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Monday, May 11th, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

I talk to a lot of people about a lot of shows and movies on a daily basis. I’m always interested to hear about things I haven’t seen and might enjoy! It’s how you discover new and entertaining things! The problem is…I watch so much stuff for various podcasts, articles and my own ambitions that sometimes, it takes me awhile to get around to something that’s been recommended.

It’s nothing personal. I can be simultaneously scatter brained and laser focused on nonsense things. What can I say, it’s a gift.

Such is the case with Paul Feig’s Other Space. It’s a new original sci fi comedy from Yahoo Screen. Yes, that Yahoo. Stop laughing, I’m trying to tell you something here. I’m generally down with just about anything sci fi and if it’s a comedy, even better. Galaxy Quest never ceases to entertain me, regardless of how many times I watch it. As I began to come across various articles singing the praises of this new show from a rather untested marketplace, I started to think it was worth checking out.

But i didn’t. Because…you know.


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Monday, September 23rd, 2013 | Author: Casey Criswell

Last night was the Emmy awards and, well, I…don’t really care! I still enjoy TV a heck of a lot though! So, I figured I’d throw out my own personal Emmy award list with four shows that have really caught my attention this summer. There’s no limousines or fancy dresses though, in case you were excited about that.

I’ll freely admit that when I first added scheduled “Broadchurch” to record, it was completely site unseen and due solely to the fact that David Tennant starred in it. Let’s face it; he was a great Doctor Who and a good actor in general from what little I had seen of him outside of the Doctor. I really wanted to see if he could separate himself from the character and shine without the special effects.
Guess what…he really can!

“Broadchurch” is about as far flung from science fiction as you can get, giving us gripping drama that leaves you on the edge of your seat and emotionally floored at time. It’s dark and brooding, as is Tennant’s character and it all flows together so well. The show follows the exact formula of AMC’s “The Killing”, an entire season spent on the investigation of one crime. While “The Killing” itself was pretty great, I’d dare say that “Broadchurch” executes the formula even better. There are so many solid side characters, all with great performances, and the mystery is written so well that it’s taken most of the season to be able to form a solid guess as to ‘who-done-it’.

While I wouldn’t call the ending of each episode a cliff hanger, every episode of “Broadchurch” finishes off with a heavy emotional gut punch that leaves you chomping at the bit for the next episode. Not because you want to see what happens next, but more because you need to.

I had never even heard of “The League” until I saw it pop up on Netflix. Once I became aware of it, I started catching snippets of people talking about it in their usual haunts. Late last week, a friend mentioned that Seth Rogen shows up in it at a later date, so I started to be come curious. I mean, I’ve played fantasy football, I like crude humor and I’m an unabashed Seth Rogen fan. I figured it was something I needed to watch, so Friday night I had some spare time and was caught up on the DVR so I decided to check out the pilot. This morning, I watched the first episode of Season 1 before heading out to work.

In a nut shell, “The League” is hilarious. It’s crude humor, quite offensive at times, but the cast is made up of a great group of lesser known actors and comedians. They all play perfectly off each other and makes for a lot of eye watering hilarity. The tag of “The League” being about Fantasy Football shouldn’t turn you off. It is indeed about Dungeons and Dragons for Jocks, but there’s so much more to it. You don’t need to know anything about Fantasy Football to get the jokes, as they’re most there for setting. The real fun comes with how this group lays into each other with the taunting and slams that I”m sure all of us can connect with in our own friendships. When you find out Katie Aselton can be just as crude and crass as the guys, it gets even funnier. Jon Lajoie’s songs are just icing on the cake here.

“Siberia” has been one of the biggest surprises of the summer season. If you are a horror fan, you really should have been watching this one. The setup is akin to “The Blair Witch” in the way it is presented and used the first person point of view to great effect. Pair this with the fact that these people are on a “Survivor” style reality show and you realize that you’ve been thinking “What If…?” while watching “Survivor” longer than you would have thought.

While the show is far from terrifying, it flows far better than Oren Peli’s attempt at bringing the first person gimmick to TV in “The River”. The editing is well done and works to fool you into believing the reality show setup. Once it starts to flow, it serves to make you feel like you’re uncovering the mystery right along with the contestants that are stuck in the wilds of Siberia. And again, “Siberia” is never really terrifying, but it is confusing, mysterious and creepy all the same. It’s a nice change from the usual attempts at abject terror that this little sub-genre aims for. Plus, the writers lean heavily on historical events, to the extent that actual footage from said historical events show up in later episodes. As a TV viewer, this makes everything even more fun as you sit and try and theorize as to what’s happening here. The show is one part “Blain Witch”, one part “Lost”. Let’s just hope they don’t wind up in Purgatory. I hate when the writers cop-out with Purgatory in these types of shows.

Simply put, “Longmire” is one of my favorite shows on television. While I don’t mind westerns, I don’t consider myself a die hard fan. “Longmire” mixes just enough cowboy with modern sensibilities to make this show a blast. Really, the stories in this show are second to the characters themselves. Walt Longmire is total badass with a humble streak that makes him the polar opposite of Raylan Givens. His past is dark and murky and he’s so humble you can’t help but like him. Lou Diamond Phillips was a bit forced in the first season as Walt’s indian friend, but he’s found his stride in season 2 and really feels like an integral part of the show. Katie Sackhoff is tough as nails, yet endearing. Ferg is a bumbling deputy, but lovable. Branch, Walt’s antagonist is grating and infuriating by design and he carries off the roll well. Even the bad guys are great.

Story wise, “Longmire” is no slouch though. Based off the Craig Johnson novels of the same name, the episodes contain fluid dialog and non-sappy drama. The mysteries are well balanced and well told, with over arching mysteries that grow from season to season. It’s kind of like the “X Files” without the aliens and monsters!

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Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

In the wake of myself trying to make changes for the better, I’ve taken to waking up at obscene hours of the morning and riding the exercise bike. To help pass that time, I’ve been chewing through TV series on Netflix. So far, I’ve gone through the second season of “Supernatural” which was quite a bit of fun, but after copious amounts of word of mouth on my various forums and on my twitter stream, I decided to check out the first season of “The Killing” on a lark.

Man am I glad I did!

Of the many things I heard about the show, little of it had to do with the plot itself. I really had no idea what I was in for when I hit play on the first episode. I’ve heard many comparisons to “Twin Peaks” which lead me to believe we’d be seeing a lot of weird and trippy stuff but that wasn’t the case. The show IS reminiscent of “Twin Peaks”, but that comparison is due to the show’s structure rather than bizarre antics. The entire first season follows the murder investigation of a teenage girl named Rosie who was found brutally assaulted. From there, we watch as this long over arching story unfolds and intertwines the lives of at least four different groups; Detective Li nden and her partner Holder. Rosie’s parents who are understandably devastated by the turn of events. A young teacher that was influential in Rosie’s life. And finally, a politician running for Mayor of Seattle, who’s campaign is oddly roped in to the ongoing murder case.

To put it bluntly; I find the show captivating. The dreary landscape of Seattle is captured pretty masterfully to give the show an underlying current of gloom and doom. This is a great fit as the story is full of gloom and doom. Adding to the depth of the show is the fantastic character development that is going on. Our main character, Detective Sarah Linden is struggling with the case as much as she is struggling with her personal life. You feel that she IS a good detective though, so it’s not inept ability that has kept her from solving the case thus far. Even her partner Holden has an air of mystery around him, knowing that he’s come from the undercover narcotics division and has a shady manner about him.

The plight of Rosie’s parents, played by Brent Sexton and Michelle Forbes, is downright heart breaking at times. They’ve captured the sense of exasperation that you would expect to come with a family who’s had the floor ripped out from beneath them. Sexton who comes from a shady past wants to use his old ways to find closure, but can’t bring himself to do it. Forbes wants to care for and help with her family, but can’t bring herself out of her deep depression. As a parent, this side of the story is very very effective and helps to make for some gripping moments.

Really, now that I think about it, it’s the great character arches that make “The Killing” shine. The plot is straight forward as far as murder mysteries go; nothing crazy or out of the ordinary here. It’s the fact that that they peel back a new layer each and every episode on each and every character revealing just a bit more that brings you back each time. Just fantastic story telling all around.

There is not much in the way of gore here, so if you’re worried about a show called “The Killing” about a murder mystery being too oogey…it’s not very bad at all. In fact, while the events and the effects of said events are truly horrifying…I wouldn’t even label “The Killing” as horror. It’s a mystery/drama. Actually…it’s great TV. That should be enough to get you to watch.

It makes great viewing for my early hours on the exercise bike. When I’m not feeling quite up to getting back in the saddle at 5:30 AM, the promise of the next episode does help to motivate a bit!

Season 2 of the “The Killing” starts up on April 1st over on AMC. Probably not enough time to cram Season 1 in before then if you haven’t seen the show yet but trust me…you NEED to see Season 1 first before you dive in! You can count on me having Season 2 sitting on the DVR until I catch up!

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Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 | Author: Casey Criswell

This past Sunday saw the premier of TNT’s alien invasion epic Falling Skies. As the shameless sci-fi nerd that I am, I made sure to give it a watch. Granted, I missed the airing on Sunday night, but since the show is a TNT original, it’s guaranteed that the network will replay the ever loving hell out of it! The premier was a two hour event, showing the first two episodes of the series. What I found was a fairly enjoyable end of the world science fiction romp that makes for some good summer entertainment.

The Good.

I found a number of things to suck me into this show, the front runner being the over-arching alien invasion plot. We’ve forgone the whole setup which can be boring as origin stories are wont to be. We start off a few years into the invasion as humanity lives in hiding and is starting to for a resistance to their alien overlords. Sure, they use a rather generic info dump to us to this point, but it ferry’s past the overdone territory that movies of this kind generally takes. We’re forced to take the characters at face value which is okay; none of them are overly complicated.

The aliens are handled fairly well in this setup as well. They’re not the standard bipedal extension of ourselves (which the writers make a point to touch on in the second episode). It’s nice to see an alien creature that looks…alien to our fleshy selves. They’ve run a bit shallow on giving us a reason to fear these beasties other than their superior hardware; we’re told a couple of times that they are hard to kill unless you get in close, but we really don’t see any reason as to why they’re so hard to kill. This is a passable problem though, as the characters seem to be learning about these creatures at the same rate we are.

As for end of the world scenarios, the current trend is to show us one or two people facing off against unspeakable odds. In “Falling Skies”, we’ve had it drilled into our heads that this stars Noah Wyle, yet he’s not the sole focus. What we find is a fairly large resistance army forcing some civilians to step up and become freedom fighters. The group dynamic is a nice change from the norm and from a writing perspective; it should lend itself to some nice side stories involving secondary characters while Noah Wyle runs around spouting historical anecdotes. Also, it looks good. For a TV show, they have a nice bit of urban decay going on!

The Not So Good

Genre TV lends itself to over acting, some moments in the first two episodes of “Falling Skies” gets a bit hard to swallow. In the second episode we’re shown an outlaw band, your standard post-apoc misfit gang mind you, led by an ex-con. The setup is sound; the ex-con is not so sound. The man has his moments mind you, but his performance is so hammy that it’s a bit distracting from the drama in any given scene. The man wants to be Iggy Pop so bad, he can taste it! His little band of merry bikers replete in black leathers and rock star bling are a bit groan worthy too. That said, they still make good use of him for some self-referential jokes.

Noah Wyle as an actor is fine. In fact, I rather enjoyed him in the first “Librarian” movie. His character here in “Falling Skies” is a former historian, specifically US History and apparently, military history. In these two opening episodes, when Wyle is running around being dad and solider, he is fine. The writers however seem to be working overtime on making the character drop various tid bits of history. I would hope that these historian tidbits will become more important later on in the show but as they are right now; it’s forced, it’s disjointed and a bit annoying. The character brings up moments of US history at odd times, generally in times of one on one reflection with another character. As of right now; they don’t add much weight to the situation. Maybe they will add more later.

In the End…

Ultimately, “Falling Skies” falls firmly in the “not bad” category for sci-fi TV. I found it compelling enough to give the show a few more episodes. The post alien invasion world is well setup and already established, so we can get straight to the meat and potatoes. Noah Wyle makes for a decent lead, though they need to tighten up his character a bit. The rest of the cast is adequate with a couple of standouts, mostly Moon Bloodgood and Will Patton. Though the show has done nothing to reinvent the genre yet, it doesn’t feel like a ‘planet of the week’ type of show like other sci-fi series. The overarching story line is enough to keep me engrossed for a bit with a little bit of leeway for some one off adventures.

I’d say I’m looking forward to see what they’ve got planned for episode three, but I wouldn’t call myself a fervent fan as of yet.

So now, the million dollar question! Did you tune in for the series premiere? If so, be sure to weigh in with your thoughts in the comments!

Monday, June 20th, 2011 | Author: Casey Criswell

Found courtesy of

The summer TV doldrums are upon us; Game of Thrones is coming to a close, Doctor Who is in its mid-season hiatus. Thankfully, Torchwood: Miracle Day is coming on July 8th to fill the void! While it’s no Doctor Who, this spin off has kept me downright entertained with it’s campiness. From the looks of this trailer, it looks like we’ll have the customary cheesiness in spades!

Being a Torchwood fan has been a worrisome experience at times. The show has moved networks between every season so far, with season 4 being no exception as it moves to the United States and the Starz network. The first seasons had it’s problems, the second grew greatly. Then we were faced with a five episode mini-series for season 3 which, while it was fantastic, left me worrying that it was the end for sure. Thankfully, Miracle Day appears to be the quickly growing standard of 10 episodes.

Plot wise, if you watched the Children of Earth mini, the move to the states isn’t all that worrisome. In fact, I can dig it. We only have two members of the original cast left, John Barrowman and Eve Myles which is a bit jarring, but it fits in story wise and they’re the two most important anyways. The trailer above leads one to believe that they’ve severed some of the extra baggage story lines such as Gwen’s husband and such which gives this season a reboot feel, but I think it could fit into the ongoing plot arc pretty well. The new additions are mostly unknown to me, so I’ll wait and see what they have to offer. Bill Pullman however, I like quite a bit and I like the born again evangelist vibe he gives in the trailer. Lauren Ambrose has always been enjoyable in “Six Feet Under” and “Psycho Beach Party”, so I was actually pretty excited to hear she would be involved. Seeing her bitchy turn in the trailer seems like a new role for her (from what we normally see), so I’m looking forward to that as well.

Ultimately, the final word is that I’m pretty stoked to see Cap’n Jack back in action. Here’s hoping that the relocation and the backing of the Starz network will keep things going strong for some time to come! The dark turn that Children of Earth brought would be nice to keep around too. Seeing it on a premium cable tier lends credence to my hopes for that too!

Check back after July 8th, I’m sure I’ll be rambling on about it, most likely, over excitedly!

Sunday, November 28th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

I’ve been enjoying the hell out of AMC’s “The Walking Dead Series”. Unfortunately, it’s a short season. I’m not too worried though because I have George R. R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones” series coming to HBO.

Its been a few years since I last read a Martin book. They’re great fantasy fare to be sure but they are DENSE. (As in thickness, not intelligence.) I do remember most of the main cast and plot lines however. Being honest, I’ve yet to read the last book. With the speed at which Martin’s writing though, it’s okay. I’ve got a few years yet before the next one releases.


With HBO’s track record and the preview clips that keep coming out, it looks like it could be a pretty grand affair. The cast looks stellar; Sean Bean as Eddard Stark? Hell yes! Lena Heady as Cersei Lannister? Rawr. Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister? Hell yes again!

So far, I’m enjoying the hell out of the recent spate of my favorite books being turned into TV Series. If the Syfy Channel ever gets their ass in gear with that rumored Forever War mini-series? I may pee a little.

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

Hey gang! Give a hearty welcome to today’s guest poster Ross Tipograph! He’s been reading Cinema Fromage for quite some time now and approached me to see if he could write an article for the site. I of course, said sure!

Read on for Ross’s look at “Eerie Indiana”!



Coming of age in the ‘90s was a fantastic beyond fantastic gift. I couldn’t ask for more enjoyable cheesy fun. For the child horror aficianiado that I was, I had not one, but three children’s horror options on the boob tube. First of all, there was the almighty “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” series on Nickelodeon, which is the ultimate kids’ horror anthology show; it played out much like “The Twilight Zone,” which the same narrator(s) opening each episode and unveiling to the audience a new tale of terror. For the more off-beat crowd, we had “Goosebumps” on the FOX network, “Goosebumps” was like the trippy cousin of “Are You Afraid,” with each episode serving as an adaptation of one of R.L. Stine’s many books in the popular horror book series.

If you think hard enough, there was most definitely a third, albeit short-lived, option for those in need of a horror fix, and it was called: “EERIE, INDIANA.”
“Eerie” was created by Jose Rivera – who later went on to be nominated for an Oscar for his Motorcycle Diaries screenplay, and is currently working on the upcoming film adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road – and Karl Schaefer, who stayed in the television world for fare such as “Ghost Whisperer” and “The Dead Zone.” It ran for just 19 episodes through ’91-’92 on NBC, and it was glorious.

We follow the trials and tribulations of Marshall Teller, played by Omri Katz of family-horror-comedy “Hocus Pocus” (1993), as he moves with his family to the titular city and is seemingly the only sane human being there, among other creatures. His only friend is the slightly younger and super inquisitive Simon, played with supporting comic relief hilarity by redhead Justin Shenkarow. Together, they spend each episode investigating a specific creepy, crawly going-on in this bizarre city they both call home. Sometimes the town of Eerie holds some supremely unique surprises. In one episode, Marshall and Simon stumble upon a Stepford-like neighbor woman who keeps herself and her twin boys sealed up every night in human-size Tupperware containers to keep their bodies from aging. In another, a young male classmate of Marshall’s passes away in a heart transplant for another girl in the class, only to have that girl suddenly develop a personality much like the boy who gave her his heart…

My absolute favorite episode defines why this briefly seen series deserves to be remembered: In the one titled “Reality Takes a Holiday,” the town of Eerie is discovered to in fact be a set of a television show, with all of the characters suddenly calling her each other their real-world actor names, i.e. Marshall is now called Omri by his family and friends, but he has no idea who that is. This episode is unbelievable and borders on near nonsensical insanity – but it’s fun. “Eerie, Indiana” not once takes itself, or its low-budget, or its goofy subject matter too seriously, or really, seriously at all. It’s one big laugh.
Luckily for us few fans, the show has been preserved on DVD, the handful of discs packaged into a delightfully creepy box set. Surprisingly, it’s sold almost everywhere – so GO GET IT! It’s awesome.


Ross Tipograph is a film buff and Emerson College screenwriting major. When he’s not reviewing movies, he writes about Halloween costumes.

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Monday, June 21st, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

TV and I have had a long history. I’m by no means the type of person that says all television is trash and should be avoided at all cost. I am the type of person that doesn’t like to be held to a regular viewing schedule if a show doesn’t grab hold of my attention fully. That’s not to say there’s nothing that I watch on schedule; there are plenty of shows that I do watch weekly when they air! I just have a limit as to how many shows I add to the list is all.

Throughout this past season, there are a number of shows that I was told I needed to watch, either by friends or my own wife. I chose to avoid them however until the end of their current seasons. Not only do I not like being held to a schedule for my TV viewing pleasure, I like to binge on my TV choices! What do I mean by binge you ask? I mean it just like it sounds; I’ll save up my recordings until I have an entire season ready to view and knock them out one after another. You could say that TV on DVD is made specifically for people just like me!

Here over the past few weeks at Cinema Fromage, the movie reviews have been coming few and far between, because it’s finally TV season for me. Many of the shows I was vaguely interested in have finished up their seasons and gone on hiatus. So, it’s been time for me to play catch-up. I’ve watched a LOT of TV here as of late, some whole seasons, some seasons just getting started. Here are a few short thoughts on what I’ve been taking in, just in case you’re interested.

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Sunday, February 07th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

The original Spartacus is an undeniable classic. Kirk Douglas, dissension, gladiators, all that good stuff. When Sam Raimi and his Xena crew announced that they would be bringing the story back to life in a new series for Starz, I was a bit skeptical, but “Xena” did have a bit of fun from time to time and they had the head woman herself signed on to the new cast, so I figured why not. Watching men sword fight with lots of blood and guts is generally entertaining, as is Lucy Lawless.

Now three episodes in, this series was off to a rocky start. To be frank; the first episode was pretty horrible. Filled with back story, which is understandable, the show felt cheaply put together and most of the acting fairly flat. The early attempts at setting up political intrigue and such was just not all that interesting. I may be biased, I decided to watch this on the basis that its about gladiators and the violence that comes with them. Still, I felt somewhat bored throughout the majority of the first episode. In story, acting, and general production, it felt below even the quality of “Xena” before it and that is indeed pretty low. As the episode drew to a close, we finally were able to see ‘Spartacus’ dragged into the arena in attempt to take his life in punishment. This is when the show became entertaining and dragged me into a second episode.

Raimi and crew announced early on that they were going to go for a stylistic change for “Spartacus: Blood and Sand”. What that included was many comic book style elements to showcase the action and blood that should be heaped heavily upon such a setting. We received a taste of this at the end of the first episode and it worked. Granted, the CGI used for blood in the series is pretty god-awful but the slow motion techniques used to showcase the fight scenes worked really well and did manage to frame key moments of the action like an illustrated frame. The fights were choreographed great and it gave us a hint at old world story telling in the likes of Zack Snyder’s “300″.

Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement. The first episode of “Spartacus” wanted to be “300″ so bad it could taste it. Sadly for the show, it fell a bit short.

Pushing on to the second and third episodes of the series brought with it a bit of a surprise. Once we get Spartacus on his own in the training grounds of his new master, throwing him into the middle of a whole other group of meat headed gladiators, the show turned out to be much better. There is still attempts at political intrigue in the world of the Roman Empire, but the they are far more subtle and contained to more of a sub plot. In these latest two episodes, focus is given to Spartacus and his training for the arena and his single minded quest to reunite himself with his wife. As well, we’re shown that Spartacus is not some indestructible Roman god who lays flat all who face him. Though fierce, he’s a flawed fighter and his single mindedness actually works against him from time to time. I think it is this aspect that makes the show watchable because we’ve seen the ‘God of War’ scenario to many times in both TV and film.

The other big change you may notice in the TV series over the original film? Sex. Lots and lots of sex. The Romans are historically known for being a bit of a ravenous bunch when it came to the carnal pleasures. For “Blood and Sand”, they’ve tapped into that aspect and overblown it to extremes. After all it’s a cable television show and they figure they need to throw in some extra bits to keep people watching, right? I’m no prude; I like lovely ladies and such as much as the next guy. There are times though that the sex does come across as gratuitous. Not all of them, others play into the infighting and intrigue that goes on between Lucy Lawless’s Lucretia and her husband and much more. Others though are nothing but Spartacus and his wet dreams of his wife. Can’t say I blame the guy, Erin Cummings is a pretty lady. I just don’t always need to watch it. I’ll give the creators some credit; they’re equal opportunity here for all. Regardless of your taste in men or women? You’re going to see a lot of both!

All in all, I’ve enjoyed “Spartacus” quite a bit once we moved past the first episode. It still suffers from being extra over the top and cheesy much like its creators loved to do in “Xena”, but that can still be fun from time to time. If they stick to the fighting and action, it will remain quite a bit of fun to watch. The constant in-fighting between the Roman noble class could prove to be enjoyable as well as long as the creators keep it subtle. They have a fairly solid cast to work with; Lucy Lawless is great and the others have been passable. So far Andy Whitfield who subs in for Kirk Douglas this time around does all right. That is, he looks like a gladiator and can swing a sword. He’s just not a very vocal character yet. Not enough to make me worry for its fate like the first episode did.

In closing, I have to let the male in me speak out; Lucy Lawless is great in this show in both looks and performance. I really hope we get to see her grow a bit more evil as she goes. If she does, it’s going to be GREAT.

Watch TV online at and you’ll find a great selection of the best comedy, drama, action or whatever else you feel like spending the evening in front of.

Monday, July 20th, 2009 | Author: Casey Criswell

I’ve never been a die hard Joss Whedon fan. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve appreciated what he’s done, I enjoyed some of “Buffy”, I really enjoyed “Firefly”, but I’ve never been drawn in to the point that I will go out of my way to watch everything he attaches his name to. Back in February when the show debuted, it seemed interesting, the setup was good. Early buzz seemed lackluster. Combine this with my dislike of watching TV on a schedule and well, it slipped my sights.

The Skinny
“The show follows an organization that employs mind-wiped DNA-altered humans known as Dolls who are implanted with false memories and skills for various missions and tasks. When they are not ‘at work’ they are living in a real life Dollhouse which gives the show the name. One of those mind-wiped humans, a young woman named Echo, is slowly starting to become aware of herself and what’s going on – all the while somebody on the outside is trying to bring the Dollhouse down while getting closer to Echo – possibly not aware that she is one of the Dolls he is after.”

With the release of this DVD set coming out I figured it would be a good chance to give the show a shot. It sounds like a good SciFi setup, it has brunette cutie Eliza Dushku in the starring role and though I’m not a devotee, I do appreciate Whedon’s writing skills. Digging into the show, I was surprised to find myself sucked in fairly quick. Many of the early complaints stated that the first half of the series was stiff and hard to get into while the second half picked up drastically. For myself, I didn’t suffer the same issue. The show felt easy to get behind and had a solid flow. The ‘flavor of the week’ type formula, all setup around whatever role Dushku would be posing as for that episode gave the show some good variety. The action was solid all was handled well by Dushku and supporting cast. Even better was the fact that this was science fiction to its core, yet it was highly accessible to those who don’t necessarily tend to like that type of genre.


The “Dollhouse” Season 1 DVD set is a four disk set packed with the entire first season and plenty of extras. As for picture quality and sound quality, both are top notch with full Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. I had no problems with playback and the picture quality was great for a TV show. That is to say, broadcast quality.

There are plenty of extra features on the fourth disk, including the un-aired pilot “Echo”, a never aired episode “Epitaph One” and a number of featurettes and commentary with with Whedon himself.

The full list:

o Never-before-seen episode Epitaph One
• Commentary by writers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen
o Original Unaired Pilot – Echo
o Deleted Scenes
o “Making Dollhouse” featurette
o “Coming Back Home” featurette
o “Finding Echo” featurette
o “Designing the Perfect Dollhouse” featurette
o “A Private Engagement” featurette

The Verdict

“Dollhouse” caught me off guard. I rather enjoyed the show, definitely more than I expected to. This is definitely a show that lends itself to binge watching, that is to say back to back episodes on DVD as opposed to the staggered weekly schedule that all shows suffer from on the big screen. Dushku handles the varied roles she has to play rather well and makes for some good fun. She kicks some ass too!

Worth a possible pick up if you’re a fan and definitely worth a rental.

“Dollhouse” Season 1 streets July 28th with a MSRP of $49.98.

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