Dollface: Season 1, Episode 1 “Guy’s Girl” [Series Premiere] – Recap, Review (With Spoilers)

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Dollface seems geared to confront those who get wrapped up in their boyfriend’s life and begin to lose their identity.


Created By Jordan Weiss
Directed By Matt Spicer
Written By Jordan Weiss
Date Released (Hulu) 11/15/2019
Genre(s) Comedy
Noted Cast
Jules Kat Dennings
Jeremy Connor Hines
Madison Brenda Song
Stella Shay Mitchell

Plot Summary/ Review

For the last 5 years, Jules and Jeremy have been together, but during a regular, everyday lunch, he decides to break up with her. Why? Well, there isn’t an explanation beyond not loving her anymore. And with that, she comes to realize how much her life revolved around him and how, with no longer being in his orbit, she doesn’t have much.

Leading to her trying to rekindle the friendship she had with her college roommate Madison, and their friend Stella, which, when it comes to Madison, is a bit of an uphill battle. Thankfully, however, the very eccentric Stella provides advice and the opportunity to bring the gang back together. Leaving you to wonder, after all Jules missed, will the friendship be the same, and how will she handle the expectations of a girl group she seems to have long forgotten.

Collected Quote(s) or .Gifs

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. How did Jeremy and Jules meet?

Highlights

Shay Mitchell Off Her Rocker

With a lot of actresses, there is sometimes the need to ask were they hired because of their beauty and personality, or because, on top of that, they could also act? Mitchell is someone who has proven, through multiple genres, she can act, and her role as Stella, while not as jarring as her role on You, definitely shows her versatility as an actress. One who can be serious, comical, a little psycho, and that is just talking about Stella.

Someone who I wouldn’t say steals the show, for Mitchell seems to be a team player kind of actor, but definitely is one of the most memorable in the episode. If not because of what she does, then the situations she finds herself in.

Kat Dennings

Kat Dennings is the kind of actress where you get what you expect. If you love a sarcastic feminist character, who is a bit of a tomboy, you will consistently get that from Dennings, and Dollface is no different. Which, for other actors, would be a bad thing, but if for comedy actors, it just is their shtick. It is like Aubrey Plaza not playing someone with a Wednesday Adams or Daria disposition. To expect something beyond what they usually give you isn’t so much a negative for them but more so a you not taking account the pattern in their acting choices.

But, speaking of Dennings’ role as Jules, again, it is more of the same: Sarcasm, the girl who is a bit of a tomboy and doesn’t fit in with other girls too well, yet isn’t heartless. Which is the best part of Dennings as a performer since, as the episode is titled, she can come off as a guy’s girl, but doesn’t give the vibe she’d throw other women under the bus to seem better than. Also, she doesn’t lose a lot of the emotions associated with being a woman. If anything, while her characters all blend together, it is with them existing that you realize Dennings is creating a lane for other women like her who don’t fall on either the femme or masculine side but dance on the line in between.

Understanding Why Women Do What They Do

Whether Jules has forgotten what it is like to have girlfriends or actively pursued getting out of things that put her out of her comfort zone, her being challenged by some social norms is interesting. Take girls going to the bathroom together and her pushing back against that, only to realize it is for safety – in a club environment anyway. It makes you wonder what else, as Jules is reintroduced to things many women do, will she confront as weird and then realize makes a whole lot of sense?

Diving Into Jules’ Imagination

It isn’t clear how far Jules’ imagination will play a role in things, but so far it puts a nice little mix to things. Be it her getting on the break-up bus or chasing down her co-workers, who are sitting and stationary, when she wants to ask them something. In these moments, you feel like you are getting into Jules’ head and getting to understand, beyond words, how much work it takes to either do what comes easy to others or process matters in ways people may not understand.

Overall

Met Expectations

Definitely. Kat Dennings pretty much plays the same character in nearly everything she does, outside of To Write Love On Her Arms, and if you like her sarcastic comedy style, you get what you expect. However, the show also exceeds expectations a bit since I wasn’t expecting there to be an emotional investment in Jules and Madison’s friendship. I was mostly expecting Jules to jump through hoops trying to show she can be one of the girls, and it not be awkward.

Also, being that I’ve seen so few things with Shay Mitchell in it, it makes seeing her in this, when compared to Pretty Little Liars and You, make her seem like someone who is grossly underestimated as an actress.

Cast As A Whole

When it comes to the core ladies, Dollface is ace. However, there is a fear Jeremy is going to really get on my last damn nerve and fit into some sexist dude trope. The kind where he seems to be sexist just to be a punching bag vs. him being developed in such a way where you can see how one ass**** somehow created a douche bag.

Continue To Watch?

Thankfully this is ten half-hour episodes, though it seems like it could do well with eight, and while I do have some fear Dennings’ shtick could get old, as it did on Two Broke Girls, I’m going to stay optimistic.

First Impression: Optimistic

Like most shows, the main issue here is wondering, with media in the United States so beholden to the idea of a 10+ episode season, will Dollface be able to fill the quota without losing what makes it special? For while the core cast has so much potential for future episodes, so comes the question of what will happen after it likely peaks somewhere around episode 5 or 6? Also, can it figure out a way to utilize all three of the female leads to make it so Stella’s actions don’t make your roll your eyes, Jules doesn’t become annoying and Madison, the grounding force, doesn’t end up boring?

Hence why we’re optimistic. Could a lot go wrong? Yes. However, I think most of the issues this show could have will likely come in later seasons, definitely by season 3, but could delay many of the issues you know will come with the right writing and management of the cast.

 

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