Fox wants to make sure you flee Dollhouse's "glamor and dehumanization" premise. The show's new widget, which puts a flirty Eliza Dushku on your desktop, helpfully explains "this show is for creepy teenage masturbators." Good job, Fox!
The "Virtual Echo" app, which runs on the somewhat insecure Adobe Air platform, is reminiscent of those "virtual girlfriend" programs that proliferated in the 1990s. You can customize how often Echo struts out onto your screen (wearing a different outfit each time) and does a trick. (When she's hostage negotiator Ellie Penn, she throws a card, which "hits" your screen and reads, "Your Boss Is Coming!" or "Why Be All Business?" or "Call Me." Which is sorta cute, I guess.) If you're missing her fashion catwalk strut, then you can always click "see me now," and she'll come when you call her.
There's also an augmented reality version, where you can show a special card to your webcam, and make Echo move around the webcam image of your home or office — so it looks like Echo is in your room, with you. Whoa.
Umm... virtual Echo? I think Sheena Easton has a message for you:
But seriously, for a show that's struggling on Friday nights, and grappling with the perception (mistaken, in my view) that its core message is "using women is fun," this is the last thing Dollhouse needs. Trying to market this show as sexy escapism, à la Alias, clearly has not worked out. Maybe it's time to borrow from what Joss Whedon has been saying about the show all along, and portray it more as the story of a woman's fight to regain her identity from a gang of brainwashers? Just a thought.