A lot of critics have been panning Joss Whedon’s new show Dollhouse, and I know some people are giving it a pass because they didn’t get into it in the first episode.
Me? I love it. I also love good cop procedural shows if they have character development (Bones, NCIS) and I think the misunderstanding of Dollhouse comes because people expect the characters to be quirky and funny like those in Buffy, Angel, and Firefly.
What Dollhouse really is: a serious science fiction show crossed with a cop procedural. Now that I’ve seen three episodes, I can see that they’re setting up a really intriguing mystery with the FBI agent seeking Echo, Echo’s past, and the possibility that Echo is a new kind of Doll–one who can adapt the mission to fit parameters no one programmed her to expect.
I’ll continue watching, and I think if you like a character-driven show, you’ll come to find it satisfying when the mysteries start to unravel more than in the first few episodes, when Echo is still more of a tabula rasa. But you’ll want to watch those first episodes to see how the mysteries and characters are getting set up.