Dollhouse – The Epitaph




I know that Dollhouse was over on Friday but I have been putting off this post and rewatching parts of it over and over. This series has been a LOVE IT OR HATE IT decision for viewers. I don’t think that’s fair. In retrospect I think this series was what it was meant to be; a short run series with a very definable beginning and end. To continue to run it with the “Freak of the Week” scenario would not have had anywhere near the impact that the last 5 episodes did. Let’s break down its components

Interesting Things To Consider:

Characters: This was a character driven show. You were forced into caring about them, even if there were times it confused the hell out of you.

Technology: A show of this nature has to have a believable technology at its core. If it doesn’t, it crumbles, because anyone can pull out a gadget and make everything better whenever they want to. Joss Whedon took this tech and made it flawed and KEPT it flawed purposefully. It worked.

Exceptional Actors: Originally a series built around Eliza Dushku, this series spawned a cast of absolutely wonderfully gifted actors, who took risks, made some amazing character decisions and in the midst of mayhem and terror, made the audience stop, smile and say, OMG, they are amazing! Chief among those who became legendary standouts because of their work on this series are Fran Kranz, Enver Gjokaj, Dichen Lachman and Miracle Laurie, among many many others. When you add in Dushku, Olivia Williams, Amy Acker and Alan Tudyk, you have an awesome ensemble. Trust me when I say I am leaving out tons of other very talented actors who has a chance to shine and did so.

The Run: 2 Seasons  of 13 episodes. In retrospect, this may have been a perfect run. All too often, a series like this becomes the gadget of the week and becomes boring. I do wish the endgame had used the unaired 13th. episode from season 1 as a run up to the final episode. I understand that it worked, but having watched it both ways, there is a much better sense of closure and quite frankly, I just feel it works better that way, but I defer to Whedon.

My Conclusion: In looking at Whedons body of work, I have noticed something interesting. Every series of his that I have enjoyed, has come to what I believe to be an unsatisfying conclusion. Buffy ends with the destruction of the Hellmouth , Angel ends with the begining of the Fight against Ultimate Evil, Firefly/Serenity escapes the Reavers and the Government at the expense of Wash and others, and in Dollhouse the world gets reset, a do over, after years of violence, even as Topher says they can’t put the genie back in the bottle. The mark of a Whedon project is this social ambiguity, this sense of moral greyness, this sense of reality, that the fight must always go on, move forward, regardless of the obstacle. Joss brings a sense of reality to a format in which reality is a gift that keeps the viewer engaged and wanting more. Joss, I hope you get to see this and I really hope you keep your vision. You have a lot to bring to us all. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

This is Dome, sayin: Did I fall asleep?

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