Joss Whedon’s *Dollhouse*

by Irma Arkus

Dollhouse is the latest Whedon creation, and a highly anticipated show by millions of fans who have been left on hold for the last few years. After the wrap-up of Buffy, Angel, Firefly and Serenity, the only thing left with Whedon’s hands in it was Buffy comic book, and a failed screenplay for Wonderwoman. Now he’s back with Dollhouse.

Starring Eliza Dushku, the series is centered on lives of subjects who are reprogrammed to assume identities and functions required for variety of missions. There is a great deal of confusion in whether these are artificial beings, or just people who have had some cybernetic work “done.” In fact, the shadowy origins of the characters make up a great deal of the plotline itself, as the subjects slowly gain self-awareness through the process.

Dushku is the primary focus of the program, stretching her acting abilities to full extent. She is the wanton hotbod, a la Alias, who is to delight us, a la Quantum Leap, or even better yet, Pretender.

Whedon’s Dollhouse is a dip into Blade Runner, an homage to a predicted new world order. Just like Whedon, JJ Abrams’ Fringe, deals with aftermaths of privatized science experiments kept behind the corporate curtains.

Interestingly enough, the comparisons flying between JJ Abrams’ “Fringe,” and that of Whedon’s “Dollhouse” have been mostly dismissed by insiders, as well as themselves, as JJ Abrams explained that he too, is but a Whedon fan.

Another pertinent question is Fox. Rupert Murdoch network known for its tug-and-pull history with Whedon, may be the most curiuos choice for Whedon’s next project. Let’s face it, we’ve all been anticipated for Whedon to be adopted by a different, perhaps more interesting network. After all, as we speak, protests are lining up in front of Fox News network, with accusations of racism. Buffy + racism = odd choice.

Yet, Whedon assures us that this is all working out, somehow. He recently confirmed that yes, Fox is a curious home full of crazy people, but the people are different then the ones he dealt with before.

This also may provide an explanation for the current remarkable efforts by Whedon, to promote the show. It seems that, unlike in the past, this time around Whedon isn’t leaving anything to chance, having a far greater involvement with marketing of the show.

Whedon’s plan is to use the power of the net – not only is he to release the pilot, but will create a series of approximately 12 (number to be confirmed) prequel episodes to be widely distributed online.

Meanwhile, Whedon’s side project, “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” an online-musical featuring Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion is striking all the right chords by reintroducing Whedon to both old and new audiences. Harris, a beloved youth icon, and a great comedic talent, plays an incompetent, yet likeable villain. Fillion, on the other hand is Captain Hammer, a dreamy, yet mildly annoying superhero.

I was always of the opinion that “the more Whedon the better,” and thus far my wish is coming along.

For Dollhouse trailer see HERE