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Instant personality makeovers

By Oliver Pulumbarit
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:27:00 03/14/2010

Filed Under: Television, Science (general), Entertainment (general)

The sci-fi series ?dollhouse? imagines a world where a secret organization runs a classy, high-tech escort service, their human ?Dolls? transplantable with a variety of personalities.

Imprinted with the knowledge and behavior of other people, the Dolls can be programmed for rescue missions and investigative work, as well.

The characters can become all-new ones, but the same technology that gives them different personas and talents deletes memories of their recent activities and escapades.

Numerous possibilities are explored in the short-lived series created by Joss Whedon, who?s best known for TV shows like the beloved ?Buffy the Vampire Slayer,? its spin-off ?Angel,? and the space western ?Firefly.?

Unlike his previous shows, however, ?Dollhouse? doesn?t have a clear-cut heroine; Echo (Eliza Dushku) is the default docile personality of the show?s main Doll. But Echo occasionally rebels against her programming, and wonders about her real identity and life before the Dollhouse.

While Dushku commendably played reformed bad girl Faith in Whedon?s older shows, she isn?t as consistent with the multiple personalities of Echo; sometimes she?s adequate, but other portrayals don?t get the dimension they deserve. Still, the good interpretations outnumber the iffy ones, and rooting for Echo is easy. And as with Whedon?s previous shows, other intriguing characters enhance the mythology.

Echo?s fellow Dolls, Victor (Enver Gjokaj) and Sierra (Dichen Lachman), are similarly malleable and routinely given specific demeanors, accents and quirks, as requested by wealthy clients. Meanwhile, the Dollhouse branch?s boss, Adelle DeWitt (Olivia Williams), is made charismatic by her duplicity and moments of vulnerability.

Pondering the importance of identity and purpose regularly, the series also descriptively tackles relatable what-ifs. The story lines are mostly unpredictable and clever; the show?s tone shifts consistently without losing coherence.

From an action thriller episode to a tense murder mystery, and even a funny misadventure, ?Dollhouse? reliably manages to keep its mystique intact. The steady introduction of multiple characters through the same cast of actors also keeps situations pleasantly challenging.

?Dollhouse? airs Saturdays, 10 p.m., on RPN-Solar TV.

***

Transitions

CNN Hero of 2009 Efren Peaflorida relates how his life and ministry have changed after the award in an interview with ?The 700 Club Asia? host Peter Kairuz tonight at 11 on Q Channel 11.

Efren describes the progress, improvements, and challenges being faced by the Kariton Klassroom ever since he won the award.

On the show?s Tuesday episode, actress and young mom Danica Sotto-Pingris talks to host Coney Reyes about Mr. Right, life after marriage and taking care of her baby.

New host

Rev. Fr. Erick Santos, parish priest of Santo Nio de Tondo in the Archdiocese of Manila, joins the team of Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton?s Family Rosary Crusade as its host for the program ?Family Rosary Crusade.?

Fr. Erick has been contributing to Family Rosary Crusade?s programming as a guest homilist and lead host for its annual Lenten specials.

He joins the team of Claudine Zialcita and Ces Datu during its 7-8 a.m. broadcast on Sundays on Studio 23.

More ?Gossip?

?Gossip Girl? Season 3 returns with all new episodes Tuesdays starting tomorrow at 8 p.m. on ETC.

The new season sees Dan (Penn Badgley) go from good boy to playboy. His first year at the university may have him feeling like a new man until he realizes his true feelings for long-time friend Vanessa (Jessica Szohr).

After confessing his love to her, will she in turn reciprocate the feelings?

Medical drama finale

On the final episode of the medical drama ?Hawthorne,? Christina Hawthorne (Jada Pinkett Smith), chief nursing officer of Richmond Trinity Hospital, is confronted by the reality that she?s still unable to move on from her husband?s death.

How will Christina deal with her mourning?

The finale airs tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. on Q Channel 11.

Holy Week specials

CBN Asia, producers of the weeknight TV program ?The 700 Club Asia,? brings two full-length films??Tanikala: Ang Ikalawang Libro? on April 1, Maundy Thursday, and ?Gulong? on April 3, Black Saturday on GMA 7.
?Tanikala,? a two-part, suspense film, stars Sheena Halili and Mike Tan, and features real accounts of struggles with the spirit world. It is the sequel to ?Tanikala: Bihag ng Kadiliman.?

?Gulong? is a story of friendship, love and life, told from the viewpoint of Apao (Steven Ferno), a smart, kind-hearted boy whose quest for an old bicycle reveals the stuff he is made of.

It also stars Robert Arevalo, Barbara Perez, Gardo Versoza, Ina Feleo, Tricia Amper-Jimenez, Odette Khan, Lou Veloso, Steven Ferno, Jopet Concordia, David Joshua Medina, Iggi Boy Flores, and Gary Valenciano.



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Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk.
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