Despite Ratings Increase Dollhouse Needs More Whedon
Author: Steve West
published: 2009-03-15 01:45:08
Itís week 5 of Dollhouse Ratings Watch and we finally have some substantive good news. The DVR bump in viewers was nice, and gave hope that the show could continue. But for the first time ever the ratings for Dollhouse went up Friday night. Not way up, only about 7%. Itís quite possible that the show could have found its bottom and will now slowly build up a strong cult fan base.
Thatís the most I think Dollhouse can hope for at this point. The show is Ė as of right now Ė the weakest of Whedonís programs. That said it is still on the verge of being purely great. The little touches Whedon uses to flesh out his characters and worlds are slowly coming to light, especially in relation to the goings on in the Dollhouse itself. And weíre finally getting a Whedonism or two thrown in with ďman reactionĒ coming into my every day parlance.
Eliza Dushku has hinted that the sixth episode is really going to hook fans and newcomers, and I have to believe her. That episode is written by Joss and I have to believe because now that Iíve started enjoying what is being done with Dollhouse it is about time we start getting a Whedon show. These initial episodes have felt so standalone, with only minor connectors that make you realize thereís a potentially interesting story being told. I think Dollhouse has actually suffered from a little too much interference, and while that may have been necessary to keep Fox on board itís time for it to stop. Right now Dollhouse needs the hardcore Whedon fans. The people who usually support him en masse when it comes to DVD release time.
If next weekís episode delivers on the vague promises then I think thereís a good chance that Dollhouse can make it. Itís time to let go of the notion that we can force those who watch The Ghost Whisperer to change the channel and focus all of the creative energies on the millions who would show up if only this show were more Whedonesque.
That movement starts with the characters. Jokes about Elizaís acting (in)ability are irrelevant really. Sarah Michelle Gellar wasnít much better, except that Gellar has far superior comic timing. Buffy worked so well as a character because of the lighter moments that got you through any whining or complaining. Echo doesnít have that right now. Joss Whedon doesnít make comedies, or anything remotely like them, but thereís a wit and irony in his characterizations that Iíve been missing on Dollhouse. I need a moment where Mal kicks a guy who ends up getting killed. That scene in Firefly helped establish the character as a bad ass, but also added some levity to a serious problem since Mal hadnít quite intended on that happening.
Iím really getting into the world of Dollhouse, but unlike previous Whedon shows or Battlestar Galactica Iím not connecting with the people as much as Iíd like. Hopefully that starts to change as Tahmoh finally comes face to face with Echo next week. Plus Patton Oswalt is in the episode and that can only mean good things.
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