1.03 “Stage Fright”

by admin on February 27, 2009 · 7 comments

Dollhouse 1.03 STAGE FRIGHT

The ‘American Idolesque’ look of this episode doesn’t exactly leave me with much anticipation. Neither did last week’s episode. I’ll admit, I’m still puzzled as to how “Target” was given a 10/10 from some viewers – surely such lofty scores are only reserved for world class performances, like those seen on this week’s “The Life And Death of Jeremy Bentham“? Maybe I’m just used to the good stuff?

Anyways, a new week and a new opportunity for “Dollhouse” to improve. I aim to disregard the previous two episodes as if they never entered my consciousness – I will be imprinted with new eyes with which to watch episode 1.03 “Stage Fright”.

My hopes? Well aside from a complete improvement in almost every department, my hope for this episode that the central character begins to resonate, and that we see more than just the ‘bad girl’ rendition which has crept into the previous two episodes, despite numerous imprints supposedly being on display. Not all Dushku’s fault either, the dialogue has been ridiculous (and not in the good sense of the word). I also think that the rest of the cast need to be serviced – not just with screen-time but with decent dialogue and meaningful direction. So far I’ve been less than impressed with Adelle, Claire and Ballard – and I didn’t think I would be saying that two weeks ago! I mean, compare Adelle with Fringe’s Nina Sharp – both women with enormous power, yet one has bucket-loads of charisma, depth and shades of meaning, and the other comes across as just an ice maiden from ice town. Guess which one is which? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve already come to the conclusion that there’s a lot more to Adelle than meets the eye, but is this thanks to the writing, direction or acting? Nope, it’s down to the premise of the show. Once again, it’s the premise that is the glue which is just about holding this mess together. I feel sorry for viewers who have no idea of how good this show could be – if I were in their shoes I’d have given up a long time ago. Probably when Echo fell off her bike..and certainly when she fell into the roving river.

That said, I’m looking forward to seeing more of Langton Boyd – he’s been a real surprise so far. Whilst recurring actors and ‘Whedon regulars’ were given mad publicity, the powers that be decided not to market their strongest performer? He was given, like, one promo photo. Wow. Just..wow. I think there’s potential in the Handler/Active story-line..to be honest, it’s an aspect I didn’t consider a great deal. So that’s a positive for me. Whether or not the duckling turns into a swan is another matter.

There’s so much more that I could say, but I don’t want to turn this into ‘Target Review 2.0’. This is probably the most pessimistic pre-game that I’ve written for any show, but I’m still watching dollhouse, so that must mean something, right? Right!? 🙂

1.03 STAGE FRIGHT: Echo provides protection to a pop star by becoming her backup singer. Ballard’s investigation, meanwhile, takes a wrong turn that may prove dangerous; and Lubov has a secret. Jaime Lee Kirchner: Rayna Russell. Cloie Wyatt Taylor: Chantal. Graham Norris: The Fan.

TRAILER

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfSB5UcF9h4[/youtube] [poll id=”14″]

LeParisianFrog February 28, 2009 at 11:18 am

It’s funny because compared to you, i am not terribly looking forward to seeing this episode. The promo shoots are wack-wack, making me think this is going to be an alternate version of Entourage! (hopefully on the image you display in this post, the two chicks in the far background look like the London trend has hit LA, peace and love people were a the new kids in town! hehe).

If Target has received good ‘grades’ i think it’s partly due to an overall display of generosity and some blindness (mine actually, no pun intended with next ep. of DH) as well as a feeling that the show was going in a direction and not all over the place like in Ghost.

It is impossible of course to compare apples and oranges. If Lost’s recent episode on the Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham was mucho brilliant, it’s partly due to the fact that the show has set a unpreceeding level of excellency that we can only wish for DH. Unfortunately the adventures of the Dollies have been pretty (un)expected so far. And i fear Stage Fright is going to be even more expected.

Oh well. Maybe i am hopelessly wrong on this. And maybe we’re in for a lot of surprises. More lines and more meat to major players like Adele and Boyd. More unwrapped storylines and less Dushku (uho!). Were are the other Actives when you need them anyway?

Roco February 28, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Good points LPF, we can’t really compare apples and oranges, but I had hoped for a higher standard than what we’ve had so far 🙁

If Target has received good ‘grades’ i think it’s partly due to an overall display of generosity

Yeah, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there. Whilst I respect the opinions of others, I’ve seen some shockingly biased reviews for 1.02. There’s good and bad to every episode, but some folks feel so indebited to Whedon that they refuse to report any of the faults. It’s just unrealistic and not very helpful to Whedon if he wants to improve. Just my opinion though. 🙂

Bad Mouth February 28, 2009 at 1:31 pm

I am pretty amazed too when I see 10/10 grades for these episodes, TV is really heading down the plughole (after the movie industry) if this is considered top class entertainment by some. Well, it wasn’t achingly bad or anything. Just watching now with such a low expectation it doesn’t have to do much to pass the bar. I still get the feeling that these episodes were made without any love, and none of the actors have a notion of what is going on. I think if Fox want to bring this series anywhere, then less means more, and that means giving Eliza less time-she pretty much destroyed every scene in this episode with woeful dialog (makes you wonder if she writes it herself). The other, Sierra, looks to have a lot more potential (and seems to be a better actor), and doesn’t grate like Eliza does. The series needs to start focusing tight in a direction and maybe something worthwhile might be achieved with better scripts. Still, taken as a whole so far I’m recommending we send this series to the Attic…

Roco February 28, 2009 at 4:12 pm

I am pretty amazed too when I see 10/10 grades for these episodes, TV is really heading down the plughole (after the movie industry) if this is considered top class entertainment by some. Well, it wasn’t achingly bad or anything. Just watching now with such a low expectation it doesn’t have to do much to pass the bar. I still get the feeling that these episodes were made without any love, and none of the actors have a notion of what is going on.

Yep, I hear you. It’s sad to see the bar lowered so low that this episode receives 10/10 scores.

I also have a bad feeling that the powers that be have given up, and are simply fulfilling their duties so that they can get their pay on. I’ve wondered for a while now whether they really care about the show. Maybe it was never meant to be..

Page 48 February 28, 2009 at 1:54 pm

As Adele said in one of the early trailers: “Well, that was spectacularly unacceptable”. Obviously, she had just finished a screening of 1.3

I rated this one 3/10. I’m not sure why I gave it a 3, possibly because it was Episode 3. A subliminal thing, I suppose.

On a positive note, this episode didn’t revolve around Echo’s prostitution gig. On a negative note, it just about bored me into a life-threatening coma.

Roco February 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I wish I could give it a 3..I feel kinda restricted by the 6.5 that I gave the first episode – I guess I thought it would improve vastly.

On a positive note, this episode didn’t revolve around Echo’s prostitution gig. On a negative note, it just about bored me into a life-threatening coma.

At least Rayna kept the skin quota up – not that I mind, but it’s becoming a worrying theme with this show. But yeah, I’m really glad we didn’t see (or hear of) any tongue tricks from Echo this week!

LeParisianFrog February 28, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Riiiiight! So i can sit back and relax, no need for me to rush on the internet to watch a streamed pixellated version of DH103 hence avoiding a terrible coma 😉

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