I <3 Joss Whedon too, but I think it's more that people are so use to his style that they're not willing to commit to other styles. I also think this show suffered from incorrect network placement here in the states; we put it on the lifetime channel = the woman's network and that was really weird to see. I think the channel was a bit too conservative for the show and it should have automatically been picked up as a new SCIFI channel series, but what do I know? And did you all hear how they suffered from a loss of financial backers? It seems that the show's finances were shaky from the start and that writer's strike really just did it in.
The highly secret organization known as "The Dollhouse" houses these "dolls", who are people who have been voluntarily completely wiped of any memories, personalities, etc so that they are blank slates so that they can be imprinted with different personalities, skills, etc based on the needs of the clients of The Dollhouse. These dolls can become whatever and whoever the clients want.
The plot centers on Echo (Eliza Dusku) and her journey to self-awareness and this detective who's been put on the case to find out if The Dollhouse really exits.