Dollhouse -- My big problem with Dollhouse is that they need a strong, amazingly dynamic, but not typical gorgeous actress in the role of Echo. Someone actually like Sarah Michelle Gellar or Jennifer Garner (although, she can be more stereotypically gorgeous than SMG, she also can appear insanely brainiac as well as very girl-next door). Dushku is NOT it. She's really, really not. Still, I actually really did like the premise and set-up, but I did miss the snark. I know they had issues with the pilot so I'm really waiting for the second episode. I'm hoping there will be more snark and that it will flow more evenly. This one did feel a bit as if scenes were tacked together to make a story, but they didn't completely flow.
Still, there were things I quite liked.
- The blank looks on the "Actives" faces was interesting.
- The fact that the real Miss Penn had committed suicide, that just added a jolt of 'this is SO wrong' what they're doing. It just put such a face on it all in its moral iniquity.
- The mystery of Amy Acker's character; I expect there's an interesting backstory there. And on the heels of that thought also thought that she would have been a better past-Joss actress to play Echo than Dushku.
- "Miss Penn"'s line back to her abuser, "you can't fight a ghost" that was from "Miss Penn" a call-back to his line, but had such a deeper meaning for the viewer because the real Miss Penn IS a ghost now. That was creepy, and cool.
- Olivia Williams is so delicately gorgeous.
- I'm not sure what to make of Tahmoh Penikett's FBI agent yet, but in the brief bit we saw in the preview of he and Echo, it looks like he and Dushku may have some mighty fine chemistry and sometimes that's enough to erase all misgivings about an actor. So we'll see.
Bottom-line, I am intrigued with the idea and am definitely giving it a few more shots considering the issues we know they had with getting this pilot ready for television.
T:SCC -- First off, I must say that I LOVE Jonathan Jackson. (I will concede that the oddly there/not there sideburns weren't all that.) Secondly, I want to also note that I love Michael Beihn too so this is NOT a knock against him at all. But, he's too old to play Kyle now, so they had to recast obviously, and I'm quite thrilled with who they chose for the role. I've loved him since he played Lucky on General Hospital and I think he's wonderful. And I thought the Sarah/Kyle stuff was wonderful; I was actually tearing up during those scenes, which both Jackson and Lena Headey rocked. At one point, I thought to myself that I can't believe that I didn't like her when I watched the long-preview for this show way back when.
As for other characters/actors: With regards to Riley, with her backstory, I'm actually okay with the character now. Not the strongest actress, but, eh. I think now we ARE supposed to be annoyed with Riley, and find her a bit pathetic and desperate and that's certainly coming across. Could be better casting, but's not terrible now that we know she's supposed to be a screwed-up, pathetic mess. Actually, for me, the biggest casting issue -- and it's one that I actually find MUCH worse -- is Jesse. I don't think I should loathe Jesse as much as I do, but I do ... and I think that's down to the actress portraying her. But then again, maybe we ARE supposed to loathe Jesse. After all, again, I think we're supposed to find Riley as I do.
Anyhoo, back to the good: I'm just adoring the religious aspect of Ellison. I'm not super-religious, but I do believe in God and I love how that aspect of Ellison is so naturally, beautifully woven into the character. When he responded to John Henry that we're made in God's image, the line and how RTJ delivered it was just beautiful. Oh, and speaking of acting, I know that Shirley Manson isn't the best, but in this role her slight robotic (hehe), awkward delivery is PERFECT and that final scene with her was cool. And more acting: Damn, Garrett Dillahunt is just so, so, sooooooooo damn good. We've seen three completely different sides to this guy with this face on the show now and all three are completely, utterly, absolutely different from one another. He's awesome.
You know who's also awesome? Summer Glau. Too bad we didn't get to see her awesome in this episode. I would have preferred more Cameron (as always) -- and I did think she was going to bend over and kiss Riley on the forehead in the hospital like John which would have given us some mild awesome at least, ah well. Still, I did like the other strong female character introduced (even as a one-shot) here: The doctor (Felicia). And I loved the reveal that her cop boyfriend was abusing her (obviously both physically and emotionally). I had thought that it was a past boyfriend and that the cop (based on his earlier "Felicia" sigh in the hospital) was someone who knew her and loved her unrequitedly type of thing. Yet, when they came upon each other in the morgue, the body language and dialogue delivery just told all the back-story we needed before he even verbally abused her. So well done.
:Sigh: It's such a shame this show doesn't get ratings that reflect its quality. It's awesome.