People Become Blank Slates In Sci-Fi Thriller Series, Stream Without Netflix

By Nina Phillips | Updated

There’s something disturbing about knowing people can wipe your mind and leave your body an empty husk. Dollhouse delves deep into that disturbing feeling, covering all of the possibilities. While the story had potential and started well, the rushed seasons to wrap up the story ultimately led to a disconnected plot in this Joss Whedon-directed Series.

A Doll Named Echo

Dollhouse Series

Dollhouse is set in Los Angeles, where a group of men and women who have no personalities of their own. They’re known as dolls and are hired out by people all over the city to do anything for the right amount of money, from things like criminal tasks to more lewd jobs. These people weren’t always dolls but sold their minds and bodies to a group for five years to be used in return for having their problems erased and large sums of money provided after.

The story centers around one doll named Echo (Eliza Dushku). Unlike the other dolls, Echo somehow manages to remember parts of her previous wipes and develops a personality. Later, two other dolls called Victor (Enver Gjokaj) and Sierra (Dichen Lachman) start to fall in love with each other, and no amount of mind wipes seems to stop that feeling from growing.

Dolls Without A Purpose

Dollhouse Series

Things are falling apart in and outside of the dollhouse. The leaders, caregivers, and scientists in charge are fighting over the purpose and morality of the dolls. Meanwhile, on the outside, an FBI agent named Paul Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett) tries to figure out what is happening to the dolls and determine how to save them.

Great Buildup, Sudden Drop-Off

Dollhouse Series

I found that Dollhouse wasn’t my favorite. I actually really enjoyed the first season, where we saw the daily life of the dolls, and they started to form their own personalities despite the wipes.

Most of Dollhouse Season 1 was just showing the life of the dolls and the weekly assignments they went on. Some were interesting, and some made your stomach roll. There was a slow build-up in the background of the show that suggested something was going to snap.

However, the ending of the season was far too sudden. Everything changed and then it jumped straight into a post-apocalyptic-style story.

Tonal Shifts Failed To Stick The Landing

Dollhouse Series

While Season 2 actually had a great storyline, and jumped into the action to try and wrap everything up, they felt like two different shows. Though I know the show was much more limited in seasons than was originally the plan, I think the switch from dark, but rather slow-paced episodes into a dystopian situation left a bad taste in my mouth and made it hard for me to really enjoy the second season.

Not Joss Whedon’s Finest Hour

Dollhouse Series


On Rotten Tomatoes, Dollhouse is rated well, despite it being one of Joss Whedon’s less-liked series. Critics gave it a 72 percent average score. Meanwhile, audience members had more positive things to say about it, with an average score of 84 percent.

Currently, Dollhouse isn’t available on the normal streaming services. However, if you want to watch it, the full episodes of Dollhouse are available on CW’s website for free.