A Qualified Positive Notice for ‘Dollhouse’
Time magazine’s television critic, James Poniewozik, has posted the first review for Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse, which will not air until February 13.
He wrote, “It was both better and worse than I expected, in different ways. One of my concerns about it was that — given Joss Whedon’s talent for making absorbing serials — the case-of-the-week nature of the show would make it harder to grow attached to. (I’m assuming that anyone who cares at this point knows the premise already, but in case I’m wrong: Eliza Dushku plays Echo, an "Active," which is a person who has agreed to let a secretive organization erase his or her original memories and personality and implant new ones in them for "assignments" involving rich clients.)
“Yes, this is certainly Joss Whedon trying to do What People Think Works on Broadcast TV Today—the legendary serial-procedural hybrid. But the first episode—in which Echo is imprinted with a kidnapping-negotiator’s personality to secure the return of a rich man’s abducted daughter—is well enough written to be absorbing. Writing a crime hour doesn’t seem like Whedon’s thing, but the episode is tight, suspenseful, with intriguing psychological twists and flashes of Whedonesque humor.”
He is concerned that the show “is less a series concept than an actress’ showcase, a sort of extreme version of an Alias undercover premise.”
Still, he’s optimistic about the series and its future, concluding, “But for me, the main draw now is not seeing Dushku become a different person every week, but getting to see Joss Whedon become a different writer every week.”