Lunchtable TV Talk: Doll & Em

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Doll & Em is back for a second season. I tried to like the first season – there were some genuinely funny and sometimes sad moments. But mostly I found both of the leads to be shrill, unlikable and over-the-top in ways that can’t be overlooked in a way that would inspire me to watch the second season.

For me, the jury is out on Emily Mortimer. In some things, I really like her (in films, mostly, and in her guest role in 30 Rock; in others, such as Doll & Em and especially The Newsroom, there’s no ambivalence at all – I can’t stand her). As for Dolly Wells, what can I say? She is like the walking embodiment of the most annoying British people I have ever met, all smashed into one. She’s pretty much the same sort of thing in the Patrick Stewart vehicle, Blunt Talk. But then again, she has her moments. And they are both just people with feelings (and they are great at putting this on display in Doll & Em… hence my ambivalence about the show).

The only strong thread holding the show together for me is the equal pull of strength and pain in the friendship between the two leads. Both are blinded by their own egos within the friendship, feeling somehow entitled or ignored in turn, causing a giant rift in their near-lifelong friendship. Having endured these kinds of troubles in friendship, I related to this and thought the show represented it well. Just not sure I can get past the rest of the nonsense…

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