Kat Dennings, she of the sexy vocal-fry intonations, has found herself a new comedic follow-up to her CBS sitcom “2 Broke Girls” that arrives on November 15. Namely,”Dollface,” Hulu’s humorous take on female friendships in the era of Instagram, Lyft, goat yoga, constant texting and selfies, lifestyle brands, Marie Kondo, The Weeknd, “The Great British Bake Off,” “The Bachelor” and the controversial “Gilmore Girls” revival.
Think “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” meets “Ugly Betty” but with less focus on romance and actual work and more on ladies who bond at Sunday brunch or go to after-work launch parties. The show created by Jordon Weiss, which also has actress Margot Robbie as one of the producers and who shows up in a one of the episodes, aims to expose how many women tend to distance themselves from their devoted girlfriends once they get wrapped up in a serious relationship with a guy.
That is certainly the case with Dennings’ Jules, a denizen of the City of Angels who works as a web designer for a Goop-like online site with an icy passive-aggressive Gwyneth-like overseer named Celeste (Malin Akerman). When her housemate boyfriend (Connor Hines) of five years unceremoniously dumps her in the first few minutes of the show’s pilot, Jules takes the first of several regular detours into surreal flights of fantasy — in this case, a bus filled with newly single weeping women that is driven by a lady who has a bespectacled giant cat head. The feline with a human body is a recurring figure who parcels out advice to our heroine while assuming such guises as a game-show host or a crossing guard.
Jules decides to reconnect with her publicist best friend from college, Madison (Brenda Song), along with rich party girl Stella (Shay Mitchell) while getting closer to her amusingly insecure workmate Izzy (Esther Povitsky). The chemistry between Dennings and her talented co-stars — all wickedly good at squeezing juice from a zinger or quip — helps to elevate material that sometimes doesn’t always click. I was also mesmerized by how Jules is never without a thick layer of lipstick that just might be tattooed on to her mouth.
There’s also an eclectic array of pop-up guest stars including Dave Coulier from “Full House,” Joey Lawrence from “Blossom” and “Home Alone’s” own Macaulay Culkin while Goran Visnjic is a regular. Perhaps the most ambitious episode is the penultimate one tied to a Women’s March that goes full-blown “Wizard of Oz” with Jules sporting pigtails, a fetching blue-gingham blouse and a pair of red high heels while her Cat Lady friend (Beth Grant) fills in as Glinda.
The main reason to watch “Dollface” is the comic chemistry and gal-pal bonding by the four female friends as Dennings manages to nail both her tossed-off laugh lines while conveying some real-life conflicted emotions. If you like ladies who brunch and also take hallucinogenic drugs, this show is for you.
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