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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Love Supreme
I'll admit it - the first episodes of Dollhouse didn't have me convinced. Disappointment that the collaboration of Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku (surprisingly unconvincing and rather dull) I wasn't quite sure I wanted to continue to watch.

But then came the episode "Man on the street" and I glimpsed what Dollhouse could really be. I got hooked. The rest of...
Published on 18 Nov. 2010 by J.P

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
Shame it was cancelled just as it got interesting. Typical Joss Whedon fun. Interesting sci-fi drama with some sharp humour.
Published 11 months ago by Lisa Creamer


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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Love Supreme, 18 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: Dollhouse: The Complete Series (Seasons One & Two) [DVD] (DVD)
I'll admit it - the first episodes of Dollhouse didn't have me convinced. Disappointment that the collaboration of Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku (surprisingly unconvincing and rather dull) I wasn't quite sure I wanted to continue to watch.

But then came the episode "Man on the street" and I glimpsed what Dollhouse could really be. I got hooked. The rest of season 1 is an entertaining ride carried on an interesting concept with so many loveable characters that you're not sure who is your favorite.
Topher Brink (Fran Kranz) and Adelle DeWitt (Olivia Williams) are two of Whedon's best ever crafted characters. Brink's journey through the show is as endearing as it is heartbreaking and Adelle is a fascinating woman through and through who steals the show no matter what scene she is in or how small the part is.

Mr. Dominic, Boyd, Dr. Saunders, Viktor, Sierra... other highly interesting and somewhat under-used characters that should have been given more room to play (why were the credits soley dedicated to Dushku? We understand that she is the star without it being shoved down our throats at each turn).
Paul Ballard (Tahmoh Pennikett) is an interesting character and his journey too is one that fascinates as it goes along although Paul takes some getting used to. Sadly his interest in Echo (Duskhu's character ) is unconvincing and the story never gets a push because the chemistry between them is flat as cardboard.

It is the final three episodes that gives Dollhouse that edge you've been waiting for. "Briar Rose", "Omega" and "Epitath one" (Yay Zac Ward) are all sheer brilliance and it leaves you craving for more. (Big shout out for Alan Tudyk's fantastic acting during the first two of these)

Season 2 moves along at a more rapid pace and the show has really grown stronger as a whole. It will have you hooked taking you from an "interesting concept" phase, to "fascinating thrilling to watch" and all the way to "deeply unsettling" as the world of the Dollhouse technology and its possibilities really start to become clear.

Somehow Dushku and Pennikett found some kind of spark because the Echo/Paul connection seems more believable (if still somewhat overrated).
Everybody shines in this season Dushku is brilliant(even pulling of some cheesy stinker lines with gusto) and Enver Gjokaj there isn't enough good things to say about. He is one of the best thing this show had going for it.

All in all Dollhouse is more than it's first few episodes (they really aren't that bad, they're just not all they could be) and sticking with it will leave you burning with a fervor for more. It is one of the most interesting concepts I have ever seen presented and one that feeds discussion in the plenty, (and has one truly bizarre but very enjoyable ending).

(Ps. The show has an amazing soundtrack. "Remains" by Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon is magic)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Whedonverse's newest planet, 16 Feb. 2013
By 
Nat Whilk (Lincolnshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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"I'm a scary, depressive fellow," said Joss Whedon. "There's no meaning to life. That's kind of depressing. There's no God. That's a bummer, too."

Joss's latest slice of scariness imagines a wicked corporation that turns people into endlessly reprogrammable organic robots - a lover, a mother, a thief, a detective...whatever the customer wants. Like Buffy and Angel before it, the series begins a little uncertainly. There are several episodes about prostitution which I feel come dangerously close to being meretricious, and others which are cruel in the extremity of their physical or psychological violence. Soon, though, the prospect of imminent cancellation seems to concentrate the writers' minds wonderfully, and the second season gives us a helter skelter thriller that twists and turns its way to an entirely satisfying conclusion.

The tone of the show is broadly similar to that of Joss's earlier TV productions, if perhaps just a touch bleaker. There's plenty of laugh-out-loud humour leavening the drama, but not a great deal of the kind of warmth we got from dear old Xander or Willow. By the final episode of the twenty-six, though, the series becomes a worthy successor to the Vampire Slayer's - another inspiring tribute to heroic altruism in a world tortured by evil powers.

Eliza Dushku is very much the star of Dollhouse, but never to the exclusion of her admirable colleagues, The cast includes such familiar Whedonverse favourites as Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Summer Glau, Felicia Day and a brilliant Alan Tudyk, as well as several alumni of 24 and Battlestar Galactica. The production values of the show are almost cinematic in their glossy luxury - this is one show that demands to be watched on Blu-ray rather than DVD. (Better than average extras include an unaired pilot, interesting behind the scenes featurettes and an amusing chat involving Joss and many of his colleagues.)

In sum, then, if you can tolerate a fair amount of sex and violence, you'll be rewarded with a clever, inventive, witty, ambitious comedy-drama with a wholesomely affirmative message at its heart. Good old Joss is closer to God than he knows.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great idea cut short too soon, 23 Mar. 2011
By 
M. Hepworth (UK) - See all my reviews
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Dollhouse is a near-future SF tv series, featuring Eliza Dushku as Echo, a woman working for the secretive "Dollhouse" who has voluntarily had her personality wiped in order to be imprinted with any mind and skills a client requires. While initially very episodic, a longer plotline slowly emerges as the more disturbing aspects of this technology and the Dollhouse emerges.

This series comes from the mind of Joss Whedon, responsible for Buffy, Angel, and Firefly. Like Firefly, Dollhouse was cancelled ignominiously in its second season, so be warned that you will not get the full story Whedon planned to write. Whedon has a real genius for producing brilliant genre TV that delights fans but doesn't make it as a mainstream show, and the tension between his desire to tell a big story, while not alienating casual viewers, shows in the early episodes, which see Echo sent off on unrelated assignments.

Echo's assignments range from the obvious seductions to less obvious tasks such as bodyguard and safe-cracker. As time goes on, we see her blank state slowly becoming not so blank. An outside element is provided by FBI agent Ballard, who is investigating the Dollhouse, and becomes obsessed with locating Echo and finding why she would enter the Dollhouse.

One of the strange aspects of watching Dollhouse is that each week Eliza Dushku is required to be a different person. While Dushku is a Whedon favourite, having played Faith in Buffy, and she certainly acts her heart out at times, there's always the sneaking suspicion that she's not quite as good as she needs to be. For example, Dichen Lachman as Sierra is probably a better actress, and her storyline with Victor is in some ways more interesting.

Once the first season gets into its stride it deals with rogue agent Alpha, whose eventual return causes chaos, and the ongoing investigation of Ballard. Slowly building along with this are the big questions of what the corporation behind the Dollhouse really want, what could be done with this technology, and how the apparently-wiped minds slowly find a personality. Season two attempts to kick into high gear, and throws some more radical changes into the mix, including glimpses of the eventual result of the Dollhouse technology, but ultimately couldn't avoid cancellation.

Dollhouse has some excellent secondary characters, and tries to create an ensemble despite Dushku being very much the face of the show. Characters such as Topher, DeWitt, Langton, and Dr Saunders are brilliantly drawn, and the dialogue sparkles. As ever with a Whedon product, the characters draw you in and make you wish you could watch them again and again.

Ultimately Dollhouse is a brave but failed attempt to create something a little different, and provoke some real thought, in a genre that sometime gets too bland. It's well worth watching, but doesn't give the full story its vision deserved.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Discs Content, 8 Aug. 2012
By 
Adamo Giovanni Alex (Milan, Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dollhouse: The Complete Series (Seasons One & Two) [DVD] (DVD)
Season 1

Audio: English 5.1
Subtitles: Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, English for the hairing impaired

Disc 1
1x01 Ghost
1x02 The Target
1x03 Stage Fright
1x04 Gray Hour
Audio commentary on Ghost with Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku

Disc 2
1x05 True Believer
1x06 Man On The Street
1x07 Echoes
1x08 Needs
Audio commentary on Man On The Street with Joss Whedon

Disc 3
1x09 A Spy In The House Of Love
1x10 Haunted
1x11 Briar Rose
1x12 Omega

Disc 4
1x13 Epitaph One
Audio commentary on Epitaph One with Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen
1x00 Original Unaired Pilot "Echo"
Deleted Scenes
Making Dollhouse Feauturette
Coming Home Feauturette
Finding Echo Feauturette
Designing The Perfect Dollhouse Feauturette
A Private engagement Feauturette

Season 2

Audio: English 5.1
Subtitles: Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, English for the hairing impaired

Disc 1
2x01 Vows
2x02 Instinct
2x03 Belle Chose
Audio commentary on Vows with Joss Whedon

Disc 2
2x04 Belonging
2x05 The Public Eye
2x06 The Left Hand
2x07 Meet Jane Doe
Audio commentary on Belonging with Joss Whedon And Maurissa Tancharoen

Disc 3
2x08 A Love Supreme
2x09 Stop-Loss
2x10 The Attic
2x11 Getting Closer

Disc 4
2x12 The Hollow Men
2x13 Epitaph Two: Return
Outtakes
Deleted Scenes
Defining Moments Feauturette
Looking Back Feauturette
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A flawed masterclass in visual storytelling, 12 Jun. 2011
By 
S. D. Nunn (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dollhouse: The Complete Series (Seasons One & Two) [DVD] (DVD)
OK, there are a few problems with Dollhouse - not least the neccesity of hurtling at high speed to some sort of conclusion; the result of yet another ill-founded executive decision to axe a Joss Whedon series. However, I think it's fair to say that, under these circumstances, Whedon's approach is very successful, if perhaps somewhat drastic.

Because Whedon's dialogue is so strong, there's a tendency to judge his shows almost solely on the success (or otherwise) of this single feature. But with Dollhouse (and it predecessor 'Firefly') it's evident that Whedon's also becoming a master of the visual narrative ... maybe this is something that's evolved from his involvement with the Buffy comics ... anyway, Dollhouse does have a very different look/feel to Whedon's previous work. Reading viewers' comments it seems this is not entirely popular with his core audience. This is a pretty glossy show. The camera work is smooth, the principle colourscape rich. Of course this gloss is both central to the narrative and ultimately a deception... likewise, although the story arc initially seems to be driven by a single character, this is really a great ensemble show, and the casting is spot on.

So, an aesthetic change, but a lot that's familiar fair in the Whedon universe. However, there is a major shift. What in Buffy was often a relatively descrete political critique, such that the question of orthodox measurements of achievement was constantly under the microscope, in Dollhouse the critique is self-evidently overt. The whole show is premised upon the practice of blase ownership - the practice of super rich ownership of other lives. It's all about the haves and have-nots, but not in any lame surmonising way. Gruellingly yet seductively voyeuristic, Dollhouse presents us with a grim analogy of the neo-con fantasy. And even if there's nothing more than relativism with which to judge the results, Dollhouse stands head and shoulders above most TV output.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stay with it and trust that it will get (much) better, 16 April 2011
By 
Vinman666 (Essex, U.K.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dollhouse: The Complete Series (Seasons One & Two) [DVD] (DVD)
I remember seeing one early episode of Dollhouse series 1 on TV and not being that impressed. To me it seemed to be very similar to a favourite of mine, Alias: a female star who is not what she appears to be, working for a mysterious organisation, with a grizzled black partner, a guy on the outside who loves her and a crazy science guy who is the comic relief. So why did I buy this? I spend several hours a day commuting and catch up on TV series on a portable DVD player; I was running out of things to watch and this was bargain priced.

Initial impressions of the first series were much the same as my original thoughts but, hey, it whiled away the journey. It's not that the individual episodes were dull, there is plenty of action and it's well written, but it's hard to engage with a lead character who is a blank slate unless programmed to be someone else. It's only when the mysterious Alpha finally makes an appearance that things really kick off and we realise that not everything is as it seems. Towards the end of the season, the makers were told that the series was going to be canned so, given that Firefly ended with so many questions, they decided to make the 13th episode a summary of where the story arcs were going, told largely through some new characters. I didn't know this in advance and I have to say that 13th episode was one of the most mind-blowing TV events I've experienced. So much so that I watched it again when I got home - the story expands on a massive and unexpected scale.

Now obviously I knew there was a whole second season in the box, but instead of dismay that I now knew the ending, there was excitement that I would find out exactly how this situation had come about. In the second series, the problem with doll character engagement is solved as they begin to evolve new personalites. Our pre-conceptions are toyed with as characters have true identities revealed or die unexpectedly; the pace is relentless as everything is squeezed in rather than dragged out as TV series so often do. Some of the acting is quite poor (stand up Miracle Laurie and Summer Glau) but the general standard is extremely high, for example Enver Gjokaj (Victor) and Olivia Williams (Adele DeWitt). Williams, being English with an English accent in a US series, is typically typecast as a villain but, through an unusually subtle - for a TV series - performance earns our sympathy and respect. Gjokaj has a wide range of emotive acting skills and his imprinting of Topher in "The Left Hand" is hilarious.

I am so glad that I didn't give up on Dollhouse - it has gone from a so-so viewing experience to one of the most memorable in recent years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Echo is in the house., 25 Aug. 2014
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A must have for any Whedon fan. This sits next to my Firefly and Serenity collection.

Dollhouse is an amazing series. Like with Firefly, I sometimes wonder how it would have played out, has Joss been given the proper time and freedom to explore the vision. That being said, I am happy to add this short but brilliant series to my collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars recommended, 24 July 2013
By 
Digirati (West Midlands UK) - See all my reviews
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this is a hidden gem. takes a few episodes to get into its stride, but is a great ride. Joss Weadon has done a great job, puling together many of his favourite actors from projects past. A well written story that evolved in unexpected ways.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray ONLY Review, 18 Dec. 2012
By 
Pantheon (Boston, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
If you want a review of the show itself please read one of the other reviews here on Amazon as they give you a pretty broad spectrum of opinion on the show. Personally, I loved it first time around and bought the DVDs as they were released.

But, this review is for the Blu-ray release. Why did I buy the blu-ray? For two reasons really - it was cheap (on a rival site) and I really loved the show.

Was it worth the double dip? Absolutely!! The picture and sound upgrade is amazing - everything you should expect from a blu-ray release.

Region A & B.

Season 1:
Audio: English DTS-HD Master 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish.
Special Features - same as DVD release.

Season 2:
Audio: English DTS-HD Master 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Commentary.
Special Features - same as DVD release.

Re-watching this show is ALMOST as good as the first time around. Obviously, some of the plot twists lose their intensity upon second viewing. But, Joss Whedon's vision and his creative team are so good at what they do, the show never falters in its entertainment value.

So, anyone considering upgrading to the Blu-ray version can rest assured that they will be pleased with the purchase.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dollhouse .. great show worthy of a much better boxset., 3 Nov. 2010
By 
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This review is from: Dollhouse: The Complete Series (Seasons One & Two) [DVD] (DVD)
Yes another work with Joss Whedon's brilliance brought to a very early ending. Dollhouse can be confusing and incredibly deep. You can't just stop thinking about it the moment you turn it off, it leaves your mind occupied with its twisted, clever storyline that attempts to dig deep into a human's mental, emotional and psychological abilities. Echo built herself from scratch, and it was just fascinating to watch her become her own ''someone'' by the end of the show, someone who's brave and smart and just beautiful. The ending was Epic .. heartbreaking .. only Joss Whedon would leave you smashed like that.
Eliza Dushku is one talented actress, it was very interesting and just easy to watch her take on different characters and personalities so effortlessly. The rest of the cast was awesome too. In my opinion, the show itself deserves more than 5 stars.
Why 4 stars? For the boxset itself! Basically nthn new except the regular Season 1 and Season 2 put together into a cardboard box that will clearly wear off in a short time. I would have preferred something more creative and solid for fans of the show (even if it wasn't released immediately). It does have some extra features the best being the final round the table close up with Joss Whedon and the cast, which was great to watch.
Can't wait to see what's next to hit our Whedonesque world!!
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