So now we've seen 4 episodes of Joss Whedon*'s new show,
Whorehouse Dollhouse, and although I've read that early episodes were heavily influenced by the network, and that "after episode 5 things get more Whedon-y", I have my doubts.
It's no secret (in fact, it is the advertised premise of the show) that the Dollhouse is some kind of secret corporation where "actives" with no memories or personalities of their own, and no names but monikers of Alpha, Echo, Sierra, and Victor, are programmed for various
escort services elite assignments with finely-tuned composite skill sets made up of the best parts of other, real-world experts. They go out, do the job, and then come back to base to be "wiped" of their experiences. And their services are very expensive.
The show is a lot like Joe 90 combined with Make Me a Supermodel.
So far, when they are not being configured as a "date for hire", the Actives are out doing things that, well, surely could be done equally well (and more cost-effectively) by a real-world professional? (To come to think of it, there may well be companies that specialise in the date-for-hire thing as well.)
There's something wrong when the only people still writing about this
show after 4 episodes are discussing ways it could be rebooted into
something more interesting. I have my own ideas... perhaps everyone in the Dollhouse universe is an Active? There are no real-world people except those hidden way in the corporate headquarters?
Another thought: Wouldn't it be better if, instead of being wiped, the various personalities were backed up, and could be restored later (complete with memories of the assignments) in order to re-examine each assignment in a search for clues about the larger story arc. (Because you know there is one. It is Joss, after all.) Actually there is some clue that I might be close to the truth on this one, although given that it is purely the visual+sound effect of the wiping process, I could also be wrong.
On the other hand, there may be some future for this show as a kind of drinking game: A shot every time Echo (Eliza Dushku) gets her kit off, or otherwise mentions her breasts.
So, my one-sentence review has to be: Joss, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
* Of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Serenity, and Firefly fame, say no more.