Dollhouse – A Reason To Believe

by admin on November 13, 2008

After much negativity comes a “Dollhouse” article brimming with hope and positivity. Charlie Jane Anders (io9) reminds prospective Dollhouse fans that there’s still reason to believe in the premise that captured many peoples imaginations:

Dollhouse? It has one of the most intriguing concepts I’ve ever come across, right off the bat. In a sea of “ordinary person gets brainchip/spy computer in brain/mutant powers/introduced to a mad scientist” shows, Dollhouse instantly stands out.

It’s the story of Echo (Eliza Duskhu), who’s basically the property of the eponymous Dollhouse. For a fee, you can have Echo imprinted with any personality, any memories, any skills, you require. (And she does pro bono work sometimes.) But Echo, who’s supposed to be a blank slate, is starting to gain self-awareness, and remember who she really is. She has to fight for her identity, but the Dollhouse stands ready to destroy her if she shows any signs of self-awareness.

Yes, that’s a high-concept premise, and it’s hard to make it work as a weekly TV show. Luckily — see above — Joss Whedon’s strong suit is execution. He’s actually much better at making things work than he is at coming up with intriguing concepts in the first place.

Yes, I remember now! I don’t think this is a case of burying ones head in the sand, everyone knows the show has had problems, but until the show airs, lets hold on to the huge potential in the premise. Sure, the idea may have been cooked up in 5 minutes over pizza, but some people have their best ideas on the toilet. The Dollhouse premise is far from being in the gutter, as some people would have us believe.

Firefly passed that test with flying Adam Baldwins, and so will Dollhouse. (Without the Baldwin part.) Are you a Conservative who believes in rugged individualism? Dollhouse is about someone fighting for her individuality, who can’t be suppressed or destroyed by oppressive forces. Hate our orgiastic, hedonistic society, that turns people into pieces of meat? Dollhouse is right there with you. Do you think corporations are the devil, with better shoes? Dollhouse is about an evil corporation. Do you fear technology? Come on in. Etc. etc.

I think this is why both “Fringe” and “Dollhouse” caught my attention – both question the application of technology at a poignent time in our evolution. Dollhouse looks set to explore the role technology can have in protecting and destroying the self, and might pose questions like: Is it better to forget? Is it important to have a choice? Is there any going back? Can you ever really be yourself all of the time? Can you fight the system? Can you give into yourself? What is the soul? ..are we a collection of our memories and experiences, or does something else define us? Dollhouse is ‘out there’, but the underlying concept might well be closer to home than we think, if it’s given the chance to be itself.

Anyway, enough from me, check out the rest of the article over at

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