Well, I can at least say that the pilot episode of Dollhouse, Joss Whedon's new show, didn't disappoint me. After months of reading variations of the same interview and looking at two different reviews of the pilot before it aired, I figured what I would see was what happens when Joss Whedon does what he has to do to "bring in viewers." It's obvious that the first episode was created to beat potential non-Whedonites over the head with all the Mysteries! And Wonders! To Be Revealed! If You Please Please Tune In Next Week! Rather than a slow, intelligent, sexy rolling out of characters and issues, I felt like episode one was primarily written to get us all on board with the mystery of the main character's Mysterious Past, with almost no significant attention given to the more interesting mysteries clearly embedded in the show's concept, e.g., the question of what we are beyond the sum of our memories (which is so very Samkhya) and the potentially deeply satisfying critique of a consumer and self-help culture that encourages us to buy and think our way free of our horribly scarring or otherwise unsatisfying pasts. I do not feel seduced by the world or the characters of Dollhouse because they are all trying much too hard to tell me that they have interesting things to say, which, as we all know, is never sexy. Plus, the show was completely devoid of any redeeming humor. And Eliza Dushku is...well, very pretty, but I'm not alone in wondering if she was really the best choice for the lead.
I worry about Dollhouse only because historically Whedon has been at his best when developing interesting questions within the context of evolving relationships with fundamentally sympathetic characters, and he is at his worst when all the characters march relentlessly towards some supposedly great climax in the season finale (think Buffy season 7 or pretty much all of Angel).
But of course I will keep watching. I didn't really get Firefly when it aired (much of this had to do with the fact that Fox made Whedon et al air the episodes out of order in an ill-advised effort to hook viewers) and when episode 1 of Dr. Horrible aired the internet was full of moaning and groaning about how it wasn't "dark" enough, and then of course things were good and grim by the third episode. So let's keep our fingers crossed.