If the words Joss Whedon, Buffyverse or browncoats mean anything to you, you can probably stop reading here. I’d place money that you already have your DVR set for Friday at 9:00 pm or have a viewing party to attend for the premier episode of Joss Whedon’s latest television show, Dollhouse.
If however, you are one of the many people uninitiated into the world of Whedon (beloved creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Serenity), I’m giving you my five top reasons you should make plans to add this show to your regular viewing.
1. You may not have changed too much since Buffy’s debut in 97; but your television viewing habits sure have. Lots of television execs and (sadly) the viewing public were a tad resistant to Joss Whedon’s style and vision. The name was a bit disconcerting and besides sci-fi, action and horror where reserved for syndication. Not to mention that shows with season long arcs demanded too much from its fans. Buffy defied all the common wisdom and was a surprise hit for the then fledging WB network, developing a rabid cult following (of which I’m a proud member). Ten years later, the success of Lost, Heroes, Battle Star Galactic, Medium, and many more shows with an otherworldly vibe, means we’ve moved on from those hang ups and embrace television of any genre as long as it’s well written.
2. Which leads me to the fact the Joss Whedon is one of the best writers we have in modern television (and carving a bright, new path on the internet as well). Besides the obligatory ass kicking and stylish action scenes, Joss populates his shows with layered and complex yet relatable people. No one is all good or evil, everyone has differing shades of grey. His stories draw you into a different world, with it’s own mythology and rules (and rewards attentive viewers with superb continuity and fun details), but it’s the depth of the characters and their relationships with each other that will keep you coming back for more. And I can’t fail to mention the sharp dialogue, quirky phrases and laugh out loud moments that are hallmarks of a Whedon show.
3. Not only is Whedon a gifted writer, he has consistently surrounded his shows with writers, directors and producers with equally amazing talents. This group of friends and co-workers (many who worked on more than one of the Whedon’s earlier works) have since written and worked on some of your current favorite shows including Mad Men, Prison Break, Grey’s Anatomy, Brothers & Sisters, 24 and Lost. The current crew from Dollhouse has worked their magic on The Shield, Wonderfalls, Gilmore Girls, and Battlestar Galactica.
The highly imaginative and talented crew extends to everyone involved in a Whedon series, including people like the art directors, set builders and lighting experts, so at the very least you’ll know you can always sit back and enjoy the pretty.
4. I mean, Joss Whedon gives good eye candy. Just take another look at the picture above. Pretty, yes? His shows are filmed with unique angles and fluid movement, the lighting is beautiful and symbolic and there’s attention and thoughtfulness in every set. Not to mention the lovely actors filling our screen. Eliza Dushku has been my girl crush since her days spent as Buffy’s frenemy and it’s about time she has a chance to shine in a vehicle worthy of her talents.
5) Are you still not convinced? How about this: as part of a new Fox Television program called Remote-Free TV, Dollhouse, will air with about half the commercials and promotional spots of most current network dramas. That adds about 6 minutes to the shows’ run time. Nice, more show for the hour I spent watching the tube.
Please, do all of us Whedon fans a favor and check this show out. (I’m not sure I can take another Whedon show going off the air too soon. You may just find yourself hooked.
The premiere episode of Dollhouse is on Fox, Friday night at 9:00 p.m.