William Blair (williamblair) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,
William Blair

Dollhouse 2.1 "Vows" review

TV critics got their DOLLHOUSE 2.1 screeners today (wrapped in a lovely burgundy t-shirt and a note from Joss Whedon).

Titled “Vows,” the episode is superb: funny, suspenseful, sexy and willing to kick around more than a few Very Big Ideas. Combined with the series’ terrific “lost” episode (“Epitaph One”), “Vows” roughly triples my investment in this series’ fate. Which is to say, its eventual cancellation will be three times harder to bear now than the day before I saw “Epitaph One.”

Hints of what awaits:

* Apparently much time has elapsed between 1.12 and 2.1. Not as much as between 1.12 and “Epitaph One.” But still.

* This season’s Big Bad may or may not be one Sen. David Perrin (Alexis Denisof, who played Wesley Wydham-Pryce on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel”). Perrin also may or may not be the season’s Big Good. 2.1 fails to specify Sen. Perrin’s party affiliation.

* Claire Saunders' existential crisis (turns out she’s FAKE!) means a BIG Amy Acker episode before she wanders off to her role on ABC’s midseason ensemble drama “Happy Town.” (My understanding is Acker will continue to recur on “Dollhouse” even as she stars on the other series.)

* 2.1's teaser and first act likely contain the series’ funniest 12 minutes to date.

* There’s a lot more to Adelle and Paul’s first-season-ending “arrangement” than a lot of viewers may suspect.

* Sierra is a fleeting highlight, looking for a few moments like she just wandered off the “Mad Men” set.

* Tahmoh Penikett’s “Battlestar Galactica” co-star Jamie Bamber (who’s only half-American) uses his Brit accent. The two former CAGs share a big scene near episode’s end.

* “Epitaph One” vet Felicia Day does not turn up in 2.1, but word is she's back later in the season.

* Another clue for you all: The Walrus was Paul.

Joss' letter:

September 1, 2009

Dear Press Member:

You hold in your delicate paws a rough cut of “Vows,” the first episode of the second season of DOLLHOUSE, premiering Friday, Sept. 25 on FOX. More importantly, you also hold a free t-shirt! So that’s a thumbs-up right there, no? I mean, do you even have to watch the show? It’s clearly t-shirt-tastic! Did “Grey’s Anatomy” send you a shirt? They did? (Did they send any extra? I’d kill.)

Meanwhile, DOLLHOUSE. Like a man with the bright-eyed euphoria of narrowly escaped death, DOLLHOUSE is coming back from a hilariously unexpected non-cancellation with a verve, a joy and a visceral excitement that borders on manic. We’re psyched. This is the show we want to make. The twisty lives of the Dollhouse peeps are truckin’ along, and ECHO (Eliza Dushku) is going through one of her fresher Hells.

Some things have changed. We’re shooting in HD with a new crew, for a look that’s more lush and exciting – and faster, so we can achieve more visually and give more time to the actors. (and OMG, Olivia’s hair! Very key.) Some things have not.

To refresh, Echo has been rescued from ALPHA (who is still at large) after having all her former personas dumped into her brain all at once. PAUL BALLARD (Tahmoh Penikett) has agreed to work with the Dollhouse in exchange for NOVEMBER’s (Miracle Laurie) freedom. DR. SAUNDERS (Amy Acker) has discovered she is actually an Active, designate “Whiskey,” who was designed by TOPHER (Fran Kranz) to replace the doctor Alpha murdered. And ADELLE (Olivia Williams) has gotten a fabulous haircut.

We hope you enjoy our happy little tale. If you don’t: t-shirt… so soft… so sleepy…

Yours, etc.


Tags: eliza dushku

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