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Denisof in Dollhouse

August 13, 2009

One of the many stories that caught my eye coming out of the San Diego Comic Con was that long time Buffy and Angel actor and Whedonverse favourite, Alexis Denisof, will be appearing in the next season of Dollhouse.

The show was given a reprieve and picked up for a second season despite poor ratings but the buzz around it seems to me, to be turning more positive. Before the show even aired on Fox, fans had started a “Save Dollhouse” campaign online and for a time it looked as if they would be very busy. As someone who came late to the show, I was obviously influenced by all of the negative press, and after watching five episodes I could understand the viewpoint of those who scorned it. The show just didn’t grab me, and as a Joss Whedon product, I was disappointed. However, I made a promise to keep watching it for the entire run and finally, in the last three or four episodes, I was glad I persisted. But it was a long time coming. If it had been any other show by any other creator, and if not for my promise, I would have stopped watching by the fourth or fifth episode.

The show meandered at the start and nowadays with shows being cut down very early, sometimes before all filmed episodes are even aired, that just won’t wash. But, it’s been given a second chance, and to be fair, not all of the problems have been the fault of the showrunners and writers. The network didn’t help by not airing the original pilot and refusing to show the last episode of the first season, Epitaph One, featuring Felicia Day. She broke the news via Twitter when she was told it would not be shown, and there was much gnashing of teeth by the fans and Joss Whedon alike I’d imagine. The good news is the Season 1 DVD includes the final unaired episode and that it was shown on the Sci-Fi Channel in the UK this week.

So, with the appearance of Alan Tudyk at the end of season 1, the regular appearance of the lovely Amy Acker throughout, and now the recurring appearance of Alexis Denisof in Season 2, is Dollhouse back on track with so many of the Whedonverse alumni? Let’s hope so. Without spoiling the show for those who haven’t seen it, it manages to come a long way in season 1 considering how it began with Alias-lite type episodes that quite often felt like one note musicals. The original setup has been radically altered and it can’t be undone, which means the story arc episodes will continue and I hope there will be less standalone ‘Echo on a field trip’ type episodes in the future. All we know about Denisof’s character is that he is a senator who will be a thorn in the side of the Dollhouse and that it is a recurring role. I can’t wait to see him back in action as he has been sorely missed from TV.

Considering my opinion of the show when it began, I never thought I’d be saying this but, I’m looking forward to watching season 2 of Dollhouse.

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