If anything, what the show reminded me of was a Stepford Wives slash Alias version of Jack Kirby's OMAC (One Man Army Corps). Except, instead of a guy with a huge Mohawk, we get the beautiful Eliza Dushku, always a favorite from Buffy.
OMAC was Set in the near future ("the world that's coming"), and was a corporate nobody named Buddy Blank who is changed by an A.I. satellite called Brother Eye into the super-powered OMAC. OMAC works for the Global Peace Agency, a group of faceless people who police the entire world using pacifistic weapons.
OMAC was very Big Brother, and Dollhouse is a bit less totalitarian, with objectives that are, at present, a little murky...all we really know is that they create these dolls to "help people"...although "help" is ambiguously defined. However, like OMAC, I suspect it'll be a new situation that Echo gets thrown in every week, and that she'll eventually start fighting against the Overlords controlling her, and that the outside world is going to start finding out more about Project Dollhouse.
It's okay, and I'm willing to give it another shot. Besides Eliza Dushku, Amy Acker had a small part that looks to be recurring...another favorite from the Buffyverse. However, what made Buffy really stand apart was the fact that it was well-written and had a sense of humor. Humor was nowhere to be found in Dollhouse, last night...there was perhaps one funny line in the entire show.
And also, Buffy was a bit more feminist, I suspect...poor Eliza is being forced to promote the show alongside the Sarah Jane Chronicles, and the two main characters are shown during commercials, pouting and posing like playboy models. "Come on and spend Friday nights with me, big boy." Teenage boys with nothing to do but pop zits and jerk off on Friday nights should love it.
And finally, because it's essentially a comic book at heart, it feels terrifically one dimensional, right now. I keep waiting for it to break out of its shell, and know it's not possible at this point, but I'm hoping that when it does, it becomes something better. That was my hope for all of Jack Kirby's comic books for DC, too, but it never came to be. It was all flash and verve and color and interesting concepts, but not an ounce of heart of real character.
Of course, Kirby was limited by the comic book genre...and the fact that he wasn't really a writer. Hopefully, Joss Whedon can do better than that, with the more robust medium he's working in, if he's given enough time. We'll see.