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Dollhouse review roundup and ratings prediction

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February 13th, 2009

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Finally. Friday the 13th is here and so is Dollhouse, tonight at 9pm ET. By Saturday morning we'll finally get a glimpse of ratings for Dollhouse (as well as Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Ghost Whisperer, Flashpoint and Numb3rs, Wife Swap, etc). But to tide you over until then, here's a roundup of a few more reviews of Dollhouse:

To say there has been anticipatory buzz surrounding Joss Whedon's return to television with Fox’s “Dollhouse” is like saying octo-mom has gotten some media attention. The moment Whedon announced the project, fans of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Firefly" began their internal countdown. When bad things began to happen -- the network wanted so many changes in the pilot that Whedon chucked it and began again from scratch -- the buzz only got louder. - Joss Whedon's 'Dollhouse' Seems Too Empty by Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times

Slices of mumbo don't come much more jumbo than this new entry from producer Joss Whedon; it's enough to make one long for the days when TV dramas were criticized for being too pat, too predictable, too much like one another. Whedon, who directed the pilot, certainly dressed it up stylishly, but I'll take simple coherence over fancy-pants trappings any day. After all, this is television, not an art-house cinema in Greenwich Village. - 'Dollhouse' Deserves To Be Condemned - by Tom Shales, The Washington Post

Unfortunately, he's expending his considerable talents on an empty-vessel premise that probably couldn't support a series even were it more adroitly cast, or didn't resemble the already dismissed My Own Worst Enemy. The result is a show that his most devoted fans will debate and embrace, and a mass audience just won't get. - Fox's 'Dollhouse' is its own worst enemy by Robert Bianco, USA Today

Viewers may also have trouble maintaining interest in the perils of Echo, even if Agent Ballard can help salvage some of her memory banks. "Dollhouse" has an amusing premise, but the universe it inhabits in the early episodes is thin and bland. The sinister corporation behind the Dollhouse is ill-defined, and the show's main characters are one-dimensional, including the real-life dolls. The plot lacks the metaphoric allusions and richly imagined contexts that enliven other science-fiction series like "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" and "Battlestar Galactica." - Directions: Brainwash, Rinse, Repeat by Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times

Unfortunately, it's a disappointment. It lacks the humor and vivid characters of Buffy and Firefly, which might be OK if the plots were more compelling, but that hasn't been the case in the three episodes sent for review. The show has a good premise but wastes it with derivative storytelling, the kind of stuff Whedon avoided when Buffy and Firefly simultaneously tweaked and respected their genres. - 'Dollhouse' lacks the teeth of producer's earlier series - Robert Philpot, Star-Telegram

I know this now because I just watched Fox's new, much-hyped show "Dollhouse," from the guy who brought you "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel." And unlike the aforementioned ideal date that went south, I'm not in love, but I am intrigued. - Dream 'Doll', 'Buffy' Creator Back With Mind-Erasing Fun Linda Stasi, New York Post (she gave it three out of four stars)

If you want more, here's a link to a Google News search that should sate you. Personally, I'd love to see the show get 12 million and a 4.0 rating in the 18-49 demo. All hell would break loose and that would be kind of fun. But so would Gisele Bundchen randomly showing up at my doorstep and that isn't going to happen either.

My prediction: 6.3 million and a 2.3 rating among 18-49 year olds for Friday's premiere.

 
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