Well, you've seen the first episode. What do you think? Did Joss Whedon's sci-fi spy-ish Dollhouse move you? Did you love it? Or did you rail against the Hollywood Powers That Be for taking Joss and us away from vampires and spaceships?
Friday's premiere proved Dollhouse is not Buffy, Angel or Firefly. Gone are the quippy dialogue and fun that made us worship all things Joss.
But let's face it: What could Joss give us at this point that wouldn't be just a little disappointing? What he did offer is a brave new Jossiverse that, thank God, has got more La Femme Nikita in it than My Own Worst Enemy ... not to mention Eliza Dushku doing a little ass-kicking (at least when she's not being wiped).
If you've decided to hang in there and see what Dollhouse has in store for us in the future, fear not. Joss offers us the one thing he's not capable of leaving out of any of his shows ... mythology. The next few episodes delve into the mystery behind Alpha, glitches with the wiping technology, and Agent Paul Ballard's continued search for Echo.
In next week's "The Target," Echo ends up in a most dangerous game as we learn more about her handler, Boyd Langton (Harry Lennix). Meanwhile, the Dollhouse personnel continue to have problems and Ballard pushes forth with his investigation. And in "Gray Hour," Echo is mysteriously remotely wiped in the middle of a perilous and illegal engagement, leaving the team to attempt a rescue.
These episodes offer the best and worst of Dollhouse. On the good side, the stories are well told, with terrific pace and action, while the mythology continues to intrigue. On the not-so-good side, the childlike Echo just isn't that interesting. The actress manages to infuse charisma into her different implanted personalities, but it's hard to hang on to a character that is constantly changing. Sure, it's fun to see Dushku play the ultimate outdoorswoman or a backup singer or a savvy thief, but which one of them are we supposed to care about?
Fortunately, Dushku has solid actors backing her up. Lennix is especially good. And it's great to see Amy Acker as Dr. Claire Saunders, even if she isn't as prominent as she could be. One note, though ... Fran Kranz's Topher Brink could be toned down a bit. Whedon's trying a little too hard to stuff as much comic relief as he can into this one character.
The one thing that becomes very apparent through the next episodes is that Whedon is going to take his time to tell his story his way. And while that may not be what all of us want out of Joss's latest brainchild, he's earned this. So suck it up, people. Give back a little, and give Dollhouse a few episodes to win you over.
As for me, I'll keep watching ... and promise to only occasionally whine because there aren't any vampires or spaceships.