Monday, February 16, 2009

"Dollhouse" disappointing

by Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux

The NYT had a review a couple of days ago of Joss Whedon's new series, "Dollhouse." For those of you who haven't heard of it, it's the story of a young woman (played by Eliza Dushku) who is convinced to donate her body to what the NYT calls "fringe science" (and what I would call "high-tech prostitution"). She is given a new personality, and after every assignment, the scientists wipe her mind clean. I enjoyed the reviewer's metaphor of a "permanent, untraceable roofie."

I missed the premiere, but I'm looking forward to seeing reviews of this show - it seems like it has the potential to raise some interesting quesions, or go horribly, horribly wrong. The main character, Echo (so named because she can only repeat what her creators tell her - the perfect woman!), naturally starts to become self-aware. I think that this could raise some questions about the infinite perfectability of the human body, or perhaps call attention to offenses like sex trafficking (the women are pretty much geishas - what else are you going to do with a beautiful, docile woman whose memory you can erase?). But the NYT's review was fairly lukewarm, and I'm afraid that "Dollhouse" will just turn into yet another Pygmalion or Stepford story. And of course we need another TV show telling us that women are the most attractive when they're psychologically roofied.

Has anyone seen the show? Is it as disappointing as the NYT would have us believe?


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