They definitely have an interesting premise. My hangup is, the Dollhouse group seems really, really evil. Seriously, the last two episodes have been creepy, what with the 'putting mindwiped prostitutes with no free will in life-threatening situations' angle, but also just the whole setup. Seeing Langton in the second episode in the flashback, as he drops off Echo post-assignment, it's heartbreaking. He's too good a person to be her pimp for any length of time. And I presume that's how we're supposed to feel also. We know they're not supposed to treat people literally like objects, machines to be used and re-used. But these are the characters we're given.
And man, creepy. First episode, child kidnapping, confronting a molester, and more. Second, more prostitution, more women-in-peril. And then seeing it from Langton's point of view. And listening to the Dollhouse bosses talking about assets and losses from whatever happened with Alpha. These are the villains, right? Maybe next week we can see some Dollhouse agents in non-prostitute jobs.
Now, what gives me hope. First, it's a Whedon show, and he's bought himself a little cred over the years. I'm up front about this bias; he tends to make shows that I like. And I presume he's not just writing a show about a mind-wiping super-rich prostitution ring.
Second, the very first line we hear, in the first episode: "Nothing is what it appears to be." The setup and setting is very strange... but they've also been covering a lot of ground, in just two episodes. Which makes me think they will be taking this whole thing someplace else. And the setting is just off-kilter enough to make me ask questions. Wouldn't it be easier (and cheaper) for the super-secret super-rich organization to just hire outside experts as needed? Are they really just after more money? Will we get any answers before Fox just sacks the show?
Third, the Alpha thing is a good hook. Seeing Echo starting to have problems as well, also a good hook. I hope it goes someplace good, because the potential is certainly there.
So, yeah. I'm not sold on the show, yet, but they have my attention for now. Things seem to be moving along quickly enough for me to tune in (well, Tivo) next week.
Oh, and Tom Shales didn't like it. At all.