From some readers:
Dollhouse’s gestation has been fraught with omens as rumours flew that the network was ordering Whedon to make changes – changes that he has admitted to, but claimed he was cool with – and the production shutting down for a couple of weeks so Whedon could tinker with scripts. In press for the debut, he said that the first 5-7 episodes are meant to be freestanding pilots that aren’t so packed with lore that new viewers will need a 3-minute “previously on Dollhouse” intro. And other reports have noted the lack of snappy patter, but it will be showing up later.
How about a little patience, huh? Buffy didn’t really get rolling until the second season with the introduction of Spike and Drusilla; Angel didn’t take off until a dozen episodes in when they gave Cordy the visions; and I’ve always held that Firefly screwed itself by leading with a bunch of “cowboys in space” episodes and waiting until 7 or 8 eps. in to really dig into the sci-fi plot and the details of River Tam’s condition and abilities. Fox did an Old Yeller on Firefly before it could reach the dozen-episode threshold where Whedon’s previous works seem to take flight and soar and now you’re doing the same by sniffing at it after only two episodes and saying, “Hated it!”, like the Men on Film critics. Your impatience reminds me of liberals who want perfection NOW or they’re gonna cry about it. Be better. Have faith. (Have Eliza Dushku!) Trust in Joss.
You and I agree on practically nothing, but man, are you ever right about this.
You say Dushku isn’t a very good actress, which may or may not be true, but even if it were true, it’d be forgivable. Her biggest problem, I would say, is that she is utterly humorless. She simply cannot be funny. As you suggest, Whedon’s genius is for depicting Manichaean struggles with a light, even zany, touch. Dushku has great bone structure, to be sure — but for all her great bones, she doesn’t seem to have a single ironic one anywhere in her body.
– A Raging Liberal Who Is Consistently Blown Away By Our Uncannily Similar Tastes In Pop Culture
And, I have it on very good authority that at least one of the episodes is really, really good. More on that cryptic insideryness later.