“Trust in Joss” has lng been a motto around here. Meant to get us past the we’re-not-sure-where-this-is-going portions of Buffy, this has served us well with other Joss Whedon projects. And I think I’m gonna have to rely on this for a while with Dollhouse.
Dollhouse tells the tale of a mysterious private agency which temporarily imprints mind-wiped agents with memories and abilities to do, well, whatever they’re paid to do. This individual episodes are about the assignments of one such agent, with running backstories about those looking to bring the agency down.
The tricky thing here is that this is humorless. Unlike the centrally comedic concept of Buffy (around which much good drama was built) and the strong core of humor running through Firefly, there is none here. Even when characters are bantering between themselves in humorous fashion, at bst it’s humorous to them, not to the viewer.
This lack of humor means that the everything has to work when you take it seriously. Unfortunately, some of what they do lacks contextual believability. The major huge budget sceince-stretching initiative runs with one scientist? The constant scientific explanations that come down to nothing more than “we need a script reason to let us do this nifty thing”? They don’t fly. Not being carried along for comedic reasons, and not able to invest myself in it seriously, its not working for me. Not yet, at least.
Maybe I’m just not a let-go-and-let-the-action-take-you kind of guy. But Joss has earned a long chance to get the pieces in order here. And if it doesn’t pay off, then I hope he gets another series swiftly.