Dollhouse- it gets betterIf I watched the first season of Buffy now I imagine I wouldn't like it. It was hokey, the acting was a little poor, and the plot was uninteresting. So Joss Whedon has form (although the pilot two episodes are still excellent). It seems Dollhouse suffers from this. Having watched only three episodes so far, I am watching based mainly on potential.
While Target was generally thrilling, last night we watched Stage Fright, which was generally awful. The issue for me at the moment is who to root for. We can root for Echo, but she is passive (currently, there is evidence this will change), a creation of a rather nasty corporation. We can perhaps empathise with her handler a little, but he is, after all, a willing participant in an utterly abominable project. There is no gray here, it is pretty clear that the dollhouse is a hideous program, run by fairly hideous people with no respect for the lives they create and destroy. To be fair, the program acknowledges it. Its at its best when it does so- seeing the creepiness and the investigation is fun. Watching someone do what they are programmed to do.. less fun.
There is a serious issue currently with the rather traditional tones. After all, Echo is being protected by a man, and the FBI agent searching for her is a man, and Alpha is, as far as we know, a man! It wouldn't have been hard to make the FBI agent a woman. Stage Fright only makes this worse, an episode that appears to have been written to get women to wear little clothing and then sing. Its not helped by an insufferable lead for that episode. I really didn't care at all about anything that happened during that episode.
So I'll keep watching, but it better get better soon...