5 Bad Sci-Fi Shows You’ll Love: #2: Dollhouse

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Ok, I get that this show is not about  psychological drama and the twisting labyrinthine mysteries. It’s about that long legged chick in the slinky clothes. Eliza Dushku really looks like a doll in this series, and she looks like she’s having a ball in the process.

Joss Whedon, the writer/producer responsible for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, brought us Dollhouse. Dushku’s character, Echo, is an Active, or a person who’s had her memory swiped so she can receive personality implants and pretend to be someone else for a limited period of time. Like many stories of sentient androids or robots, Echo retains some humanity by remembering a little bit of her past. The show follows her quest to discover who she really is.

Along the way, she gets to play other people. The facility that swipes Actives’ memories for wealthy clients is known as the Dollhouse. The other ‘dolls’ run the spectrum from robotic to psychotic. The moral red flags are waving fast and furious, and there are bells going off like sirens to signal that there is SOMETHING WRONG with treating people like this.

So with a premise like that, how could the show go wrong? For one thing, the story is never stated in a straightforward manner. There are betrayals and plot twists behind every corner, and the acting is bad. But the moral tension (and prolly Dushku’s body ) keep you coming back as though you were watching a train wreck.

Please click here for my rating system.

1. Premise: This premise can only work if you suspend disbelief. I kept thinking of the dolls as terminators or some other kind of robot. It never seemed like they were real people being enslaved by the man. . . 6

2. Characters: Dushku is young and vulnerable enough looking to make you root for her, even though her acting is wooden and uninspiring. The other actors do the best they can with the melodramatic dialog and the moral web the story weaves. 7

3. Costumes/Setting: These help tell the story. You can better tell when Echo is hired out to a client by her costumes than by Dushku’s acting. In addition, the cheap set really adds to the cheeziness factor of the general storyline. 7

4. Longevity: Dollhouse was popular enough with its fans to last 2 seasons. We were  simultaneously  tsking and watching each episode. Morbid fascination, I tell you! 5

Total score for Dollhouse: 6

Watch Dollhouse on hulu, Netflix Instant queue, Amazon Video on Demand, rent it from Netflix, or buy DVDs on Amazon. Not a Netflix member? Click here.

Dollhouse is second in a 5-part series. For #1, click here. For #3, click here, here for #4.

3 Trackbacks

  1. By Tweets that mention 5 Bad Sci-Fi Shows You’ll Love: Dollhouse – tubeCentric.tv -- Topsy.com on June 7, 2010 at 9:58 pm

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  2. [...] Sarah Connor Chronicles is third in a 5 part series. You can find #1 here, and #2 here. This entry was written by moviebuff, posted on June 17, 2010 at 9:38 pm, filed under Reviews and [...]

  3. [...] is part 1 in a 5 part series. Click here for #2, Dollhouse, here for #3, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, here for #4, Jeremiah. This entry [...]

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