20090228

Dollhouse Season 1 Episode 2: The Most Dangerous Game!

So, the structure of this second episode is better than the first.

Is it me or is this show's dialogue really lewd? Lines like "She's not a person, she's an empty hat, until you stuff a rabbit in it," have a weird subtext.

Most frustrating is that this show was posted on Hulu before the latest Battlestar Galactica so it's kind like I'm listening to Brittany because there was no Lou Reed available.

The first few minutes take place at Dollhouse HQ in a flashback (by the way? Flashbacks should be MONOCHROMATIC, not soft focus), in which some shit has clearly gone down, as there are dead bodies everywhere, the brain Tech dude (Who's name I now know to be Topher), asking the resident SWAT team for a gun, and then Dushku is naked and on with the show!

The creepy opening credit sequence with the stockings made of white yarn (seriously, white yarn?) and we jump into a scene with this dude with lots of money, and of course he's looking for the perfect girl, because homosexuals don't have money. I noticed that this show has a got a lot of venom for white hetero men with lots of money, so they're not really saying much new there.

Anyhoo, I recognized unreasonably hot lady who runs does the business meetings with the evil heteros is the accomplished actor Olivia Williams, and she tells the rich douchebag-who totally looks like someone I know, but can't place- that the company is going to charge him extra because of "something bad" associated with him in the file she has on him.

So he takes Eliza Dushku white water rafting, and then shoot stuff with a bow, and then they have some totally unerotic TV sex. It doesn't even look like they might have had fun filming it. No chemistry. At all. Dushku made a remark about something she did with her tongue and instead of being sexy, it comes off as just horrible.

In fact, all references to sex in this show are just plain creepy, because really the whole of the show is meant as some sort of metaphor for prostitution/sex slavery, it's clear to anyone with a brain that none of what Dushku does in character is not what normal people would call consensual.

Then this guy informs Dusku that she's so awesome he must now hunt her down in order to be sure she's as awesome as she can be before he. . . sends her back to the company?

Whatever, he paid the extra money, he can what ever his evil white man heart desires. Dusku takes off running and I realized, that evil white dude REALLY looks like this guy Corey only evil. It's this game I play, how much entertainment can I consume before I run across a Corey look a like.

So Evil Corey makes with the hunt-hunt arrow-arrow thing, as Harry J. Lennix shows up to remind us that he, like Williams, is wasted on this show so far. Meantime, Dushku reminds us that while she has some range, she is bored out of her mind for the most part.

Meanwhile, Helo is pounding the pavement like any good detective, trying to find out what's going on. Also, apparently he has young lady living across the hall from him who is thick in all the right ways AND she can cook. Helo, however is not a douchebag, and won't start something he can't finish, so they don't get laid this episode and probably won't until Helo meets Dushku.

Then more Flashbacks. Apparently, when someone is "imprinted" with a bunch of different personalities, there is a chance they will "compile" which from hints in the flash back, turns you into a screaming badass who can fillet a man with surgical precision in about the same amount of time as the average bull ride. Said badass is referred to only as "alpha."

Okay, I'm getting down with it. This stuff's intriguing.

Then we cut back to the Evil Corey situation. He's still hunting Dushku, and Lennix has captured one of his chronies. "How many?" he asks. "What?" and Lennix, pretty as you please, puts a bullet in his captives knee and asks another question. Lennix doesn't like the answer he gets so he puts bullet in the opposite thigh. The entire scene is completely excellent display of how to play a professional ass-kicker, since he's very matter-of-fact about his ruthlessness.

Then Lennix tracks down Dushku, and is promptly shot by Evil Cory with an arrow. Then Dushku gets her shit together, Lennix gives her gun. She puts a bullet in Evil Cory after a rather tense stand off with some really inappropriate attempts at humor then knocks him down and beats the snot of him. The end.

It's implied- and by implied they give hints that a lobotomized poodle could figure out- that this evil guy is "alpha" and it's clear that this episode was supposed to be something like the fifth or sixth one you see, and not the second. I reckon we're supposed be all like "DUDE!" and "WHOA!" but since the only character with any real depth by the end credits is Lennix's, mostly we're only going to stick around to see just how bad ass he can be.

What's really getting to me about this show is that when Dushku is at the Dollhouse puzzle palace, she has no memory or personality, and that makes all of her interactions, especially the ones with people who don't like her much, profoundly sad to me. She wanders around chest forward, shoulders back in a spaghetti strap tank top unaware of anything and for some reason it's just really sad to me.

I'm also noticing that this is getting to be like the Six Million Dollar Man in terms of how the plot unfolds. Mostly I imagine this is because they blew most of their budget on visual effects and the Puzzle Palace HQ set, and can now only afford to film in the ready set that is the outdoors. Ever notice how in the Six Million Dollar Man no matter what the plot was they always ended up in some forest somewhere? Same thing here.

Maybe but I'm just a naturally grouchy person, but I find about half of the attempts at humor on this show to be inappropriate. Most of it is either delievered without the bitter sarcasm or world weariness that someone who knowingly works for a prostitution ring would have, or it's so random it's clear that "Joss wrote that."

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