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July 15 2009

Buffy fans rejoice! Dollhouse has hit its stride. Lucy Mangan catches up with Dollhouse in today's Guardian and looks forward to season two.

There's also a review of ASITHOL by Anna Pickard.
This made me laugh;

"Thanks to De Witt, we learn what the perfect British-person date really is: a classic sports car, a romantic balcony meeting, a rousting round of fencing, followed by a bloody good rogering, a deep, meaningful heart-to-heart, and a big cry. Hurrah!"

Hee! Though I think I prefer the review from the Guardian as Mangan actually gives us her opinion on the series. I’m not a big fan of reviews that pretty much just summarise the episode. Good to see that they've all started enjoying the show.
vampmogs, that was favourite quote too. The "hurrah!" is a great touch.
Unjust - Lucy Mangan saying that ED is a two-note actress. I think if anything that she is starting to really get into her stride as the series progresses.
And as I am British I can truthfully say that all my dates are just like Miss Lonely Hearts ;-)
Yes, I’ve always been quite impressed with Eliza’s acting in Dollhouse. I wouldn’t say she’s as strong of an actress as SMG but the complaints that she was “just playing Faith” in her role as, say Eleanor Penn, have always baffled me. There was no Faith in there. I think she holds herself very well and would easily place her above Miracle or Dichen.

As Faith I think she's one of the few actors in the entire Buffyverse where I couldn't pick one single moment that I thought she acted poorly. I can even do that for my two favourite actors (SMG & ASH) so I’ve always been very happy with Eliza’s work.

I think she'll improve and improve as the series progresses and I have no doubt we'll get her moment when she truly shines. In Btvs SMG got that moment in Prophecy Girl and I was completely sold on her. I have faith (no pun intended) that Eliza will also have her day.

PS: I’m still sulky that the “I’m not nobody” line from the unaired pilot never made it to air. Because man does Eliza give me chills when I see her in that promo. She brings such intensity to that line. Can’t wait to see “Echo” on July 24th and get to see the whole thing.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2009-07-15 14:21 ]

[ edited by vampmogs on 2009-07-15 14:22 ]
As Faith, ED was one of two actors in BtVS who brought everyone's energy levels up a notch whenever she was on-screen. (The other was James Marsters.) Faith was a juicy role, and she played it so well that it's really hard to separate Faith from ED.

There's none of Faith in Caroline or Echo, and few of her implants have had a trace of Faith, either. But because of her face and (especially) her voice, it's harder for ED to disappear into a role the way that some actors can. That seems to be the biggest issue.
I think because Faith is so iconic, she's a strong, fiesty, ready for anything kind of gal -- that people see Eliza as a strong woman and think "that's Faith".

It goes back to the "why do you write such strong female characters" question. "Because you keep asking that question."

I will probably be decried by some, but I think the reason folks have a hard time separating Eliza from Faith is not because Eliza can't act... it's because they have a hard time separating strong women roles from each other.
Ellie Penn was nothing like Faith, Beth (?) from the Alice in Wonderland/funny vivisection episode was nothing like her, Caroline isn't much like her (I don't actually think Faith would have a lot of time for Caroline, from what we've seen of her - too earnest and self-righteous), Echo has elements, the woman in 'The Target' had elements and Jordan from 'Stage Fright' basically was Faith (tough "southie" who doesn't take any crap from anyone) just (presumably) plus parents/positive role-models and minus superpowers. The point being Eliza played the character on the page, whatever that required and did a great job pretty much all the time IMO (she also did well in the "filler" characters that we only see tiny snippets of as Echo's returning to the 'Dollhouse'). And I say that, BTW, as someone that had doubts and can point to at least one specific instance (in "Who Are You ?"/"This Year's Girl") where for me Eliza did a not so great job (SMG was better as Faith than Eliza was as Buffy IMO).

Must admit, I disagree with all of these "phew, thank goodness it got good" articles. Despite what the reviewers, many on here and even Joss his own self have said, I thought that a few missteps aside and with the probable exception of 'Stage Fright', episodes 1-5 were pretty decent TV. And, maybe more to the point, I don't think that episode 6 was a quantum leap ahead of what had gone before (of the first six episodes my biggest emotional connection with Echo herself was probably in 'Grey Hour') and I also reckon that episode 7 wasn't as good in a lot of ways as e.g. episode 5 (though I do agree that MitS was probably the first "complete" episode).

Did it get better as it went along ? Sure, on balance. But what new TV show doesn't ?
This reviewer actually compared season 1 of Dollhouse to season 1 of "The Wire"?

Speechless, I am.

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