Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

Dollhouse 1.1 – 1.6

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Who would have thought it? Joss Whedon has decided to remake Mr Benn and cast Eliza Dusku as the titular bowler-hatted gent.

Perhaps more obviously Dollhouse can be compared to Alias. Both feature a young woman working for a super secrit organisation whose job mainly consists of wearing a small dress and punching people in the face whilst her older black partner hangs about in the background. Both programmes are also boring, repetitive and ludicrous. Thankfully Dushku’s Echo gets her mind wiped every episode meaning we avoid any Sydney Bristow-style spy angst but still, it is a terrible template for a show. It is as if Whedon looked back at Buffy and Angel and thought “hmm, I wonder what people liked about those shows?”, only to inexplicably decided that it was the tedious Monster of the Week episodes used to bulk out the seasons.

I’m deliberately writing this only six episodes into the season because by all accounts this is a season of two halves; a shit one and… a slightly better one. ‘The Man On The Street’ quite clearly marks the beginning of this shift, the first suggestion Whedon is actually going somewhere with this. It takes five episodes – almost four hours! – to get to this point though. I hope there is going to be some ultimate pay off for this slow burn beginning, the complexity that was ironed out of Firefly even before it was brutally choked will finally emerge. Then again coherent worldbuilding and moral sophistication were never Whedon’s strong suit so I’m not going to hold my breath.

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Written by Martin

10 September 2009 at 20:45

Posted in sf, television

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