The Hulu comedy from Jordan Weiss starring Kat Dennings "could have been a fun, forgettable diversion, the kind of show meant to be watched as you fold laundry. But its approach to feminism, which it name-checks, strikes a sour note," says Angelica Jade Bastién. "Over the past decade," Bastién adds, "television has, with varying levels of success, used feminist concerns about things like motherhood, power, and desire as the thematic engine for series ranging from I Love Dick to The Good Fight. Dollface seeks to do the same, aiming to be a frothy feminist delight as it considers ideas such as loneliness for modern women, the importance of sisterhood, and what it means to be a feminist. But it handles these ideas with such shallowness it ends up saying nothing meaningful at all. The characters are so thinly drawn they’re rendered as caricatures, dampening the few sparks of humor we’re afforded. Its feminist talking points are surface-level, especially within a television landscape bursting with messy, intriguing female characters pushing feminist considerations to deeper levels. The series, of which I was able to watch all 10 episodes for review, wants to have it both ways, celebrating sisterhood while skewering a certain brand of upwardly mobile, millennial womanhood that some of the main characters inadvertently reflect — which leaves the show muddled in its outlook and, at its worst, vaguely insulting."
Dollface is an offensive caricature of millennial women: "Do you go to brunch every Sunday?" asks Kelly Lawler. "Do you get a mani/pedi every two weeks on the dot? Do you ignore your female friends for years if you're in a relationship? Are your only career options workaholic or freeloading bohemian? Do you dress every day like you just walked off a New York Fashion Week runway? Do you shower and exercise with makeup on? Do you lack even basic human empathy or a sense of acceptable social boundaries? Well then, you might be a millennial woman, as portrayed on Hulu's absurd new series, Dollface....There's nothing about that synopsis, on its own, that sounds particularly objectionable – in fact, there are glimmers of what an insightful show about female identity this series could have been every so often in the 10-episode season. But it's the pastel-colored clichés, woefully outdated attempts at slang and a singular vision of what womanhood is in 2019 that makes the show cringe-worthy in all the wrong ways."
Dollface comparisons to FX's Man Seeking Woman are unavoidable: "Nobody would ever accuse Dollface of copying or borrowing from a show as underviewed as Man Seeking Woman — and before you say, 'But that was the male gaze and this is… not,' MSW did some of its best episodes, and half of its final season, from the female perspective," says Daniel Fienberg. "But if you've seen both shows, the comparison is verging on unavoidable and only exposes how flimsy the Dollface fantasy sequences are and how rarely they add to the show's experience in terms of either understanding its main character or expanding its visual language."