Space Ramblings

Trouble in Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse

dollhouseBetween the pilot episode being kicked back a spot to make way for a new more pilotier pilot and Joss Whedon being unusually accommodating about the whole thing and now a two week production shutdown, Dollhouse’s future is looking none too bright. Though to the Cult of Whedon, Joss Whedon can still do no wrong, the history stacks the numbers against him. We’ve seen the Dollhouse promos and they don’t look too promising. Buffy and Firefly both had exciting premises that jumped out at you, Dollhouse by contrast seems like a watered down version of Alias, La Femme Nikita and Dark Angel that looks almost as exciting as Tru Calling.

Now add on the FOX factor and you’ve got serious trouble brewing for Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse. FOX likes to order SciFi shows and then cancel them. One by one FOX has done this to SF series after SF series over the years. To FOX’s credit the shows do get ordered, they just don’t survive. Joss Whedon’s last FOX series Firefly couldn’t even run a single season on FOX. Dollhouse may do no better. For starters Dollhouse has a whole bunch of strikes against it. First is its name, not exactly the sort of calling card to bring in the target demographic, a problem also shared by Firefly.

While Joss Whedon gained success with Buffy, the one word names for shows, names that are a bit misleading and silly, only worked once, and it worked because Buffy was the title character. Firefly’s name alone probably lost the series no shortage of viewers that never even bothered tuning in. Dollhouse will have the same problem, only in spades. Ask the average TV viewer what he expects from a show called Dollhouse and it certainly isn’t a series about mindwarped women who kick ass. And while maybe we shouldn’t be talking down to the TV audience, working with them to promote your show isn’t a bad idea either.

I said from the start that Dollhouse looked like an impossible series to pull off, too high concept to really make for good TV viewing. The teaser for the series made it look bland and it’s obvious that the series is suffering from serious script problems.

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