Produced by Margot Robbie’s Lucky Chap Entertainment, Dollface is a Hulu series that uses surreal humor to emphasize the often absurd hoops women have to jump through to maintain friendships and relationships. With the Season 2 premiere set for February 11, it’s been over two years since we last saw Jules (Kat Dennings) reconnect with her college friends Madison (Brenda Song) and Stella (Shay Mitchell) after being dumped by her boyfriend.
The first episode of Season 1 sees Jules get unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend of five years, Jeremy (Connor Hines) while they’re at brunch. Suddenly feeling alone, she reaches out to her best friend from college, Madison, to try and mend their relationship.
The breakup causes conflict for Jules throughout the season – she lies to her friends about being a bridesmaid in his sister Ramona’s (Shelley Hennig) wedding, he doesn’t respect her boundaries and essentially forces her to move out, and she runs into him and his new girlfriend during an earthquake-induced museum lockdown. Until the final episode “Bridesmaid”, he’s still a looming presence in her life.
At its core, Dollface’s story engine is driven by strong character relationships. Let’s break down where we left off with each of the key relationships within this series at the end of Season 1.
Stella, Madison, and Jules
These three have been friends since college. Jules and Madison were roommates; Stella and Madison were sorority sisters. Because Jules neglected her relationships with Stella and Madison while dating Jeremy, she sometimes feels like a third-wheel in their friendship. This changes as she spends time reconnecting with them. Jules goes to parties and brunch with both of them, and even spends a night with Stella getting drunk on a Finnish fishing boat.
Madison and Colin (and Celeste)
For most of the Season, Madison is dating an older married man named Colin (Goran Visnjic), who claims to be separated and divorcing his wife Celeste (Malin Akerman). Madison’s mom was really sick with an undisclosed illness and Colin was one of her doctors. They started dating shortly after. When Jules sees Colin and Celeste still being affectionate with each other at a Woom retreat, she tells Madison. This causes a massive fight between the two that lasts until the finale.
A group of cliquey women that work at Woom with Jules, Alison B. (Brianne Howey) and Alison S. (Vella Lovell) are Celeste’s go-to women in the office to handle issues that arise with product or morale. “Other Alison B.”, who we find out in Episode 1 “Guy’s Girl” is actually Izzy Grossman-Levine (Esther Povitsky), becomes friends with Jules, Stella, and Madison after telling Jules that her name isn’t really Alison at a Woom launch party. Izzy has a chaotic, but lovable energy and a need to be liked by everyone – hence her becoming an “Alison” to fit-in.
Jules and Wes
Wes (Matthew Gray Gubler) is a veterinarian that Jules meets at a pet park. She sees potential in a relationship with him, but is scared of diving into something serious too soon, so she keeps him at a distance. In the finale, Jules calls Wes from Ramona’s wedding to finally let him in a little and potentially move their relationship forward. But after hearing another woman at his place, she feels rejected. In the Season 2 trailer, things seem awkward between them – Jules tries to hide behind containers when she sees him out in public – but hopefully things aren’t over between them yet!
Surreal Scene Breaks
One of the unique aspects of this series is its use of surreal humor to break up scenes. It starts when Jules boards a bus after her breakup with Jeremy, and he encourages her to “[go] back to hanging out with other women”. This bus is driven by a Cat Lady (Beth Grant) and full of other newly single women on their way to reconnect with their friends. The final destination is a DMV-like location where Jules learns that her personal relationships have “expired” and she has to either go through the breakup alone or reach out to her friends and make amends.
There’s also a game show scene break that centers on Jules’ response to an event invitation from Madison. There’s a scene in a gynecologist’s office where Jules discovers she has “caught feelings” from a casual hookup. Even the penultimate episode “Feminist” is a dream-induced, Wizard of Oz themed story set at a Women’s March. Cat Lady makes her final appearance of the Season at the end of the episode “Bridesmaid”, but instead of only interacting with Jules, the reactions of the other women in the car indicate that they can see her too, setting up an interesting dynamic for Season 2.
Woom is a Goop-like wellness company founded by Celeste that Jules, Izzy, and the Alisons work at. Ramona also has a currently undefined connection to Celeste and Woom – she gets Jules her graphic design job and Celeste is at her wedding. Jules often feels out of place at Woom, but after her breakup with Jeremy she recognizes the importance of having work friends too. She becomes more friendly with the Alisons thanks to Izzy bridging the gap and making them appear more approachable.
How Did Things End?
The Season 1 finale starts with Jules going to Mexico with Jeremy and his girlfriend Melyssa (Camilla Belle) for Ramona’s wedding. When they arrive in Mexico, Jeremy tries to hit on Jules and win her back – just as Madison arrives to apologize to Jules with Stella and Izzy in tow. Madison has been spiraling since their fight, unsure whether she should trust Jules over Colin, and Stella convinces her to surprise Jules in Mexico. Seeing Jules with Jeremy sends Madison over the edge, and she storms out. She feels betrayed and hurt, thinking that Jules went right back to Jeremy the moment things got rough with their friendship.
On their way home, Stella, Izzy, and Madison get lost in the desert, crash Stella’s car, and stumble across a nudist women’s retreat called the Bonobo Society. Stella reveals that she wants Jules and Madison to make up so that Madison will have support while Stella is at business school in Philadelphia. After tripping all night, Madison decides to reconcile with Jules – for real this time. When the trio arrives at Ramona’s wedding reception, Madison sees Colin with Celeste and finally accepts that Jules really did have her back. Seeing how hurt Madison is, Jules also makes a grand gesture by calling out Colin and Jeremy in front of the entire wedding party.
In the final moments, Jules and Madison exchange I love you’s and steal the “Just Married” convertible to drive themselves, Stella, and Izzy back home. As they drive away, Jules is unsure of her future with Celeste, Woom, and Wes, but for the first time all Season, she feels confident in her female friendships.
Written Brynna Arens for Collider, article published on February 1