Occasionally a television show comes along which just seems to stand head and shoulders above everything else – a shining beacon in a sea of dreck.
Right now, it’s Dollhouse that has so captivated my attention.
We are two episodes away from the season (and likely series) finale, and the first of those episodes screens tonight.
The Friday-night timeslot has done the show no favors. Friday night is where shows go to die, and even a show with the cult following of Firefly had to buckle under the sheer force of “I’d rather go out and get drunk”.
Nevertheless, Dollhouse is a show with a phenomenal premise, one which could conceivably stay fresh long after most other shows would start to smell funny. For those uninitiated, the Dollhouse is an extremely secret organization in which people whose personalities have been removed can be imprinted with any traits, talents or skills necessary to fulfill the request of the Dollhouse’s clientele. Cue plenty of sex and violence, of course, but also some extremely well-executed mystery/crime/comedy moments; naturally, when the characters themselves are blank slates, almost anything can happen if the actors are good enough… and they are.
Under the surface, though, something is not quite as it should be; dolls (‘actives’) begin to remember past imprints, to show behavioral glitches. Add to this the dual threats of a Mulder-like agent doggedly investigating every lead on the Dollhouse, and the escaped former active known as Alpha.
It’s way better than I’m making it sound here. That’s because Joss Whedon is at least at the level of Advanced God, and I’m just, y’know, me.
The straight-up ratings numbers don’t look that good. The Live+SD and Live+7 numbers are somewhat healthier, though, indicating an appeal to certain demographics to which advertising is often targeted. Will that be enough to save the show? The meta-drama is still unfolding, but most people seem to believe that it’ll require that Fox make an astounding leap of Faith.
Hope is not completely lost. But it is fading.
This show going off the air so soon would be an absolute travesty given its potential.
If you had been watching but had given up on it, do me a favor and watch the trailer for tonight’s ep – perhaps you can rekindle your interest:
If you’re not going to be watching TV at 9:00 tonight but don’t mind leaving the TV on for an hour, tune it to FOX. If the show does get a second season, you will have my eternal gratitude.
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