‘Dollface’ is an American comedy television series that marks the return of Kat Dennings to the small screen. It follows Jules Wiley, a woman whose long-time boyfriend breaks up with her. Then, Wiley is forced to deal with her own imagination that makes her visualize surreal and otherworldly scenarios as she struggles to make friends from her own gender. It has been praised for its rib-tickling exploration of female insecurity filled with inventive imagery.
It is a TV show that employs the use of stream of consciousness- a technique wherein a character’s internal thoughts are projected continuously without any form or structure. Such a tone is a hallmark feature of ‘Dollface’ and provides it with a strong and promising premise. If you are looking for shows with a similar tenor, here are seven television series curated just for you. You can stream some of them on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu.
7. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015-2019)
If you want to be shaken out of a cynical slumber, ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ will jolt you with a persistent dosage of positivism and hope. It is about a twenty-nine-year-old woman who tries to readjust to the real world after being rescued from a doomsday cult. Her determination to not victimize herself and let pessimism get in her way, Schmidt’s attitude is infectious and Ellie Kemper plays the role to perfection.
6. 2 Broke Girls (2011-2017)
Kat Dennings rose to popularity with this sitcom thanks to her entertaining performance as Max Black. It revolves around a couple of financially struggling roommates who live in Brooklyn and dream of starting a successful cupcake business. The show lasted for six seasons and was received favorably for the chemistry between its lead actresses. It portrays female friendship well, which forms the primary theme of the show.
5. Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 (2012-2013)
This comedy series from 2012 sticks to the sitcom genre’s strong suits but does not become formulaic due to its modern setup, strong acting performances, and snarky dialogue. It follows the odd coupling of optimistic June and hard-partying, con woman Chloe as they bond over oddball circumstances and outlandish characters.
Although the show lasted only for a couple of seasons, it received some quality reviews for its lead characters. Moreover, Krysten Ritter from ‘Jessica Jones’ plays the character of Chloe and she is simply phenomenal. It would also perhaps not be wrong to call it her career-best performance.
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4. Fleabag (2016-2019)
This award-winning comedy mastered the stream of consciousness point-of-view to yield a deeply personal and jocular yet dramatic journey of a relatable and comprehensively sketched protagonist. The show is created and written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge who also stars in the show as the lead character, Fleabag.
Fleabag is what the titular character of the show is referred to as, a dry-witted, unapologetically direct woman who tries to go about her life and personal relationships while healing from past trauma. The show has been critically acclaimed and has won six Emmy Awards including one for Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
3. The Good Place (2016-)
‘The Good Place’ is television producer, Michael Schur’s latest sitcom after ‘Parks & Recreation’ and ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine.’ It has been praised for its mass appeal similar to Schur’s previous two shows. However, ‘The Good Place’ is slightly more unique than your run-of-the-mill sitcom featuring wacky characters in familiar situations.
It is set in a fictionalized depiction of the afterlife and follows Eleanor Shellstrop, a morally corrupt woman who finds herself in heaven due to a case of mistaken identity. This fictional “town” is the perfect place where everyone is matched and live with their “soulmate” and has the perfect café. However, after a major twist in the first season, nothing stays stable in the show’s fictitious setting. That twist is worth watching the entire series for as it is not just shocking but also a brilliant metaphor for millennial life.
2. Tuca & Bertie (2019-)
The two things that make this show and ‘Dollface’ similar are the theme of female friendship and the plot’s meta-realistic exposition that forms an integral component of both the series’ tone. ‘Tuca & Bertie’ is created by Lisa Hanawalt who is known for the acclaimed animated series, ‘Bojack Horseman.’ At first sight, both the animated shows might seem to exist in the same fictional universe, filled with anthropomorphic animals. However, both the tone and the animation style of this 2019 animated series is decidedly different.
‘Tuca & Bertie’ employs a more surreal approach while ‘Bojack Horseman’ remains grounded in reality despite its fantastical premise. The former revolves around the friendship between an impulsive toucan, Tuca and Bertie, an anxious songbird. Unfortunately, ‘Tuca & Bertie’ was canceled after its first season despite favorable reviews. It presents a funny and wondrous tale in a psychedelic fashion, interspersed by dancing buildings that look like breasts and giant centipede trains.
If you didn’t guess by the breast buildings, the entire series is unapologetically feminist and that works completely in its favor as it never gets preachy. In fact, in one of the episodes, the show even mocks melodramatically exaggerated feminist discourse. But fret not. This might be a show about women, but it isn’t just for women. Technically, in the first place, feminists argue that most movies in our patriarchal society are primarily about men with female characters being eye-candy and so movies about women shouldn’t bother about the male gaze anyway. However, that being said, ‘Tuca & Bertie’ is extremely enjoyable and handles its feminist outlook maturely by not letting it overshadow the narrative while making it implicitly effective.
1. Scrubs (2001-2010)
Apart from being one of the best sitcoms out there, ‘Scrubs’ was also probably the first comedy television show to popularize the narrative technique of stream of consciousness. It follows a group of doctors at the fictional Sacred Heart Hospital who start out as interns in the first season of the show. The protagonist, John Dorian, played by Zach Braff narrates the show and each episode is often scattered with his internal thoughts and surreal fantasies in a manner that is extremely similar to ‘Dollface.’
This technique forms a major source of the show’s humor. Apart from being hilarious, the medical comedy has also been known for its emotionally nuanced portrayal of tricky medical situations like deaths and tough choices. A female intern, Lucy Bennett takes over the role of protagonist in the ninth and final season of the show. She is shown to be digressed by her internal monologues and surreal fantasies in a similar way to the character of Dorian. Dave Franco plays a permanent character in the ninth season of the show too.
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