Unsurprisingly, Fox has cancelled Joss Whedon’s sci-fi show Dollhouse. Looks like Whedon-fans can add another title to his resume of awesome-but-cancelled programs. The show has struggled in ratings since it began and this season has only been worse for the Eliza Dushku vehicle.
It was a shock to many that Fox even renewed it for a second season after cancelling Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Variety is reporting that the show is continuing to shoot the 11th episode and will finish out the 13 episode season.
I have to say that even though it’s not a surprise, it’s still a shame. The premise of a secret organization with the technology to program and erase human memories and personalities is an intriguing one. But the very hook of the show seems to have made it difficult for many people to get into. With a constantly changing personality, Dushku’s character Echo was tricky for viewers to embrace. And like so many genre shows, once continuity and the backstory start building up, anyone who does want to get into the show can feel lost unless they go back and watch all of the previous episodes. The casual fan is unlikely to do this, so once ratings start dropping it’s almost impossible to resurrect them.
While it certainly wasn’t his best work (Firefly/Serenity still holds that crown), it was an interesting and thought-provoking show. Even Whedon’s second-tier is still better than most of the junk on television, so I’ll certainly miss it. On the brighter side, he’s got some other projects in the works apparently. Over at Whedonesque.com he posted that we’ll know what the next project is by the time the final Dollhouse episode airs. So that’s something at least. Until then we’ve always got seasons 8/9 of Buffy to tide us over.