On Dollhouse

Like a Boss

By Johnathan Mason

Of the various reasons to sing Dollhouse’s praises, my personal
evangelism of the show (to anyone who would sit still long
enough to watch) boiled down to pointing at Olivia Williams
whenever she was onscreen and noting to my captive audience:

“There. That’s who you should be watching this for.”


That Adelle DeWitt was the first voice heard in Dollhouse is
no coincidence. Not to slight any of the talented cast, but her
performance was a subtle symphony—a pop of her calculating
expression, a turn of phrase—that shaded every scene she took
part in. Indeed, “Echo,” the unaired pilot episode, and “Ghost,”
the series premiere, which are otherwise two very different
episodes, both had her introducing the premise of the show in
their openings.


Both began with a businesswoman and her client sitting
in a warmly lit wood-paneled room. The woman poured her
guest a drink while speaking calmly of the complications that brought them to her. Amid listing the entanglements of her listeners’
lives, she offered a choice, a chance to simplify, with an
oft-repeated phrase: “This isn’t about what you want. It’s about
what you need.”


At first blush, Adelle is the villain of the piece, because she
is someone we all know and loathe: a supervisor. As head of the
Rossum Corporation’s L.A.  …

More from Johnathan Mason

Stay Updated

on our daily essay, giveaways, and other special deals

Our Books

On Our Blog

Divergent Thinking Book Launch + Giveaways!

Our Divergent anthology, Divergent Thinking: YA Authors on Veronica Roth’s Divergent Trilogy, is officially launching next week. In...

Posted February 28th

A Little More Information on Divergent Thinking

Each season we announce our new titles individually, each in their own post, to give you a little extra background...

Posted February 28th

An Epic Veronica Mars Giveaway

Our giveaway has closed (scroll down for winners’ information!), but you can still win a copy of Neptune Noir from...

Posted February 24th | 45 Comments »

Subscribe via RSS