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Background on Hulu's 'Dollface'
November 15, 2019  | By Mike Hughes  | 1 comment

A talented actress, we're told, can ignore all distractions.

Still, that's not easy when there's a naked-guy table, and a naked-guy lamp, and more.

"We truly did mess a bunch of lines," Shay Mitchell, a Dollface co-star, told the Television Critics Association in July. "I'd be saying my line (and) a lamp-shade naked man was just walking by. I was like, 'All right. Where was I?'"

That's part of the quirky approach of Dollface, which debuts Friday on Hulu.

Jules (Kat Dennings, top) has been casually dumped by her boyfriend of five years, propelling her fantasy scenes.

"When Jules is going through a heightened emotion, the magical realism kind of comes in to guide her," Dennings said.

But even without the fantasy, she's surrounded by oddities. One former friend (Mitchell) is at a photoshoot, making a statement by reversing the old objectifying of women.

Mitchell grants she "rather enjoyed it," Dennings tried to ignore it, "like the subway. I'm an East Coast person, so I'm like, 'Just don't look.'"

Besides, she had a solution they don't teach in acting class: "Great tip, everyone: Take your contacts out… You can't even see what's going on."

That's part of a show that breaks TV traditions in many ways. "It was such a joy to work with the first eight names on the call sheet being women," said director Stephanie Laing.

Her previous show (Veep) and Dennings' last show (2 Broke Girls), both focusing on women, had men in charge. Dollface, however, is from newcomer Jordan Weiss, 26.

"Both of our editors are women," she said. "Almost our entire writers' room was millennial women who are around the age of the characters in the show."

At the core is a theme: Romance might be temporary; friends and family can be forever.

"Having really good girlfriends or your family (keeps) you grounded in the craziness that is our life," said Brenda Song, who co-stars.

Dennings agreed. "I'm lucky enough to be close to my family, and that's been my comfort my whole life. (As) I've become more of an adult I've turned more to my friends because my mom doesn't want to hear all that from me."

Earlier, she said, she made the classic mistake of being immersed in her boyfriend's life. "I was friends with his friends. I was very much in his circle."

She lost touch with her friends, who were sparse anyway. ("I was home-schooled, and then I didn't go to college.") Then the romance ended. "Four years later, you're like uhh – whaa…?"

None of the show's stars are married, but Mitchell (32, a Pretty Little Liars star) has been in a long relationship with Matte Babel, a fellow Canadian; last month, she had a baby daughter. Song, 31, has been dating Macaulay Culkin; Dennings, 33, was with Josh Groban for a couple of years.

Now Dollface has them portraying a re-constructed friendship. They're soon joined by Esther Povitsky, 31, who was the Alone Together co-creator and star.

"She's a stand-up comedian," Song said. "She thinks so quick on her feet… The things that come out of that little girl's mouth (are) quite shocking."

Except that nothing shocks you too much after you've noticed that your glass coffee table is on the back of a naked guy.

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Mr. Hughes, your colleague David Hinckley and my search engine indicate that "Dollface" is a Hulu original show. You agree with them about 4 lines into your article. So, why does your headline claim its an Amazon show?
Nov 18, 2019   |  Reply
Linda Donovan
Because the headline writer made a mistake. Please don't blame the writer...and thank you for the the catch.
Nov 18, 2019
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