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Dollhouse Sucks, a Case Study in Bad Concepts

It’s not that hard to make a TV show. Oh the details are hard, but in the big picture you want to nail a few things down. For one thing you want a main character audiences can identify with. Not a blank drone whose memory card gets pulled at the end of the day, leaving you to follow the storylines of the various corporate gnomes who hang around the place. Dollhouse is a poor fusion of cheesy girl power scifi dramas like Bionic Woman and Charlie’s Angels run through a blender that somehow distills all of Joss Whedon’s unique worldview and dialogue into mush, and leaves us with episodes in which a talentless Eliza Dusku playing herself goes on adventures such as playing hostage negotiator or teaching an American Idol wannabe how important it is to live your life. Some people are comparing Dollhouse to Dark Angel, but even at its worst, Cameron framed Dark Angel in a plausible alternative SciFi world, with a character who had her own personality and real challenges to face. Why Joss Whedon thought that people would watch a series about a drone who gets her memory card pulled at the end of the day, just so he can comment on society’s view of women, is beyond me. But Dollhouse is a case study in bad concepts, fitted with only two sympathetic characters, and a main character who can’t be identified with because she doesn’t really exist. That is not how you make a TV show.

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