Saturday, October 3, 2009
Before we even get to talking about what we thought about this most recent episode of Dollhouse, I think we need to address the ratings situation. 2.1 million viewers, 0.8 preliminary adults 18-49 rating? They even lost a significant amount of viewers in the second half. Ouch! Derivative basic cable shows get better ratings than that, let alone a major network like Fox who knows how to dominate with shows like "House" and "American Idol". Is there any way that this show isn't toast? Even Terminator never did this badly and look what happened there.
As was pointed out elsewhere, Dollhouse is not being promoted much at all and, when it is, um... well, I think this speaks for itself. Fox, man, at least try to let your show succeed, dude. What was the point in even renewing it if you were going to treat it like it's dead on the vine?
Anyway, as Tara is on the coast that is west, I'm going to post this without our reviews for now but, here, have a nifty poll and tell us what you thought while you wait for us to weigh in.
UPDATE: Tara is respecting Michelle's Dollhouse fasting by not watching the episode while she's out there. Here's what I thought though!
Bitsy's take: You can really tell Eliza isn't a mom. It's not that she doesn't look like a woman who just had a baby (and, obviously, she doesn't since she hasn't) it's that she doesn't ooze that warm attachment to her baby that moms do in the earlier scenes before all the crazy happens.
The dialogue between Dichen and Eliza is really wooden. I wasn't sure who to blame for that but, as the episode went on and even Alexis Denisof's acting wasn't quite up to par in his first scene, I started to get the sneaking suspicion that it might be the writers or the director's fault.
The more I watch the more apparent it is that it's the writing that's the biggest issue here. It feels really uneven. The really emotional stuff is handled extraordinarily well but the quieter, more exposition driven scenes feel stiff and unnatural. It's almost schizophrenic but I think the real problem is that the writers couldn't handled making things feel authentically normal without making me bored in the process.
When the acting is on, though, it's really on. Eliza does a really magnificent job of expressing genuine terror. I can't believe I'm going to say this but, honestly, I think she is the best thing about this episode. Once Echo is wiped and all she has left is that maternal need, suddenly Eliza is giving the most subtle and nuanced performance of her life, capturing perfectly a character who is so foreign to our world and making her visceral and real. Color me impressed.
It's funny, when I saw the previews I thought that the concept was ridiculous and that the plot would be laughably bad. It's actually the opposite and, as the episode has time to breath and we enter the second half, it's almost like watching a completely different episode from the first half. I think the cast and crew are finally learning how to take what Fox wants them to do and make it work for them instead of trying to fight the current like they seemed to be doing last season.
All in all, I'd give it an even B. I'm starting to like you, show, which means you'll probably get canceled. Sigh...
Posted by Bitsy at 11:46 AM