Targeting the Dollhouse

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Watch Dollhouse: Dollhouse – The Target

Dollhouse is not Buffy. It’s not Buffy, it’s not Angel, it’s not Firefly. It’s definitely not Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. It’s just not.

My point is this, Dollhouse is its very own self. I enjoyed the second episode, “The Target” even more than I did the first episode. From what I’ve heard about the next several episodes, the show is going to get even better. Honestly, what show doesn’t get better as it goes along, as the characters grow and change and learn to relate to themselves and each other better. That’s what makes us fall in love with a show, makes us look forward to watching each and every week, makes us fans.

Personally, as I’m watching, even from the very beginning, as I watch the beginning credits roll, I get a warm and fuzzy feeling. I see all those names, all the names of people who I’ve come to know and love over the past several years. All the people who make the Whedonverse what it is. This episode was written and directed by Stephen S. DeKnight. A name well known to Whedonites (or should that be Whedonuts?) along with other names, both cast and crew, Amy Acker, Mark A. Sheppard, Tim Minear, David Solomon, Kelly A. Manners. The ending credits include names like Elizabeth Craft, Sarah Fain, Anya Colloff, Amy McIntyre Britt, Shawna Trpcic, David A. Koneff, Leonard Harman, Stuart Blatt, Scott Workman. There’s more, too. If you’ve seen all the episodes of Buffy, Angel and Firefly as much as I have, you begin to recognize the names of all the people involved, even the stuntmen. The final little pièce de résistance for me, is the Grrrr Arrgh as the Mutant Enemy logo wanders across my screen. Man, I love that logo.

Then as you watch the show, even though the feel of it, the tempo, the movement is different than what we’ve known from Joss before, you hear the spoken words, and then you know it’s Joss. Topher (Fran Kranz) has some great lines: “You’re in the middle of why would anyone want to be there.” “We have a situation. The kind you need to shoot at.” Or this exchange between Topher and Boyd: “What’s the magic word?” “Please.” “I was actually looking for abracadabra.”

In this week’s episode, we got a glimpse into some of the characters in the Dollhouse, most specifically, Echo’s (Eliza Dushku) handler Boyd Langdon (Harry Lennix). We see, through a series of flashbacks, as Boyd first arrives at the Dollhouse and how his relationship with Echo grows. Not only her trusting him, because they’ve “made” her that way, but him trusting her. Just lovely.

Look, most of my Joss show reviews are pretty much, “Yay, Joss, I love you. You’re awesome. You go, girl!” So maybe mine isn’t the most objective voice. But my bottom line is, I trust Joss Whedon and I know that if this show is given the time, both by the audience and by the network, he’s going to make it into something awesome. Cause that’s just what he does.