We just finished watching season 1 of Dollhouse on DVD….We tried to watch it when it was on TV, but after getting through the first 3 episodes, neither R or myself had any desire to continue. But, based on all the reviews that said it got better after about episode 7, we decided to give it another chance. Now as an author, it bothers me when I’m supposed to give a show or book time to get started, time to get better. Why not just make it great to begin with? But I understand that sometimes, TV is a different beast. Most of the shows I’ve loved had a bit of a viewing curve, it took a couple of episodes to get into their rhythm and find their way.
Now that I’ve finished the season, I’m still conflicted. Yes, the show definitely picked up and got better – found it’s rhythm, so to speak. And I started to care about the characters, but I’m not convinced it was because of the writing. All of the actors involved are top notch and I think their abilities really made these people come alive. I think the actor that played Victor definitely made that character for me – I hated him at first, but by the end, the romance between him and Sierra was about the best thing going.
I loved seeing the relationship between Boyd and Echo, I believed he cared about her, cared about all of them. And the relationship between Ballard and November was pretty well done. I think that’s where Joss Whedon’s strength’s lie.
But the plotting and continuity didn’t quite cut it for me. There were definitely parts of each episode I thought were brilliantly done, but overall, the first season was really just inconsistent. There were major threads left hanging (and I’m not convinced Joss Whedon meant to come back to them). And the finale? The one that takes place in the future? Blech.
I think my problem with the last episode is that there were already too many questions/unknowns floating around in my head from the regular episodes. I didn’t need to see a future that made no sense and created more questions than it answered. It was frustrating, rather than intriguing. Perhaps it was just me, but it would have been more powerful if I’d seen the road these people had taken to get here, if I’d understood how they’d reached that point. It just didn’t work for me.
Now, that doesn’t mean I won’t be watching season 2. I’m willing to give it a chance, to see where it goes. But I have to decide if I’ll watch it while it’s on TV or wait for the DVD.