Dollhouse, Season 2: Impressions

Dollhouse is a strange little monster.  Is it good?  Yeah, sort of.  I mean, yeah.  The concept of the Dollhouse is that a company recruits people with troubled pasts and makes them “actives”.  They program the actives to be whoever you want to be.  You want a hooker?  They can program you a hooker.  You need a ninja?  They can program you a ninja.  If you want my fantasy, a ninja hooker, they can do that too.  The first season introduced the idea and had a few “This episode, Echo is a spy” episodes.  Those sucked, for a number of reasons, but it got better when a conspiracy and a strange “Future” episode was created that showed what would happen in Season 2, a nightmare where everyone in the world is programmed and controlled, kind of.  Season 2 delivers the promise of Season 1’s end episode, building to the finally.  The bad part?  Season 2 had pretty much no budget.  You have the Dollhouse set and, well, that’s it.  It doesn’t get boring but it does get repetitive.  Camera angles and cool dialogue and good acting and story lines only go so far. The Second Season is only good when you have a complete connection to the characters.  Once you don’t care, you’ll become seriously uninterested really quickly.  Sadly, erasable identities and golems and the heavy concept of identities only goes so far. It is worth a watch, simply because of Joss Whedon.  Everyone likes Joss Whedon.

 

3 thoughts on “Dollhouse, Season 2: Impressions

  1. Yeah, it took a while for this show to get going. I’m two episodes from being finished with the second and final season. You’re right that the first season dragged a bit with those mostly episodic…um, episodes. I became much more interested in the show once they started building a larger story. Although I have to say that the whole Alpha-reveal was pretty awesome.

    A big part of the problem I had with the show was that I found it difficult to like any of the characters.
    As you say, they’re pretty much de facto pimps. It was hard to find the characters’ little quips charming when 90% of their time was used to whore out their actives. But once it became clear that they were the lesser of two evils, I kind of started to root for them. Not to mention the premise of the show instantly become ten times more interesting and important at the end of Season 1.

    Still, the premise definitely bugged me for a while. You can’t transfer consciousness onto a harddrive. You’re only making a copy of it. If that person and the harddrive copy of who they are can both exist at the same time, independently, then you’re not really preserving them at all. When you wipe them, as they say, you essentially kill them. You’re just putting back a copy later. I guess it doesn’t matter much, but I really couldn’t stop thinking about that.

    • The show never dealt with the idea of the “Soul”. Never. Who are we? Are we collective memories? Are we our experience? Are we what we say and what we do? Or are those things laying on top of us? Does the soul hold these things together? Like how a scrap book page holds pictures? Something to think about.

      • Yeah, I guess that’s true. I think maybe they tried to deal with it a little bit, though. They certainly at least pointed to the idea that there’s some immutable part of people that remains no matter what you remove. I think Alpha’s psychotic nature, Sierra and Victor’s relationship, and Echo’s development are all pretty good examples of that.

        Anyway, I just finished those last two episodes. I definitely would’ve preferred to have seen how Joss Whedon would’ve developed the story over a longer period of time, but at least the finale didn’t leave me with that oh-my-god-this-show-is-just-beginning-what-the-hell-just-happened-feeling that Firefly’s did.

        At the end of the day though, I really would’ve have preferred that they had cancelled this show before they did The Sarah Connor Chronicles. The show was gold. Solid gold, dipped in chocolate.

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