Way back in the before times of 2015, I wrote a very minor post on how Kat Denning’s new-at-the-time movie To Write Love On Her Arms didn’t look very good. At the time, I posited that Dennings, despite having starred in at least three seasons of 2 Broke Girls, still deserved better than this material. Then I watched all ten episodes of her new Hulu series Dollface, and I’m not so sure anymore. For those who didn’t kind of watch the show while also cleaning their apartment and making chili, here’s the official trailer.
That trailer? It’s mostly the best parts of the show. Which isn’t to say that the show is bad, it’s just not, well, good. It’s average. It’s surpassingly average. It borders on having a clever idea sometimes by using John Dorian-esque fantasy sequences that might be real. Maybe? Or contain an element of realism? There’s a chance that a middle-aged-ish woman driving a bus takes the form of a cat, but that also might just be Jules’ imagination. Or maybe she imagined the whole bus as a coping mechanism in the face of the stress of being dumped by her boyfriend of five years. But the cat-woman does pop up in several more episodes, so she’s possibly also Jules’ guardian angel of sorts. It’s not really all that important to the plot. It’s just kind of there.
All of which is to say, maybe Dennings doesn’t need, or is looking for, better material. Maybe she is quick and sarcastic but in a broad way. Maybe her sweet spot is CBS comedies, and I won’t knock her for it. I won’t be watching her in those CBS comedies, but I’m no longer inclined to pass the same kinds of judgments I did a few years ago. You do you, Kat. I’ll support your right to choose even when I don’t support the outcome.
None of that matters really though because I need to talk about something else: do women actually go to the bathroom in groups? It’s a thing that happens in the first episode of Dollface, and I don’t understand it. Because I’ve always identified as a woman, been friends with other women, had groups of women friends, and been places where I needed to use the restroom while other women were there, and this isn’t a thing that’s ever happened. (Caveat: unless we’re peeing outside, and I need to follow whoever has the flashlight. That would be more of a camping/house party/wine-fest situation. Which hasn’t happened in three years, twenty years, and two months respectively.) I’m not arguing that it can’t be a thing, I’m just wondering how it became the thing.
And the biggest reason I don’t understand how this became the thing is what happens immediately after the Clueless Woman (your Jules in Dollface or your Brittas in Community) says she’s not going to the bathroom because she doesn’t have to pee. It’s at that point that the Informed Friend (Madison, Jules’ estranged best friend in Dollface (played as well as can be expected by Brenda Song)) or Annie Edison in the aforementioned Community episode), very sincerely while still slightly annoyed explains that women going to the bathroom together, even when they don’t have to pee, is a THING. It’s a THING, and it’s breaking Girl Code to not do it. Because that part has never happened to me. Even though many TV shows have assured me IT IS A THING. So I don’t get it. Am I the Clueless Woman? Do I not have a single Informed Friend? Is this a case where a predominately male writer’s room noticed that women are more comfortable with their bodies and bodily functions in the presence of other women than men are in the presence of other men, and thereby decided that two women using the restroom at the same time must mean that actually all women go to the bathroom together ALL THE TIME? Or did a predominately male writer’s room mistake the fact that women will travel in groups or pairs for safety as some sort of weird Girl Thing where we can only urinate when another woman is there to gossip at us, and then it became a thing? OR is it possible that since I was a smoker throughout my twenties, I was just outside when all of the Girl Code was taking place, and I truly have missed out on a key component of female bonding?
In which case, I’m going to revert to my previous position of trying to judge less. Kat Dennings should keep making whatever kind of shows she wants, and I’ll continue to sort of support her in those endeavors so long as I don’t have mandatory bathroom breaks.
Header Image Source: Hulu