DOLLHOUSE The Complete Season 2 DVD Review

Dollhouse Season 2 DVD

Fox recently released the complete second (and final!) season of DOLLHOUSE on DVD. The Dollhouse DVD contains all 13 episodes of Season 2 contained on four discs. Also on the DVD are special features including outtakes, a retrospective with Joss Whedon, a roundtable with Joss Whedon and some of the actors, as well as commentary on certain episodes (“Vows” and “Belonging”) and deleted scenes. The DVD also comes with a small comic book exclusive to the DVD called “dollhouse epitaphs.”

Dollhouse is a series created by the genius, Joss Whedon, creator of my number one all time TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The premise behind Dollhouse is that a corporation recruits people to become “dolls” and their memories and identities are completely wiped. They are then hired out to rich people who are looking for a specific fantasy or moment. The dolls are implanted with those memories, skills and characteristics. Once the job is done, they are wiped clean again.

The second season focused on Echo, played by Eliza Dushku, and her attempts to find her true identity. It also deals\t with the dangers of abuse with technology that can turn a person into anything the memory wiper wants. The dolls vowed to take down the owner and funders of the Dollhouse and banded together in an attempt to do so.

Special Features:

Deleted scenes – There are seven deleted scenes in total from episodes “Vows”, “Instinct”, “The Left Hand”, “Meet Jane Doe”, “A Love Supreme”, “Stop-Loss” and “Epitaph Two: Return”. My favorites are the scenes from “Vows” and the one from “Meet Jane Doe” which I thought showed the extremes that Echo’s character could go through in a very short span of time. A few of the scenes were so brief, you wonder why the needed to cut them. On the other hand, I don’t think missing those few seconds changed the storyline at all.

Outtakes – There were approximately five minutes of outtakes and most of them were not funny at all, I found. Too much time was spent on Alexis Denisof and not enough with Eliza Dushku, who was actually funny. It also appears that Fran Kranz that played Topher found it extremely difficult to keep a straight face while filming just about any scene. My favorite outtake is when Eliza says “there’s a diaper in my bag”. Overall, though, not the best gag reel at all.

Defining Moments – Joss Whedon spends about 12 minutes talking about the series overall and what moments defined the series, not just those in Season 2. Some of the actors are also interviewed and discuss their uncertainty in the second season about whether the show would be renewed. Ultimately it was not. Joss did not tell the cast until they had filmed their last scene together. It was interesting to hear Joss talk about the development of the characters and why he thought Echo was actually the true imbodiment of a feminist. Joss Whedon commented that he thought he gave Dollhouse the weirdest ending ever (which I will not share in case you haven’t seen it) and that before he knew about the cancellation, he had plans to evolve the show into a Charlie’s Angels type series where Echo and Sierra and the others would hunt down those using the technology wrong and save the world. It would have been interesting to see if that could have been successfully played out.

Looking Back – The final special feature involves a roundtable dinner discussion with Joss Whedon, Eliza Dushku (Echo), Alan Tudyk (Alpha), Fran Kranz (Topher), Enver Gjokaj (Victor), Olivia Williams (Adelle Dewitt), Miracle Laurie (Madeline Costley), and Dichen Lachman (Sierra). It appears to have been shot after the show ended and the actors and Joss discuss their favorite moments and the actors favorite characters that they played. Interestingly, when Joss originally pitched the show, he pitched 6 years. I cannot even imagine having enough ideas initially to propose 6 years of anything.

Comic Book – The small comic book included in the DVD is supposed to bridge the gap between the final unaired episode of Season 1 “Epitaph One” and the final episode of Season 2 and the series “Epitaph Two Return.” It is rumored that only those that buy the second season DVD will get the comic book and it will not be sold separately.

I must say that I love all things Joss Whedon. I truly do think he is a genius. I would probably buy this DVD for the mere fact that Joss is behind it. However, I also believe Dollhouse had a unique and compelling story. The development of the issues surrounding the abuse of technology that allows you to wipe out another human being led to some thought provoking moments.

I believe fans of this show will love this DVD. However, if you are buying it merely for special features, I think aside from the Josh Whedon commentaries and retrospectives, you may be disappointed.

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