Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dollhouse



In the past couple two days I've gone a couple of times to see Joss Whedon talk about his new show, Dollhouse, which premieres on Fox this Friday. He appeared at New York Comic Con on Sunday with Tahmoh Penikett (Helo on Battlestar Galactica), who will play an FBI agent investigating on the new show, and yesterday night at the Apple Store in SoHo with Eliza Dushku (Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer), who plays the show's protagonist.

The premise of the show is a very specialized escort service where male and female volunteers (though some volunteer under duress) have their memories wiped and are then imprinted with a new personality and skill set so they can fulfill the fantasies of whoever pays them. These "engagements" are not always sexual but sometimes they are. Joss spoke a lot about the tight rope he's walking to explore some of the power and control issues in the show without glorifying or exploiting a kind of sci-fi human trafficking -- and also the network's reluctance to discuss the morality of prostitution. Everything he said made it sound like this new show is going to exist in a fascinating gray area that we haven't seen on his other shows, even Firefly.

Eliza Dushku also had some fascinating things to say about the show. To her it's a metaphor for the way that young women are expected to play many different roles by our society. She went a step forward and said that the show is like her life -- she's trying to figure out who she is while every day people tell her what she should be.

The show premieres this Friday at 9 PM on Fox. According to Joss it will simmer for the first five episodes and then begin to boil in episode 6. So tune in and don't stop watching until then. And look for the occasional review or discussion here.

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