DOLLHOUSE: I Think I Spoke Too Soon - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

DOLLHOUSE: I Think I Spoke Too Soon

April 4, 2009 by  

Two weeks ago was the big “game changing” episode of DOLLHOUSE.  It was the episode that was to set the show in a new direction. It was supposed to right the wrongs of the previous five episodes. It did. I thought “Man on the Street” was an engaging and interesting episode and it was what I hoped DOLLHOUSE would be. I was even on the record encouraging others to come back to the show. But now I wonder if I spoke too soon.

I was cautiously optimistic after the sixth episode. Was it a fluke or were things truly on a new path?  Last week’s episode, “Echoes”, wasn’t as good as it’s immediate predeccesor but it certainly was better than the eps of earlier in the season.  Still I waited to be back and fully committed to the show.  But I have to be honest here. I just finished watching this week’s episode, “Needs”, and once again I felt left down.

On paper the plot was interesting enough. Some of our favorite actives were awakened and escaped the confines of the Dollhouse.  While not with their full former capacities, Echo, Victor, Sierra and November had regained enough consciousness to know that they were being held against their will in the Dollhouse.  The escaped and set out on their own paths only to be once again put to sleep and brough back to the house when it was revealed that their freedom was only an illusion set up as an experiment by the very people that held them captive.

The story itself could have really brought me in if it weren’t for a major problem that has been the achilles heel of DOLLHOUSE since the very first episode – the acting.  It was painful. Anytime we are forced to watch the actives interactive within the walls of the house is cringeworthy. I don’t know if it’s the pressure of carrying the show or what but Eliza Dushka hasn’t yet nailed Echo as she is within the house.  Out on her assignments she’s often a much better actress, but then again her assignments are often action-oriented, and as I’ve said in the past, that’s where Dushku shines.

The one bright spot for me in the episode was Enver Gjokaj as Victor. I’m really liking his character and he’s shown the acting chops to bring something realistic and believable to his character whether he’s playing a limited-minded doll or one of his active personalities.

After “Man on the Street” I thought the show had taken a new direction.  I thought we were going to be going deeper into the Dollhouse and learning more about the powers that rule this faction all over the world.  Perhaps this episode will be crucial to a future storyline, but it felt very self-contained and flat.

I’ve received a lot of email asking why I don’t review DOLLHOUSE every week. Perhaps its my own bias that I can’t escape from, but I feel like almost every review is the same – I’m not enjoying where the story is going; the acting  is subpar; it’s missing the humor; there are few likeable characters.  I just feel like a broken record. When an episode is really good, like the one two weeks ago, I make sure to go out of my to praise it. But there’s no pleasure in reviewing every episode of a show that is just ok for me.

Maybe I’m in the minority. I’ve heard others say that they loved last night’s episode. Did you?  Perhaps you took something from it that I didn’t. The comments are open and I would love your input.

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9 Responses to “DOLLHOUSE: I Think I Spoke Too Soon”

  1. Patty on April 4th, 2009 11:22 am

    I hated this episode. It was cheesier than all the others before it . The only good part was the Helo storyline (see I can’t even remember the character’s name – how sad is that?)

  2. Ryan on April 4th, 2009 12:55 pm

    I guess i just have a blind spot for Elisha because i continue to like the show.

    This wasn’t the best episode of the season, but i found it entertaining and interesting from beginning to end.

  3. bubblewrap on April 4th, 2009 3:00 pm

    See- I’ve been liking the show a lot better since the 6th episode. And I liked last nights episode- to be able to see how they were before they became dolls. I’ve been really glad I stuck with the show. No it will never even come close to Firefly for me but I will continue watching

  4. Kimber on April 4th, 2009 4:06 pm

    I really enjoyed this episode, too, though Eliza’s definitely not my favourite part by far. I really like November/Mellie, and the other “actives”, including Victor and Sierra.

  5. Dollhouse: Needs- sweet, confusing, and deeply disturbing « This is random, but… on April 4th, 2009 4:12 pm

    […] Give Me My Remote […]

  6. P D Yerf on April 4th, 2009 5:24 pm

    I really actually liked this episode, though I agree 100% about Eliza Dushku’s acting abilities. I guess what impressed me with this episode was that the twist was (for me) unexpected. It was incredibly contained, but the backstory we got on Sierra and November, as well as the furthering of the Victor/Sierra relatioship–which is probably the only part of this show that I absolutely LOVE–made it worth it for me. Plus, I adore Amy Acker even if I don’t get her character just yet. And this episode had lots of Amy Acker.

  7. John on April 4th, 2009 8:26 pm

    My biggest complaint and maybe the source of the dislike of the episode was the misleading promo. We were told that Echo’s and other escaped and that led me to believe this would be a continuation of Echo’s and the other’s reawakening combined with the Alpha plot and the person who gave Echo the message for the FBI agent.

    Instead we seemed to be going backward. If Echo, etal. can only be saved from without, by the FBI and/or Alpha then our main heroes are totally passive. You can’t really root for someone who doesn’t really exist or struggle against their oppression.

    I don’t expect the dolls to break free all on their own, but I want them to be involved in the process, not just the beneficiaries of it.

    As for Eliza’s acting in the Dollhouse, I have no problem with that. She is supposed to be lifeless and not respond to situations properly. If she acted normal, she wouldn’t be a doll.

    As a minor question, I wonder if Nolan was told about the experiment before hand or not?

  8. tw111 on April 5th, 2009 3:39 pm

    Glad I never really invested in watching this one… I had too many DVR’d shows going anyway, but Dan…can’t remember if I have heard ya’ll say if you watch Sarah Connor Chronicles. It’s getting sooo good just at the end.

  9. Kimber on April 5th, 2009 9:29 pm

    I’m with P D Yerf, I LOVE Amy Acker! I’ll take her in any form I can get, and seeing her as the mysterious doctor is really cool. Plus, I’m enjoying the Sierra/Victor relationship as well.