And now for something a bit lighter....C&Lers know I'm a huge Buffy fan and Joss Whedon's new series finally begins this Friday the 13th on FOX. Ex-Buffy regular Eliza Dushku (Faith) stars and the reviews aren't great so far, but with Whedon's incredible writing skills, you have to let it develop.
Fans of Whedon know that it took a full season before "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" really found its groove. Heck, "Firefly" didn't seem to really jell until its big-screen adaptation, "Serenity." It should come as no surprise that viewers who watch Friday's debut should reserve judgment on "Dollhouse" until after they've seen the second episode.
The show is essentially an acting showcase for its leading lady, who also happens to be one of the show's producers. Dushku was terrific on both "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," as a tough-as-nails vampire killer, and "Tru Calling," as a tough-as-nails night morgue worker. She hasn't exactly demonstrated Meryl Streep-like acting chops, though. The first two episodes of "Dollhouse," potentially a showcase for her versatility, stray little from the characters she is best known for portraying.
Much like "Buffy" wasn't just about the title character, you can bet that other actors will be the focal point of some of the future episodes, and a bigger story arc seems to be taking shape.
And that's a good thing. Just as a children's dollhouse is pretty boring by itself, the only way we won't get bored playing with this "Dollhouse" is with the addition of new elements and accessories.
If it weren't for Whedon's pedigree, I'm not sure I'd be dying to see a second episode. But for me, the main draw now is not seeing Dushku become a different person every week, but getting to see Joss Whedon become a different writer every week.
Whedon's writing skills have always been what has made his shows very special. Dollhouse might take half a season to round into shape, but I think I can wait.