barondave: (Default)
barondave ([personal profile] barondave) wrote2009-04-25 10:56 am

Two brief reviews: Dollhouse and The Unusuals

Dollhouse finally had an episode that worked it's way up to good in my estimation. The major problem with the show is that it hasn't figured out whether to be about the adventures of the Dolls, the adventures of the Dollhouse or some sort of crime show where they Dollhouse is the central mystery. Last night's show had a Doll with the persona of a newly dead person, and she went to her own funeral to try to solve the murder. Meanwhile, the Dollhouse geek had Big Bang Theory fun with a Doll (which didn't make much sense, given the security and controls, but was mildly explained internally and amusing to watch) and the crime show aspect advanced a little.

I'm still not going to recommend Dollhouse until the shows are good with some degree of consistency. Still, I no longer hope for it's swift cancellation.

The Unusuals takes the time slot of the late unlamented Life On Mars and also takes much of its predecessor's goofy yet violent charm. Set at a police station, most of the characters are detectives with some sort of odd quirk, which range from being rich to being a murderer. Many familiar faces pop up, notably Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia). Life On Mars had some interesting and intense drama but was clearly not going anywhere and the basic premise petered out very fast. The Unusuals is still feeling its way around, but in the right way: Start off with characters and good writing and let the situations develop.

I'm not going to recommend a series after only three episodes, but I'm enjoying The Unusuals a lot more than Life On Mars, and might be worth watching a few shows just to get up to speed on the characters before longer story arcs come into play.

[identity profile] 2009-04-25 04:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Dollhouse: Amusing but not consistently worked out (the dead woman occasionally forgot to behave like herself, as opposed to disguising herself). I recognized one of the actors from a guest slot in one episode of Firefly - my actor-recognition fu was strong last night.

[identity profile] 2009-04-25 05:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Dollhouse always seemed like a limited premise to me, and when they started doing "bait and switch" episodes like "The Awakening" it showed me that the creators know it's got a half life. The episode last night was good enough, but after all of the "things are breaking apart" it really felt like a script someone wrote early on and they shoehorned a couple of scenes in to reference the overall metaplot.

Unusuals is decent enough as well, and I like the characters and plots so far.

Niether will be back next season, tho.

[identity profile] 2009-04-25 05:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Niether will be back next season, tho.

Of the two, I'd rather see The Unusuals get picked up. I have hopes, but I'm long out of their Prime Demographic and tv isn't for me anymore.
laurel: Picture of Laurel with Garibaldi cardboard standup (Default)

[personal profile] laurel 2009-04-25 11:51 pm (UTC)(link)
It's extremely unlikely The Unusuals will be back; better odds on Dollhouse, but not very good ones as these things go.

[identity profile] 2009-04-25 05:50 pm (UTC)(link)
I could have sworn I've seen four episodes of The Unusuals...

It's ok. Not as good as either Life On Mars, but ok.

[identity profile] 2009-04-25 05:54 pm (UTC)(link)
I lost track of the number of episodes. I may not have counted the extra one on the odd day. Oh well. Comments stand.
laurel: Picture of Laurel with Garibaldi cardboard standup (Default)

[personal profile] laurel 2009-04-25 11:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, four episodes have aired. They aired two last week-- one on Tuesday and another different episode on Wednesday. That sort of thing tends to confuse people.