Well, here we go folks. The new Joss Whedon show, Dollhouse, starts tonight at 9 PM EST, right smack dab in the middle of a geektastic sandwich of goodness. Whedon's first venture into serialized TV since the FOX euthanized greatness of Firefly (in 2002) is the fried bologna between the mayo slathered, toasted honey wheat bread of the underrated and compelling Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and almost at the end legend of Battlestar Galactica (Ellen's back!).
Note: personal sandwich preferences, just like mileage, may vary. So, sorry if fried bologna isn't your cup of ale, but damn, nothing's better in my house.
I'll be back tomorrow with a review of the pilot, but following are a few links and stories from around the interwebs to tide you over until then. And I will say this: Dollhouse isn't suffering from a lack of publicity and interest. Joss, Eliza and crew have been freaking everywhere pimping the show, and saying all the right things. Critics and reporters from virtually every print and online outlet have been covering the lead up to Dollhouse like there's no tomorrow. FOX has done their share, too, with omnipresent web and TV promotion. (Some thoughts on the nature of the promotion can be found here). So from a marketing standpoint, I don't think we're looking at another Firefly situation.
E! has video interviews with Joss, Eliza, Tahmoh and Oliva.
EW's TV critic, Ken Tucker, offers his thoughts (along with a little "recalibration" of his initial impressions).
Maxim has an interview with Joss. Eliza is also their print version's cover girl.
HitFix reviews Dollhouse.
TV Worth Watching offers some thoughts.
So does io9 (in a spoiler-free take on the first three eppys).
A good "know your Joss" feature on Zap2It.
Salon with a positive take. They also have a Joss Q&A.
Slideshow on stars of the Whedonverse.
Alan Sepinwall interviews Joss. And offers his review of the show here.
The NY Times gives a review here, comparing it unfavorably to the other parts of my sandwich.
TIME magazine weighs in, too.
Metacritic rounds up and tracks critical reaction here.
Thus far, it seems like the anticipation and expectations have been sky high, and the resulting critical reaction mostly mixed to good, with almost everyone giving Joss the benefit of the doubt (which he's earned, by the way) for producing something worthwhile, challenging and entertaining over the long haul. Buffy, Angel and even the shortened Firefly function better as tapestries, compared to isolated episodes, and it remains to be seen whether Dollhouse will get the chance to hit the groove. In a way, the lowered pressure of airing on Friday nights is a good thing, and may give the show more time to breathe and grow and pick up the momentum it needs to survive in a network environment.
So will it all work? We'll have a better idea in about four hours. See y'all back here soon.