Dollhouse Recap V2.0: Ghost (series premiere)
So, it should probably be noted up front that I totally took a break in the middle of this episode to wander off, buy a plane ticket, read fourfour, and eat some food too. What does that say about my opinion of this show (or at least its first several episodes) Also, I don’t think I’m going to be able to sit through more than one episode at a time. Especially if I’m taking notes.
Anyway, here goes:
The Good: Well, they certainly get the creepy atmosphere going straight from the start. And many yays for Amy Acker. Seriously, why couldn’t they give the show to her? The episode begins with some hope of excellence to come: it starts at the end of one story. Whose story that is we don’t find out til later. I like this.
The Bad: Too bad they turned around directly thereafter and fucked it up trying to be all sexy. Seriously, folks, someone tell me if I’m being a total prude, but that goddamn white dress? Seriously. Seriously? How could she even move in that thing without flashing vag at the whole world? Also, I really hate her whole blank look thing when she’s been wiped. Let’s not even get me started on Dushku’s terrible actressin’. Good godtopus.
The Wait, What?: Why is Echo curious? None of the other “actives” are. They are, in fact, just the opposite. None of them, Echo included, ever strikes me as devoid of personality. Perhaps because I honestly think leaving one devoid of personality would actually make them vegetative, not just passive and calm and easily led. (And they wouldn’t be able to do a whole lot of “Pretty people in skimpy tight yoga clothes” if they were all vegetative. It would be a lot more “Hospital gowns and gurneys and IVs” if that were the case.)
Oh wait, that’s right. She’s curious because she’s the main character. And because they need someone to see that little scene in Topher’s lair wherein they’re wiping Sierra’s brain. The audience needs that wee bit of exposition, and there’s clearly no other way it could’ve been shown. They couldn’t have had some other character, for whom the action of walking into that office would’ve been far more believeable, walk into that office. That’s shoddy characterization and lazy story-telling, my friends.
Also, Mr. Paul Ballard. His entire introduction is him getting reamed for blah blah blah, alternating with him having the shit beat out of him and beating the shit out of someone in a boxing ring (now there’s some nice, heavy-handed metaphor for ya). Although I suppose technically it’s supposed to be some sort of mixed martial arts thing. Whatever, I don’t mind looking at Tahmoh with very little clothing on. He is definitely the highlight of the episode. But also, here’s the thing. He’s introduced as an obsession, not a character. We aren’t given even the slightest hint of a reason for this obsession of his. It’s just that he was assigned to the Dollhouse case for some unmentioned indiscretion that warranted the boot to the X-Files. Because, face it, that’s what it is for him. He’s some re-working of Spooky Mulder. Only without the kidnapped sister in his background to give him, yanno, some fucking motivation.
The Verdict: I blame the network. But I’m not sure I’m willing to forgive Joss the indiscretion or the lazy story-telling and characterization, either.
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Tags: dollhouse, episode, episode one, ghost, re-recap