Dollface: A Light-Hearted Depiction of Female Friendship

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Titled after the cringe-worthy nickname Jules' (Kat Dennings) ex-boyfriend gave her during their five-year relationship, Dollface proves to be a perfect weekend binge. 

It has its flaws and imperfections, but it's a strong and light-hearted depiction of female friendship and seeks to show the importance of maintaining other relations beyond romantic relationships. 

The basic premise of the show centers around Jules and her attempt to rebuild her college friendships with Madison (Brenda Song) and Stella (Shay Mitchell), which she failed to foster during her relationship with Jeremy (Conner Hines). 

Though the intentions and larger message of the show start strong and waver a bit toward the end, we still are left with an entertaining 10 episodes. 

Jules and Jeremy

Many other reviews have criticized the shallowness of the show, and I don't disagree, but I think they discredit it a bit too much. The show satirically dramatizes the world of women and what it means to be part of a "girl gang." 

It tweaks trending concepts like FOMO through the game show on Dollface Season 1 Episode 3, "Should She Go Out?" and Marie Kondo's concept of items sparking joy when Jules' coworkers attempt to throw out her desk stapler and computer mouse. 

The characters portray various types of women all trying to fit neatly into the social construct of womanhood. 

Stella holding pills

Shay Mitchell's performance is the initial reason I tried this mini-series, and she remained one of the main reasons I finished it. Stella's outer shell as the pretty and boring girl is outshined by her inner drive to show that pretty girls are capable of getting a business degree, too. 

Not to mention that she rocks all of the outfits she wears, despite the wardrobe team's attempt to hide Mitchell's pregnancy under oversized sweaters and loose-fitting jumpsuits.

Stella's opposite is Madison, a powerful and successful woman who is almost all work and minimal fun. She shows that women can be just as hardworking and rock the corporate world. 

She voices important lessons in how to ask for a raise and how to be an unapologetic badass who breaks glass ceilings.

Madison in a power suit

Along the way, the trio adds Izzy (Esther Povitsky), Jules' quirky coworker originally known as "other Allison B." 

The group contains a reasonable balance as they embody different traits and show that there's no specific formula to be a woman, but there is a specific formula to being a loyal friend.

Jules is used as a voice of reason that points out the ridiculousness of girls traveling in packs to use the restroom, in addition to other silly traditions in the world of women. 

Jules holding Turtle

Unfortunately, Dollface has a tendency to make sexist stereotypes to break down a gendered paradigm using irony and ridicule to make fun of the woman's rule book.

Just because you're a girl who might enjoy the presence of men doesn't mean you only drink beer and play video games. 

Think of the show as a "Millennial Woman's Guide to Maintaining Female Friendships." A guide that might need to be sifted through a few times, but ultimately can provide some eye-opening reminders. 

As someone who has certainly fallen into the trap of brushing aside friendships while in a relationship, I found this show to be a ha-ha on myself. 

The entourage at the wedding

The breaks in reality created when Jules' fairy catmother appears to provide light-heartedness reminds us it's not a show to be taken too seriously. 

I mean c'mon, a lady/cat hybrid? Of course, it's not here to be taken too sincerely. 

The best part is the full episode devoted to a take on the Wizard of Oz using modern-day troubles as the ailments holding back Jules' three friends from reaching their full potential. 

Th clever adaption of the classic movie left me in awe. Also awe-imspiring was Dollface's punny usage of "emotional baggage claim" at the bus terminal in the series premiere.

The group as Wizard of Oz characters

I applaud the writer's room. Whoever thought it was a room full of men might want to do some research because the writing was done by a woman named Jordan Weiss during an assistantship. 

It's a show that will make you roll your eyes many times, but also laugh while doing so. The characterization of the group offers a lot of growth within a short arch of episodes, and their dolled-up appearance becomes more of a point of ownership rather than a point of girliness. 

Although being girly is not something to be ashamed of!

The girls at the work event

And I almost forgot the best part. There's no censorship on the number of f-bombs Shay Mitchell drops. Thank you Hulu originals. It's a great way to mix up the family-friendly guidelines big network shows must abide by in order to comply with advertisers. 

Dollface is a combination of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (hello Povitsky and Vella Lovell), Desperate Housewives, and other comedic shows that use humor to push their message. 

In an attempt to provide commentary on squad goals and girl gangs it may fall short at times, but as long as you take it at face value and enjoy it in its purest form of entertainment, you've found yourself a perfect limited series that is sure to offer many laughs along the way. 

Dollface women at dinner party

Have you watched?

If you have, do you think I've hit on Dollface's sweet spot?

If you haven't seen it, I hope my review helps you schedule time to watch this coming holiday weekend.

Be sure to comment down below, and let me know your thoughts on Dollface!

Inga Parkel was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in June 2020.

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