Welcome back, Joss! We're told that a casual lunch discussion between the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly and the Buffyverse's smoldering rogue slayer has generated a new Joss Whedon TV show, Dollhouse. Starring Eliza Dushku, who will also get production credit, it has a seven-episode commitment, and may debut as early as spring.
Anything new by Whedon is bound to set pop culture abuzz, and this reunion with the actress who portrayed one of his darkest and most fascinating characters makes the prospect all the more alluring. While not the most deeply talented of the Buffy cast, the sultry Dushku proved she could carry a show when she starred in Fox's short-lived Tru Calling. That series was more famous for its breathlessly convoluted plots, failure to rejuvenate Jason Priestley's career, and utter wastage of the talents of Zach Galifianakis than for actually being good. But it confirmed that the actress who gave Whedon's vampire slayer concept its needed measure of Chaos, breaking hearts and backs all the while, had star stamina to match her quirky charisma. The fact that she's scary-hot doesn't hurt either.
In Dollhouse Dushku will play Echo, one of a group of people who are "imprinted with personality packages" and sent on a variety of missions. After a mission, their memories are erased, but Echo is "slowly coming of consciousness." Shades of Tru Calling, where Dushku played a morgue worker condemned to relive days to try to prevent murders that have already happened? Yeah, a little.
The good news: Joss Whedon. Eliza Dushku. The scary news? "We call it a suspense-drama-mythology-comedy-action-horror musical," Whedon "half-jokes." A show that doesn't know what kind of a show it is? Usually a bad sign. Whedon, fortunately, is better at this kind of thing than probably any writer in Hollywood. With Buffy he created a wildly successful horror-comedy-soap hybrid. With Firefly he invented a new kind of science fiction show.
"Suspense-drama-mythology-comedy-action-horror" sounds like a bit much. But I'll be tuning in.