Since enough time has passed, and I’ve been able to mull around my thoughts, I’ve decided to give an official review of the television show Dollhouse, recently completed on Fox. I should warn you that I have some issues with Fox, so this post will most likely be biased.
In what I call an unfortunate circumstance, Dollhouse only made it through a season. I say season even though others may call it two seasons because a single television season should consist of twenty-something episodes: no less than twenty, no more than twenty-six. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m sure an average season of television should last about twenty-two episodes. Dollhouse has twenty-four episodes in total.
Within that twenty-four episode timeframe, Dollhouse managed to fit at least three seasons worth of material in that small amount of time. The majority of the content is found in the last ten or so episodes. You can see me complain about such nonsensical accomplishments here. [Warning: link contains spoilers]
Yes, this fast pace does detract from the story --- a lot. I would have loved to have seen Adele DeWitt suffer more from her demotion. Echo’s escape and circumstances behind her return should have been elaborated upon. It would have been so cool to actually see Topher’s descent into insanity. But alas, Fox did not give Joss Whedon a chance to develop his characters at a reasonable pace. At least they had the courtesy to give him a heads up when his show was cancelled.
For, I assume, when Dear Joss heard about this cancellation, he decided to fit as much of the story into the final episodes as possible. That meant that a character’s development was left assumed by the viewer. It also meant that a few scenes from the episode “Epitaph One” went unseen by the viewer as well. He worked so hard to cram the rest of the story in a way that made sense, that gave episodes clear arcs. I do not commend Joss for the story, I commend him for his effort put forth into the storytelling. If that man deserves anything, he deserves to produce a show that offers at least five seasons of content. Fie upon Fox for their treatment of Storytelling Mastermind Joss Whedon! Fie upon them all!
As for Dollhouse, because of the circumstances around its production, character development was sort of stunted in a way where we didn’t see how anyone developed. The pacing was radically out of proportion especially when Guest Star Alexis Denisof was around. So really, it put a damper on the whole operation all together. But I give Dollhouse the benefit of the doubt. It did not deserve what it got, and it had so much potential.