According to the television ratings, Dollhouse had its lowest-ever ratings for its season (and likely series) finale.
I had told you in a previous post that I was giving up on this series, but being a Joss Whedon creation (and those being rare and precious things) I stuck with it to the end. Dollhouse DID get better, but with such a crappy start as its first six episodes, how could it not?
Apparently Fox, the production company and network behind the series, asked Whedon to make those early episodes more standalone stories, so viewers could drop in at any point and not have to bother with a complex back story, such as the extremely intricate storyline on Lost. However, Whedon designed this series to have a complex storyline, or “mythology,” so the standalone stories weren’t doing the series any favors. After a month and a half, viewers think a series knows where it’s going, so when Whedon pulled an M. Night Shyamalan-like game changing “surprise” during episode six, it was too late. The audience that stayed loved it, but you weren’t going to get any new viewers to jump in at this point.
At this point I gave the series props for its storytelling, but I believed it still had a major problem in star Eliza Dushku as Echo. She is simply not a strong enough actress to carry such an emotionally complex show as Dollhouse, one that deals with such issues as identity, personality, slavery, sexuality and personal freedom.
Those first six episodes were often like a goofy update of Charlie’s Angels: Echo goes undercover as a back up singer for a Beyonce-like pop diva who is receiving death threats; Echo, with the mind of a murdered millionairess implanted in her, poses as a friend of the dead woman to solve her own murder; and Echo goes undercover as a blind woman to topple a crazy religious cult. All that was missing was the little speaker box and the Bosley cameos!
And yes, Eliza Dusku is a very pretty girl, but they did NOT do the show any favors by constantly dressing her as, well, a tramp in so many of her adventures. It's as if Echo is auditioning for a "reality dating" show - Skank of Love.
I don’t know how much longer Joss Whedon has on his production deal with Fox, but for frak’s sake, someone on cable – HBO, Showtime, FX (which is owned by Fox!) – give the man a holla. Whedon has become, whether he likes it or not, a “cult series” creator – Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and now Dollhouse. Shows which don’t bring in a huge audience, but a small, VERY devoted one. That spells C-A-B-L-E.
I can’t wait until the next Joss Whedon series (a Firefly resurrection would be SWEET). But, please, leave out the skanky wardrobe.