The simplicity of “Dollface” doesn’t make the show any less fun, although this slenderly conceived comedy vehicle for “2 Broke Girls” star Kat Dennings could easily have landed on a conventional broadcast network. As is, it’s a nice addition to Hulu’s lineup of originals, and a whole lot less depressing than “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
The story of Dennings’ Jules is actually a pretty familiar one, and it’s what gives the show much of its kick: Dumped by her boyfriend of five years, she realizes that she’s lost touch with all of her girlfriends, having abandoned them while in the throes of couplehood.
Jules thus goes about the task of reconnecting with her pals Madison (Brenda Song) and Stella (Shay Mitchell), an accomplished name-dropper, who aren’t exactly eager to welcome her back. At the same time, she’s prone to flights of fantasy, which includes regular visitations by a cat-faced lady (Beth Grant), offering a glimpse of her potentially lonely, single future.
Much of the show hinges on the usual sitcom situations, from meeting guys to discovering a boyfriend is married to awkward encounters with Jules’ ex, building over the 10 episodes toward his sister’s destination wedding, an event to which she’s still invited.
Nevertheless, the series — which counts Dennings and Margot Robbie among its producers and features Malin Akerman as Jules’ wealthy boss — manages to be consistently fun, including a clever “Wizard of Oz” riff in one of the later installments. In one of the better early moments, the trio go to a club, a sequence that explains — for every guy who has ever wondered — why women make a point of going to the bathroom together in such locales.
Notably, the show was created by Jordan Weiss, a writer still in her 20s, and thus an actual contemporary of the characters featured. Although the show isn’t the sort of jolt to the demo that, say, “Girls” delivered, those auspices might contribute to why the series feels fresher than the TV logline for it otherwise sounds, with a clear and distinctive creative voice.
“Dollface” won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but one suspects a portion of the audience will be enamored with it. In today’s streaming environment, that’s the kind of formula that tends to lead to lasting relationships.
“Dollface” premieres Nov. 15 on Hulu.