With the Dollhouse premiere only 4 days away, anticipation is running high. Whedon fans everywhere are hoping that Joss’ new show will be a masterpiece. FOX already knows it can count on the die-hard fans to tune in, but what about the rest of the viewing population?

In an attempt to garner attention for the show and pique the interest of new viewers, FOX released promotional photos of Eliza Dushku posing nude along with the tagline “Get to know Echo intimately.” The pictures popped up on gossip sites everywhere and they certainly garnered some buzz for this week’s premiere. The photos are not the normal advertising technique of a Whedon show and the pictures have some fans quite concerned. It’s no secret that Joss and FOX didn’t see eye to eye around the cancellation of Angel and too much Network interference is the last thing the fans want.

Last week in a conference call, Joss Whedon was asked about whether or not he agreed with the promotional pictures. At first, he answered emphatically yes because Eliza was completely comfortable with them and he was even there for the shoot. Then he moved further into the implications of the show and of the pictures. His answer is most illuminating:

“The premise of the show involves these men and woman being hired and obviously some of that has to do with sex. This is something that was in the premise from the start. It came from my conversation with Eliza. We wanted to talk – she mentioned herself – about sexuality in whatever show she was doing. Not just by virtue of her being all hot but by really examining human sexuality and why it drives us and why it’s important to us and the idea of objectification vs. identification. These are all things that I’ve been working on all the time.

I didn’t actually know that tagline was in there, I had just heard, ‘Oh, they released those photos.’ So I didn’t know that. It brings up what is ultimately what is the touchiest issue of the show, which is are we actually making a comment about the way people use each other that is useful and interesting and textured or are we just putting her in a series of hot outfits and just paying lip service to the idea by asking the questions?

I think there are going to be things that people react to differently. I think some things will offend some people. I think that some things will not. There are things in it that I’m not positive I support. Some of the things that bother me don’t bother any of the other writers. That’s something that I’ve been a little bit afraid of but I haven’t shied away from because part of the point is to look at these grey areas and to see what of this is innate in us. What is it we from need each other? How much do we objectify each other? How much do we use each other both men and women? What is actually virtuous?

One of the problems that I ran into early on – and this was the only sort of the real dissonance between me and the network – was they didn’t want to deal with those issues. Having bought the show, they didn’t want to have to deal with the idea of, what they are now clearly marketing, the sexy side of it. It’s sort of a classic network problem: they want to evoke this but not necessarily say anything. You don’t want to be specific about it. We struggled with that. We struggled with making sure the show doesn’t by virtue of playing it safe become offense. The idea of this show is to never play it safe. The idea of this show is to always be in your face about it.”

You truly have to respect Joss Whedon for never playing it safe. I said it before, but having seen three episodes, I can tell you that this show is going to be amazing. It only takes two episodes to have you completely hooked. So, check out Eliza’s promotional pictures below, as well as a special Grindhouse themed Dollhouse and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles crossover promotional video. And don’t forget to tune into Dollhouse, this Friday, February 13th at 9pm.

-Kim Wetter, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Images Courtesy of FOX)

Kim Wetter

Senior Writer, BuddyTV