Hulu's 'Dollface' is the closest we'll ever get to live-action 'Big Mouth'
But that might not seem the case on first glance.
At face value, Dollface, Hulu’s new dramedy series starring Kat Dennings, sounds like a rather bland Netflix movie: A young woman is dumped by a longtime boyfriend after losing herself in the relationship for years, so now she has to reconnect with the world of women. But then, things take a dark, imaginative twist in a trailer released this week that makes this Hulu series feel like the live-action answer to Netflix’s Big Mouth.
Big Mouth Season 3 hits Netflix next week, but after that, rather than waiting another year for more, fans might have Dollface to look forward to in November.
Dollface’s premise is just like I Love You, Man, the charming 2009 bromance comedy starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segel. Rudd’s character buried himself in past relationships and forgot how to make and keep same-sex friends, so the movie is about him course-correcting in realistic ways. In Dollface, Jules (Dennings) wants to do the same — except she’s harassed by a giant anthropomorphic cat with inexplicable powers of fantastical illusion. It feels almost exactly like the Hormone Monsters from Big Mouth.
When Jules hits rock bottom, she winds up on a bus full of lonely women driven by an “old cat lady” (literally). Some kind of cosmic force of nature, this women waxes philosophically about how “women need each other now more than ever.”
As an animated series, Big Mouth gets away with a wide variety of body shapes in its humans, talking animals, ghosts, and all manner of paranormal manifestations of the human consciousness, but to see something like this in live-action treads awfully close to the realm of the Uncanny Valley. Maybe it’s the cat-lover in me, but what Dollface does with cat people seems absolutely hilarious in a way that Big Mouth just can’t achieve in animation.
Dollface takes a lot of cues from Big Mouth, sliding seamlessly back and forth between reality and imaginative fantasy in a way that Jules alone experiences first-hand. Even some of the specific situations shown in the trailer feel like a joke we’ve seen several times over in Big Mouth.
In Big Mouth’s Season 3 trailer, for instance, a giant talking vagina urges one of the female characters to explore her own body, but the entire sequence is produced like a sequence from a game show called “Do The Thing!!!”. In Dollface, it becomes a comedic metaphor for Jules’ aversion to going out with her friends.
In an interview with Variety, series creator Jordan Weiss wrote Dollface while in school at USC before Margot Robbie got a look at the script while on the set of I, Tonya. Robbie is credited as a producer on the show.
Unless you actually watch the series, you might not even notice the surprise fantastical elements. The official description just says that Jules “must deal with her own imagination in order to literally and metaphorically re-enter the world of women.” I guess they really mean it when they talk about “imagination” and “metaphorically” re-entering the world of women. I, for one, will be moving Dollface very high on my November streaming watch list.
Dollface will premiere on Hulu November 15, 2019.