Here's the deal: Some shows are good for weekly sit-downs, some shows are only palatable by binging, some shows are masterful regardless of your viewing situation, and, finally, with much sadness in both my heart and other internal organs, I must report that some shows are just unwatchable (unless, maybe, if one re-edits at home).
Dollhouse is the type of show that one sticks with not out of genuine interest for what is going on on screen, but rather due to the well-placed belief that Joss Whedon will deliver—because if he can't deliver, then my faith in humanity is well and truly exhausted. I don't say this to utterly denigrate the show; this is a very candid observation, and what I owe for what I have been given.
While the show concept might be fascinating, one has to stick with the show because of precedent. The fault lies not only with the production team in this: the unaired pilot vetoed by the network is far superior in terms of hooking audiences than the aired first episode. The show picks up from the first two lagging episodes by the third instalment in an unexpected way. Also partially gone is the heavy-handedness prevalent at the start. By the middle of the season the viewer has already begun to care about the characters and to see them as more than just players on a stage. The final episode (also unaired) is a fantastic way of giving the show a much-needed big-picture-like feel that one didn't know how to ask for.
It's not a show for everyone. Hell, it's not a show that made it past the second season. However, it is worth it, but only as a binge-watch. Episodic viewing is just not sustainable. It might take the casual viewer most of the season to become interested; no one has that sort of patience. Whedon fans will go for it with gusto, but television competitiveness has been at an all-time high for years now with more and more shows being produced and the quality bar being far higher than it used to be. Television is surpassing film in terms of cinematic appeal.
To put it plainly, I was ready to give up multiple times over the course of the first season, even with my tenacity to finally watch it all, whatever it took. Others will not have anything remotely like this sort of perseverance.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to flail excitedly to myself about Age of Ultron.