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on 16 February 2013
"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. No fan of Joss's earlier work need hesitate.
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on 23 May 2017
Getting neither the reviews nor the viewers needed for the complete 5-year long run originally envisioned by its creator, "Dollhouse" is still a show that has a lot going for it. The story is good, as you'd expect from a show created by Joss Whedon, and the acting is really not bad either. Dushku has received some harsh criticism for her earlier work but I see nothing that's really wrong with her performance here. Adding to that the very good performance by Fran Kranz and Enver Gjokaj as well as the brilliance of guest stars like Amy Acker and Alan Tudyk, the acting is on par with most other TV shows out there. The fact that some of the actors had to play different characters every time they had a different personality in their heads must have been a real challenge.

The premise is truly dystopic, although it doesn't seem so at first. In the early episodes of the show, we are just getting to know the characters, but over time, the penny drops: What if you could overwrite people's minds? What if you could move their consciousness from one body to another? Initially, it's merely intriguing, but when you think about it, there's nothing to stop the holders of such powers from living forever, taking complete control over the entire world and in essence doing whatever they want. This growing threat builds slowly from the end of the first season until it reaches its conclusion at the end of the second. Along the way, the main character "Echo" develops into something more than an empty shell of a person - one with her own distinct personality in addition to the ones she has been imprinted with.

The downsides: First of all, the show's premise is the presence of "dolls" - people who appear normal but can be revealed to be imprinted with a set personality. A bit like the revelation of cylons in "Battlestar Galactica". This sets up some truly awesome switches: a person you always thought was a normal person can suddenly turn out not to be, or a person you thought was a doll can turn out to be normal. The problem is that the show overuses this strategy. As more and more people are exposed as dolls, you end up losing the element of surprise as the viewer simply thinks "I've seen this before", or worse: sees it coming. The other thing to criticise is that you do get the feeling that the second season was rounded off rather quickly. People were unceremoniously killed off, side plots were left unresolved and in the end, while we do get a proper ending (and not a cliffhanger), the whole thing was stormed through in order to get the series finished before the cancellation. Whether this was by design or unintentional, the result is that the major plotline in season 2 is the only one explored. In season 1, there were individual stories poking out from the main plot, whereas in season 2, there's no room for anything but the most important.

Still, "Dollhouse" is a show you should watch if you're into sci-fi or you're a fan of Whedon's work. Some of the individual episodes are truly spectacular in their design, and in the end, you won't feel like you've wasted your time.
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on 22 May 2017
great story and the plays well with good picture and sound.
you have to be careful how you take dvd's out the pack or you could scratch them , but many dvd's are packed in the same way .
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on 9 June 2017
Not sure why they bothered really, good in parts, I like the directors work usually, maybe he changed his prescription...
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on 29 April 2017
Excellent. Brilliant series from Joss Whedon which got very little publicity. A classic. Terrific performances from the entire cast.
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on 11 September 2015
Absolutely superb scifi drama.
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on 23 April 2017
excellent
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on 11 May 2017
A great series definately one to keep and watch again
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on 18 November 2010
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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on 20 December 2011
Watched this on sky and it is original entertaining enjoyable so decided to buy it because I really have to watch it again.

Is very well made and no stupid mistakes, very practical, you know if there are enemies about, the hero is well armed type thing. If you liked Buffy you should love this too as lots of the cast appear and the interaction between charactors is very similar. I dont want to spoil the ending so will simply say i thoroughly enjoyed every episode to the end. would be lovely if they did a new series stemming from this, it was well written and well acted, and i found i cried and laughed with the charactors.
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