post says:

… a pretentious and risible jumble … Slices of mumbo don't come much more jumbo than this … it's enough to make one long for the days when TV dramas were criticized for being too pat, too predictable, too much like one another. Whedon, who directed the pilot, certainly dressed it up stylishly, but I'll take simple coherence over fancy-pants trappings any day. …

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

… a major disappointment. … judging from two additional episodes - one a step forward, the other a step back to the underwhelming quality of the pilot - it could be that Whedon has invested too much hope in his muse, Eliza Dushku, the star of "Dollhouse." It could also be that the premise is too flawed for anyone to elevate.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

… isn't awful, but neither is it remarkably good. It's a passable hour of entertainment that shows potential to improve but flails and confuses (and occasionally bores) from the start. …

The Salt Lake Tribune says:

… The kidnapping story is standard criminal fare, and we are given little to no information about Echo's background, which might give viewers a reason to latch on to her character. … I'll watch a few more episodes, but I'm afraid it won't be any more watchable than one of "Star Trek's" worst episodes ever.

The Newark Star Ledger says:

… The idea seems too complicated by half … it looks like a slate that keeps getting half-wiped as Whedon struggles to decide what to draw. …

The Boston Globe says:

… doesn't stand up to the broad interpretations it invites. … Ultimately, you'll want to think about "Dollhouse" more than you'll want to think about watching "Dollhouse." …

Variety says:

Joss Whedon's cult following is no secret, but he seems assured of attracting the faithful and little else with "Dollhouse" -- a series that exhibits a kitchen-sink mentality, throwing in a half-dozen assorted plot threads that intertwine to create confusion. … attempting to unravel this convoluted package suggests that by the time "Dollhouse" finds itself, there won't be anybody but hard-core Whedon worshippers left to play with. …

The Hollywood Reporter says:

… it's easy to see the high aspiration and grand potential of the series but far more difficult to develop any sort of attachment to either the conceit or its enchanting young star and co-producer, Eliza Dushku. … Although Whedon infuses "Dollhouse" with an impressively detailed story line and social structure as well as nifty production values, the show lacks something for viewers to grab onto. Having a personality-shifting protagonist makes for a rooting challenge and, at its core, a disappointingly soulless exercise. On the other hand, Whedon knows how to build a story like few others, and Dushku is an uncommonly talented performer who breathes vibrant life into the ever-evolving blank canvas scheme. So this could definitely turn into something special over time, if the Friday night ratings can justify the patience.

I'll still be watching it, though.

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It could be a grower and not a shower. I can't remember the first ep of Buffy being too great either. Am I right in thinking this is on at exactly the same time as Battlestar? If that's true then that's a mental, MENTAL bit of scheduling.

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Well, thought it was pretty good but then I think seeing Joss Whedon's name at the start of anything turns me all gooey for the next 40 minutes. Amy Acker looks weird and what's betting that:

some of the other characters like the handler and stuff are 'dolls' too

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Personally I thought the start was awful, perhaps the first 5 to 8 minutes or so - After that I thought it was going to be a rough ride.

However, it seems to be promising - I really don't like the way they've decided to show the Dollhouse or the way they've implemented it, seems stupid.

Now, Universal Soldier, that's the way to do it :(

All in all there were more enjoyable moments than I thought, it shows potential but I think certain aspects are going to fry my head - Hopefully this show will grow and become more enjoyable.

Time will tell.

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I didn't really enjoy it and found myself bored while watching the episode. The Dollhouse seemed very over the top as well for what was supposed to be a covert operation. I'll keep watching because its' Whedon but the first episode didn't really do anything for me.

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I quite liked it, but for a Joss Whedon show it seems a little bit dry at the moment. Buffy, Angel and especially Firefly were full of strong characters that managed to achieved chemistry from the start. So far most of Dollhouse's regular cast hasn't had much to do, and the lead currently suffers from a literal lack of personality.

I'd be very surprised if this lasts for more than a single season at most, simply because many people aren't quite going to know what to make of it. It's certainly got a lot to prove.

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It was a bit meh. It better quickly introduce some kind of good arc because if it is just case-of-the-week, it will get old pretty quick.

I did like that tilt-shift effect in the opening though. I saw it with stills, but not with video before. Or was that an added effect?

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Meh.

I don't really rate ED as that much of an actress, and this seems almost to have been written as a vehicle to show off her talents.

It wasn't very good for a pilot I thought, there was nothing there that screamed "Introduction" or "Watch to find out!". This could almost have been any "filler" episode from the season.

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I don't really rate ED as that much of an actress, and this seems almost to have been written as a vehicle to show off her talents.

Especially considering she is produces the show too. I don't really see how Dushku gets things like "uncommonly talented" written about her.

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Will it get to half a season?

From Worstpreviews.com

The Friday night slot for TV shows has always been known as the Death Slot, and the series premiere of Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse" fell victim to it just like many other shows before it. "Dollhouse" was seen by just 4.7 million viewers on Friday night, below even the network's modest expectations for the series.

The new show was beaten in the 9 pm hour by ABC's "Supernanny" (8.5 million viewers) and is the lowest-rated drama series premiere on a major broadcast network this season, aside from NBC's now-defunct "Crusoe."

"Dollhouse" was paired with the mid-season return of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," which moved from its previous Monday-night timeslot, and that show also saw its ratings fall: 3.7 million viewers. "Terminator" came in third place in the hour and hit a series low (by 27 percent).

"Terminator" beat NBC's "Howie Do It," but not by much. Both CBS' "Ghost Whisperer" (8.9 million) and ABC's "Wife Swap" (4.3 million) did better.

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I have no idea what the

investigative stuff with Helo from BSG

was all about. In fact I kind of tuned out most of that. I quite enjoyed the main focus of the episode with the

kidnapping

stuff but there were niggles throughout, little moments of subpar acting or writing and such. I'd probably watch the next episode happily enough but it didn't hit me over the head and say 'WATCH MORE' like Firefly did.

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It was a bit meh. As others have said, very little to draw you in, an out-of-focus seasonal arc that doesn't actually seem to get off the ground, and some very contrived story devices. It's hard to believe this was actually a pilot.

It wasn't the original pilot. Whedon himself dropped the original once the tone of the show changed. I can't remember exactly, but I think this might have been the second ep brought forward and reshot/recut. It certainly came across that way.

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One thing I found ludicrous...

is where they positioned the mind wipe room in the Dollhouse. At the top of the staircase, with huge flashing lights strobing through glass doors, so that any wandering Doll gets their curiosity piqued and wanders up to have a look. When Eliza went up there, I was just thinking, "Why didn't this well organised company put all their tech out of sight in the basement, away from the Dolls?"

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