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Dollhouse - Pilot: "Ghost"

I'm mostly recycling the e-mail I sent to a friend as my LJ entry on this.

Pros:
  • Harry Lennix as Boyd Langton -- I thought he brought the right amount of concerned gravitas as Echo's handler.

  • Amy Acker as Claire Saunders -- To me, she was the most interesting character on the show. I definitely want to know why Claire has those scars. Acker is a very versatile actress: I've seen her play nerdy and sweet on Angel, and be equally convincing as a ruthless career climber on Alias. I look forward to seeing what unfolds.

  • The set looks really good. Atmosphere, yay.

  • That line about Edward James Olmos was awesome! Loved the Battlestar Galactica shout-out.

  • The Terminator/Dollhouse lineup has already worked nicely in one way: the promos done by Glau and Dushku were a fun way of representing the Buffy/Firefly/Dollhouse continuum.


Cons:
  • Eliza's gorgeous, but can she deliver all these different personas? She did fine with changing her body language as Eleanor Penn, but her accent sounded the same as it always does. I hope that was a deliberate decision for the pilot to make things easy on new viewers, but with all those different personalities imprinted, might she not have a different accent? Southern? Midwestern? British? Etc.

    I watched Alias. The writers often had Sydney Bristow (played by the talented Jennifer Garner) adopt different accents, and it worked beautifully. I'd like to see a little of that here, to emphasize the change, the transformation after imprinting. I know from past interviews that Dushku has said that the tomboy stuff comes easily to her, and she's always been one of the boys, but she's going to have to expand if she's going to succeed as the lead in this show (though I will say that I thought she got noticeably better as she settled into that role, especially during the retrieval scene). On the bright side, Joss is known for writing excellent ensembles, in which each cast member gets to shine at different times, so even if she's not as strong as one might like from show to show, she's got plenty of backup.


Overall, I thought it was an engaging pilot, if a little overglossed in parts (the motorcycle/dance club scene, for example). To me, that smacked of Fox intervention, though some fans are saying they felt like it was a little flashback to the Bronze, which I guess I can see.

Happy moment: seeing the Mutant Enemy for the first time in a while. Grr, aargh!

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
jasondemotte
Feb. 15th, 2009 12:14 am (UTC)
I didn't watch it on Friday but I did catch it on Hulu. I don't think it's quite hooked me quite as much as the end of The Train Job on Firefly (I knew I loved the show as soon I watch Mal kick someone into his engine). I'm not quite in love, but I had a good first date, so to speak.

What I noticed was that it seemed like they were purposefully avoiding Joss-isms. There were occasional flasshes of wit, but little of the regular banter of Buffy, Angel or Firefly. And I kept expecting Echo to break out the kung-fu at some point but no, other then the brief scene with Sierra, no young women kicking ass. I'm sure we will eventually get some of that (the nature of the show makes Echo an extremly diverse character), but it was kind of neat to see Whedon break out of some of his comfort zones for a first episode.

I'm definately going to keep watching.
pointedview
Feb. 15th, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)
Good observations! I like your analogy of the first date, and agree that the show doesn't have an established Joss dialect at this point. You raise an excellent point about Whedon departing from his comfort zones; I look forward to seeing where things go from here.
quandry
Feb. 15th, 2009 06:06 am (UTC)
Squee!

I loved it. I love the very dark computer/psych geek 'Topher' (a name I see more and more. I'm guessing because of the Dave Eggers book?).

And I've been loving the gloss too. Frankly, some people seem to be blotting out all the great fashion that was in Buffy. Yes, crunchy indie folk do love their Joss, but you know... it smacks of teenagers proving their cool by carping about how their favorite band "sold out". I want to see this series last a few years, which means that it's got to get past the playing coffeehouses stage.

But anyway... yay! I've been feeling content-deprived lately, and my sweetie is always up for watching hot brunettes with me.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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