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Hulu's Latest, 'Dollface,' is a Surreal Sitcom
November 15, 2019  | By David Hinckley
 


Dollface
, an odd and not uninteresting new sitcom that arrives Friday on Hulu, begins with the simple premise that guys are idiots.

It's what known in the production world as "high concept."

The marginally more subtle, unspoken question raised by Dollface is whether girls are smarter, or just more aware of the situation.

Dollface opens with a representative guy, Jeremy, your basis Everyman, casually telling Jules (Kat Dennings, top) over huevos rancheros that he doesn't love her anymore and they need to break up.

Next, they sit in the front seat of his car for a few minutes sorting out what this means for their upcoming social calendars and divvying up their joint possessions.

Jeremy gets their bulldog Johnny Drama, which is way better than their cat, which Jules gets. In fairness, Jules is operating at a bargaining disadvantage here since she's shellshocked, and he's not.  
Perhaps tacitly acknowledging the familiarity of this setup, Dollface then adds its first twist.

Jules gets out of Jeremy's car, Jeremy drives away, and a bus pulls up even though they're parked on a dead-end next to a deserted stretch of water.

Jules climbs in and soon realizes all the passengers are women who have just been dumped by a guy. So we hear much wailing as the bus drives through Guy's Girl town, a stretch of desert populated by women who are still in relationships. They are all wearing cheerleader uniforms and doing just what their guys want them to do.

When the bus reaches its destination, Jules meets with an agent who looks at her records and tells her that because she's spent the last five years exclusively with Jeremy, all her former female friendships have expired.

Like Max, Dennings' character in 2 Broke Girls, Jules doesn't get discouraged. She gets plucky.

She sets out to resuscitate those relationships, beginning with her college roommate Madison (Brenda Song). Madison doesn't immediately forgive Jules for five years of total inattention, but she doesn't foreclose a shot at redemption.

Stella (Shay Mitchell) is a little easier, mainly because if you buy her a drink, she will follow you anywhere.

Other women join the posse, some of them utterly ridiculous, but all bonded and in some measure redeemed by the fact they aren't guys.

Show creator Jordan Weiss gives her women characters plenty of stupid. The difference is that female stupid mostly stops there, where guys barge right over the stupid line into oblivious and cruel.

Dollface does not, however, sell itself primarily as some sort of exercise in gender psychology.

It's a comedy, using Jules' sarcastic, dry wit, and every character lurches through life and relationships to inflate a somewhat thin premise into decent entertainment.

Dollface often settles comfortably into TV's sturdy and gratifyingly elastic tradition of female buddy shows, from Golden Girls to Sex and the City.

As with doctor shows and cop shows, there's always room for a new one as long as we care about the characters. Who can't relate to basically decent people defending themselves against a world run by idiots?

 
 
 
 
 
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