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On this episode of Dollhouse, Charlie’s Angels

March 4, 2009


Dollhouse, the other Friday night SciFi Fox show by a showrunner whose first name begins with a J.

On this episode of Charlie’s Angels, I mean Dollhouse, Eliza Dusku goes all American Idol. Stage Fright can probably be blamed equal parts on Eliza Dusku, FOX executives and Jed Whedon. I choose to blame Jed myself, because nepotism is a very ugly thing, particularly when it leads to blatant ripoffs of old episodes of Charlie’s Angels.

Before the backlash in the comments begins, when you trim out the Dollhouse background stuff, Dollhouse plays out as a generic, “Babes go undercover to save a threatened singer” that every cheesy 80’s show did once upon a time. Even Echo’s “solution” is just a harder edged version of the stuff you can expect to see there. Dollhouse Stage Fright is big with wanting to comment on how girl singers like Britney Spears are no different than the Dollhouse dolls, unfortunately it can think of no better way of commenting on that than to have Rayna delivers annoying speeches about it that make you want to punch her in the face.

Like the rest of Dollhouse, Stage Fright suffers from the delusion that it has a lot more to say than it really does. I call it TV Stoner Syndrome. Sure it probably seems very deep and insightful in the writer’s room. But on TV, Stage Fright is just another episode of Charlie’s Angels without the wit to even try to be entertaining.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Paradigm permalink
    March 5, 2009 11:29 am

    I agree, it seemed very familiar. But the big failure lies in the lack of characters and chemistry between them. For a series that is just as important as the plot. My guess is that Buffy turned out so good was because of the right mix of actors who’s chemistry made it easy to build the characters. Now people think Whedon is a genious no matter what. A bit like some thought Larry David would follow up Seinfeld with something similar.

  2. drnormalblog permalink*
    March 5, 2009 5:34 pm

    Chemistry between the cast is really important. If you saw the Buffy pilot with a different Willow, you could really see why the show would have been worse that way.

    The bigger problem is that Dollhouse has no real lead and the cast never gels. Episodes are about delivering some sort of social message, and there’s no joy in watching the character interactions, something which always used to be part of Whedon shows, whether it was Buffy, Angel or Firefly

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