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'Doll & Em': EW review

Posted on

K.C. Bailey/HBO

Doll & Em

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Emily Mortimer, Dolly Wells

We gave it an A-

At just six episodes per season, Doll & Em is small in length and in scope. There’s no high-concept premise, no major plot twists, just two women—a famous actress named Em and her civilian friend Doll (played by real-life besties and co-creators Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells)—working through some very realistic problems in their friendship. And yet, in a TV landscape brimming with epic prestige dramas, the memory of this tiny character study sticks with you. Season 2 starts with the pair co-writing a play inspired by their relationship, with Olivia Wilde and Evan Rachel Wood in the roles. But old resentments flare up when Em considers leaving the project to do a movie with Ewan McGregor (played by, yep, Ewan McGregor, in a deliciously unflattering send-up of himself). It’s tempting to read the whole thing as a juicy, thinly veiled autobiography, but that would discredit the imaginations of Mortimer and Wells, who’ve written a devastating deconstruction of the double standards women face in the entertainment industry, and a touching valentine to a grownup friendship that’s weathered rough times. A–