There were a few comments about the opening theme music last week, and after two weeks of this, I have to say, I completely agree. I really dislike it. I dislike the music, the images, everything. I miss the soulful cello that opened the Angel theme song, or that creepy organ music and loud guitars of the Buffy theme. I was never a huge fan of the Firefly theme (please don’t hate me, Browncoats!!) but it worked perfectly with the series, and gave it exactly the feeling it needed. This song? I dunno… and shots of Eliza seductively pulling up her stockings just aren’t doing it for me, and seem to be sending out the wrong message.
What is that message? I really think something that will need to be addressed on the show (SOON) is that Echo is basically a highly paid prostitute. And I’m uncomfortable with that. Her mind is being frakked with, her body is being used, her emotions are played with. I’m hoping this can only go on for a few more episodes before she starts taking control of her life. But then again, that’s probably the point of the show. Joss could be sending out a powerful message about women as objects, and while we sit at home on our couches, cringing that she’s being chased through the woods as a human target by some psychopath with a bow and arrow, this could be a statement about women in general. But what that is, I haven’t quite figured out yet.
I don’t want to become that person that a few non-Buffy viewers have accused me of being on this blog. I’ve gotten some posts from people asking what is wrong with Buffy fans, that we’re just lemmings who will follow Joss Whedon to the ends of the earth. Well, it’s because he created Buffy. He moved us in ways we’d never been moved before, certainly not by a television show. He made me cry, he made my chest and stomach ache, he made me laugh, he changed the way I talk. (You know you ALL say, “Oops, my bad” when you do something wrong now… admit it…. I turn all sorts of nouns into adjectives by adding a y on the end of them.) Then Angel got off to a bit of a bumpy start, but he ripped my heart out, threw it onto the floor, and laughed an evil laugh over my heartbreak as Wesley slipped deeper and deeper into himself, as Fred was eviscerated, as Gunn had his heart torn from his body, as Doyle died. And then Firefly came along. I wasn’t as emotionally attached to it in the beginning, mostly because of Fox (DAMN YOU, FOX) refusing to allow me to get attached by botching up the episode order. But now it’s a rich, deep, beautiful series. One that we all wish was a LOT longer.
And then came Dollhouse. I haven’t been this excited about a TV show since… jeez, I don’t know when. And the first episode had a lot of potential. The second episode was really good – my heart was pounding as Echo was running through the woods being hunted, and her handler was losing the signal in his van. But I’m already hearing people saying they don’t get it, they gave it the two episodes and that’s it, and they’re outta here.
Whenever I start a newbie onto Buffy, I give them season 1 and assure them to stick with it… and if you can get to the middle of season 2, you’ll be hooked. Only one person watched right to the end of season 2, “Becoming, Part 2,” and then said, “Meh. I don’t really want to see any more.” (Yes, he said that after THAT episode… you know who you are, I know you’re reading this right now, you.) ;)
I think what is missing is the Joss Whedon wit. I keep waiting for a line that will be SO over-the-top hilarious I won’t stop laughing. But nothing. There’s barely been even a smile on my face. I get the darkness, now PLEASE, Joss, give me some light.
What I am starting to notice, however, are distinct similarities between this show and Buffy. (I know… poor Joss… he’ll never be able to escape that.) In the woods, the fight between Echo and Psycho Boy on the ground was just like Buffy fighting a vampire. Right up to the guy almost choking her and then Echo/Buffy grabbing an arrow/stake and putting it in his neck (notice that just like Buffy would have put it in and pulled it right back out, Echo did the same thing, rather than leaving the arrow in his neck). The only difference: the guy doesn’t disappear, but stays behind to wreak some more emotional damage.
Boyd is like Giles, the man worried about his charge, becoming emotionally invested in her as if she were his child. The Dollhouse is like a larger and more present Watcher’s Council, forcing Echo to do these things as if it were a calling. The difference: Buffy was chosen; Echo apparently chose this life. But she just doesn’t know it. (And just like the Watcher’s Council, Adelle is a Brit. Ooh, you nasty, evil Brits!!)
I’m intrigued by that extremely jarring scene at the end of the first episode where we saw two dead people on the floor and someone watching a video of Echo. This is obviously the overarching plot that Joss is working toward. And they’ve introduced the horror of Alpha, the rogue doll who tore up the place but left Echo alone (until now). I’m wondering if he could be the season 1 baddie that eats it in the end, or if he’ll be an ongoing thing.
Someone pointed out last week that the names of the dolls are from the International Radio Operators Alphabet. Here’s the alphabet, so we can see what future characters will be named. We’ve already got Alpha, Echo, Victor, and Sierra: