If I were a gambling man, my smart money would be on Fox’s Dollhouse never seeing new-episode-airtime again. In with one season, out with the same. 12 episodes, nothing more. If I’m proven right, it’ll be an inevitable shame. A slow-builder that culminated in a satisfying first season finale this past Friday, Dollhouse never registered strong ratings, but for those, such as myself, who stuck with it all season long the show rewarded an initial onset of non-impression and frustration with some rather nice twists and character progression. Always uneven, but also consistently entertaining throughout the season’s second half.
(Most likely) Chalk it up as yet another unfortunate failure from the mind of television cult-fave Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Serenity). Doomed from the very moment that Fox dumped it into the awful “Friday nights at 9pm” slot. A minor glitch on 2009’s programming chart that I’m quite happy to have loyally followed. Of course, what drew me to the show in the first place ultimately proved to be the main attraction from start to finish: the apple of my eye, the finest woman in Hollywood……Eliza Dushku. (A Dushku tribute of sorts after the jump):
Other than bringing some fresh science-fiction melodrama into TV’s cop/medical drama landscape, Dollhouse gave the long-overlooked Dushku an interesting starring vehicle. The woman isn’t exactly Meryl Streep as a thespian, I’ll admit, but you’d be hardpressed to find many young actresses who exude such a natural charm, a beautiful smile that holds attention like a magnet dipped in puree-d steroids.
It could be that I’m just overly smitten here, of course, and that bias is the dominant force at play. Answer me this, though—–why does Scarlett Johannson keep scoring new, bigtime roles? If you answered “Because she’s a really good actress,” then slap yourself across the brow, because you’re dead wrong. “She’s exceptionally hot” is the correct response. Well, for my two cents’ worth, Dushku isn’t a slouch by comparison, so why can’t she land some feature film work that doesn’t end up in the forgettable straight-to-DVD bins? Whedon, her longtime friend and collaborator, has a connection to the Wonder Woman property, and Dushku would be about as perfect as a casting choice for WW as you could find, but the odds of her ever landing that role would send a compulsive better heading for rehab.
If Dollhouse had bombarded up the Neilsen ratings, Dushku’s career could’ve skyrocketed, but I’d imagine that her phone is hardly ringing any more than before. Aside from a slim-chance second season for this series, the next time any of us are blessed with her presence on a prominent screen could be when the sure-to-be-blah flick Open Graves premieres at your local Blockbuster later this year. And what is that film about? “A group of surfers discover an old board game that claims a life every time it’s played.” Wonderful, an ever lesser-notable ripoff of that horrible Frankie Muniz horror debacle Stay Alive.
I’ll be keeping the digits crossed for you, my girl Eliza. In a perfect world, I’ll visit one of my many film news sites some day soon and see you name attached to a big studio project. Shit, that’d be the first time I ever leave one of those “Awesome! This news rules! Eliza is the best!!!” comments. I’d be that corny asshole for you. For better, or for worse.