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Review of Dollhouse

Courageous nurses, programmable humans, and a high school glee club comprise the best TV shows of 2009. Each of the television shows in this article deliver a combination of hearty producers, exceptional writers and performers who stretch their acting abilities with every episode.

Dollhouse

If your wallet was overflowing, would you be tempted to hire a DNA-altered human “Doll” to negotiate a deal worth millions, or perhaps pose as an ex spouse once a year to celebrate an anniversary? An underground, technology-savvy organization known as “Dollhouse” can implant skills, memories and personas in their Dolls, known as Actives, for any client situation. At the end of each mission, the Actives minds are wiped clean and they live in the euphoric Dollhouse as human shells, eating, getting massages, participating in yoga and living in mindless harmony.

The show follows Echo, played by the energetic Eliza Dushku, an Active serving a five year “sentence” in the Dollhouse. In the first season, Echo is programmed as a girlfriend, backup singer, and an undercover agent who infiltrates a cult. Following each mission, Echo returns to the Dollhouse for her mind-wipe, referred to as a treatment in the show. However, as the show progresses the mind-wipe of an Active is best compared to a computer hard drive. Like any hard drive, eventually deleting files reduces the performance of the drive, and the possibility of straggling files increase. As the dolls are taken for treatments, although all memories of the mission should be erased and create a blank state, a few memories begin to linger and the Actives are no longer mindless Dolls by the end of the first season. As you watch the show, you may be torn between being enthralled with the next adventure and wanting to save the Actives from the mind-wiping prison. With back-to-back seasons in 2009, the twists and turns in each episode of the action-packed Dollhouse beckon viewers.

Mercy

With the constant presence of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mercy offers a new twist from the perspective of a war veteran as it joins numerous other medical dramas on primetime television. The show focuses on Nurse Veronica Callahan, played the compelling Taylor Schilling, as an Iraq veteran who returned home to an unfaithful spouse who is still adored by her quirky family, and her job at Mercy Hospital. Veronica tackles the challenges of adapting to the limitations of a nurse after working for a year in a warzone where she often performed the duties of a doctor. Her life takes a distracting turn when the dashing Dr. Chris Sands joins the staff at Mercy. It is quickly revealed that Dr. Sands and Veronica served together in Iraq, fell in love, and he has joined the staff at Mercy to pursue a relationship. Veronica has steady, though quirky friendships with fellow nurse Sonia (Jamie Lee Kirchner) and rookie nurse Chloe (Michelle Trachtenberg) who offer advice, support, and experience their own drama in every episode. Throw in Veronica’s estranged husband Mike, played by the brilliant and sexy Diego Klattenhoff, and you have a prime time hit for 2009.

Glee

When you take a talented cast, popular music, witty scenarios and incorporate those elements with a stereotypical jock infused high school, you can create a family-friendly show appealing to a wide audience. Creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan conceived the idea of Glee as a movie, but instead found the humorous script was better adapted for the small screen.

The show takes place within the walls of William McKinley High School in Ohio, where being a jock or a cheerleader, aptly named the Cheerios, gives students reign of the school. The school hierarchy is threatened when talented jocks and Cheerios are recruited as members of the Glee club directed by Spanish teacher Will, played by the Matthew Morrison. Throw in Will’s deceiving wife, a guidance counselor with a crush on Will, the all brawn and no brain of the high school football coach, and Jane Lynch as the infallible head coach of the Cheerios, and the adult cast creates a so lid foundation for the show. The students in Glee offer a glimpse into every stereotype found in American high schools across the country. There is the star quarterback (Cory Monteith), pregnant head cheerleader (Dianna Agron), gay crooner (Chris Colfer), standout soloist tormented by the jocks and Cheerios (Lea Michele), and the jock Puck (Mark Salling) whose main goals are girls, football, girls, Glee, and girls.

The performances include amazing vocals, creative choreography, and offer a trip down memory lane for anyone who participated or enjoyed show choir or glee as a teenager. Although staged in a high school setting, the dramatic storylines featured in Glee cover office and high school politics, emotional affairs, high school pregnancy, and coming out as a gay teenager. This show is ideal for anyone who enjoys music, comedy and wants to relax with the family or friends for an hour on Wednesday nights in 2009.