DonAithnen (donaithnen) wrote,

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Penny Arcade has a thing or two to say about Dollhouse, and apparently a lot of other people have been talking about it as well, so i guess now is as good a time as any to put forth my thoughts now that i've seen three episodes.

Mostly so far my opinion remains "eh."

If there's anyone who's been living in a cave and hasn't heard about the show yet, the premise is that some shadowy corporation (ain't they all?) has developed technology to wipe people's memories and personalities from their brains and implant new ones.

The method by which they get volunteers for this is a little vague (we know at least one of the subjects is a volunteer, though it's not clear about the others) but it seems to be the standard method of finding someone who is down on their luck (but has a hot bod, no street bums please) and offer them the usual contract of "sign your life over to us for X years, and at the end of it you'll be happy and rich."

Their primary use for these subjects, as revealed so far at least, is prostitution, or really to be more fair, escort services (but which definitely include sex.) Since if all they wanted was sex they could just hire a regular hooker for, er i don't know what the going rates on prostitutes are, but presumably cheap, the company's target is the very rich. Supposedly the very rich are willing to pay six or seven figures to get a weekend with the "perfect" date. That seems a little weird to me, but the rich do all kinds of things that i don't understand, so maybe this is right in line with it.

Of course if that was _all_ the show was it would be pretty boring. But apparently every so often one of these rich clients runs into some kind of problem. And they think "rather than going to the police, i can go to the people who supply me my prostitutes and they can give me a hostage negotiator/spy/assassin/bodyguard/whatever!" And the company then says "Okay, we'll take our very expensive prostitutes and reprogram them into field agents and send them into dangerous situations for you (for a fee of course.)" I'm pretty sure that at least one of the parties involved in this process are a bit crazy.

When it was first announced i thought the concept of the show sounded a bit squicky, and i'm not sure if they even explicitly mentioned the prostitution thing originally, i think it may have just been "people who can be reprogrammed for whatever you desire" or some such and the desires left implicitly stated.

So considering what a bad idea it sounded like to begin with the show is actually reasonably good. I certainly wouldn't say it sucks, but i certainly wouldn't say it's become great yet either. Even three episodes of this still haven't managed to get me as interested as just one episode of Firefly did.

It's interesting that approximately 40% of the subjects seem to be male, but so far we've learned almost nothing about them. It would have been more intriguing, and i'm sure stirred up a much more vocal response, if he'd focused the stories on the guys. But of course they "needed" to have a female protagonist for the ratings, so no =P (For which they made a very unfortunate choice in my opinion. For reasons that i can't really explain Echo just does not seem very attractive to me.)

There seems to be an extreme shortage of likable characters at this point. Pretty much the only person i have much sympathy for is Echo's handler, who seems to regret what he's gotten himself into at least a little. I might feel more sympathy for Echo if there was a persistent personality to be sympathetic with, though perhaps they'll fix that in future episodes. There's a cop obsessed with shutting the Dollhouse down, which is a noble goal, but he can't even prove the place exists and the reasons for his obsession over the subject are inscrutable, so so far just seems like kind of a dork.

Anyways, after all that i should probably reiterate that i don't think it _sucks._ It's an okay show, and the only other contender for my live television attention that i can think of currently is the Sarah Conner chronicles, and for that i'd have to catch up on the previous two(?) seasons first. It's also an okay show being done by someone who has managed to produce at least one great work before, which i think gives it better than usual odds of managing to crawl its way up into greatness, but that's certainly no guarantee. So i'll probably keep watching it until something better comes along, or i get bored, or it gets canceled, in which case i'll just shrug and say "oh well, that's too bad."

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