Whirr2009-07-27
Dollhouse

Well, fair warning I'm having a really crappy morning for a thousand irritating reasons (nothing important, it's just one of those days where I put in my headphones and then they get caught on a chair and ripped out again... over and over and over). Nevertheless, I'm extremely unimpressed with the Dollhouse first episode:

So, her first assignment she's a whore, and in here second assignment she's a rape victim. The first big confrontation and she literally falls to her knees (she has asthma). In the second big fight she is saved at the last minute by a bunch of men with guns. Oh, did I mention that she's also nearsighted in that one?

Joss Whedon, this is not a feminist critique of Hollywood misogny, it's thwe real thing. Tell me, now,is this series really worth watching?

Comments
fuz2009-07-27
I skipped eps 3-6, and was much happier.

YMMV
Amy2009-07-27
Hm. I thought I posted a comment earlier, but I guess it didn't take. Yeah, up till about episode 5 you get much of the same thing. I'm not sure if that's done on purpose or not, but starting in about episode 6, all of a sudden the viewpoint seems to change, and it gets a whole lot better.

Granted, its still not up to Joss' par. But its better. I still find it interesting and entertaining.
DavidC2009-07-31
I was going to say something about why I think Dollhouse is feminist (it\'s a show about consent and rape culture), but it\'s been said far better than I ever could. Highlights from that post: \"...I, unlike a lot of feminist ladies, get annoyed with Strong Female Characters Who Kick Ass, because it seems to me that making your heroine actually magical and skilled in various made-up martial arts is a really silly way to go about delivering Female Empowerment to your viewers, who will have to be strong on a day-to-day basis without access to superpowers or magic. Dollhouse is, pretty much specifically and entirely, a show about consent... The Dollhouse is a giant metaphor, not only for rape culture, but for patriarchy and oppression at large... You can\'t just stake the enemy or cast a spell at him or throw him into Hell this time. The enemy surrounds you and controls you and is much, much bigger than any one person. The enemy is in your head: it controls what you\'re allowed to think, what you\'re allowed to know, who you\'re allowed to be. Resistance, this time, isn\'t about throwing punches. It\'s about getting your mind back. It\'s about reclaiming your right to define who you are - your right to be a person... Whedon has done a lot of shows about magically powerful women and the men who protect them (Buffy had Giles, River had Simon and Mal), which is sweet - hey, at least they aren\'t actively seeking to take power away from those women - but also paternalistic and troubling, and in Dollhouse he seems to know and specifically address just how creepy it is... What you hear, when you hear Topher speaking about how difficult it is to construct a believable personality, how all of his creations have to be full and nuanced and have reasons for how they behave, how achievement is fueled by lack and he gave her asthma because that made her a more complete person and blah blah blah, is noted feminist auteur Joss Whedon reflecting, very consciously and very obviously, on his life\'s work - hiring gorgeous women and making them into who he wants them to be - and saying that sometimes, he feels kind of icky about it...\"