• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 19, 2014
Season #: 2, 1
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Mar 20, 2014
    88
    Doll & Em turns out to be unerringly fair-minded in its view of popular filmmaking, if only because concerns about Hollywood's shallowness are secondary to ideas of age and, inevitably, death.
  2. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Mar 20, 2014
    80
    It's a very smart, insightful piece about the delicate balance of success and insecurity within a female friendship.
  3. Reviewed by: Maysa Hattab
    Mar 19, 2014
    80
    It’s not always clear what either woman gains from the friendship, and while maintaining the imbalance of power would feed the show’s bleakly comic seam, the fourth episode’s final scene suggests an impending shift when both Em and Doll audition for the same role, creating new and welcome tensions going forward.
  4. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Mar 5, 2014
    80
    Think of Doll & Em as a collection of short stories rather than half-hour comedies and it’s quite absorbing.
  5. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Mar 17, 2014
    75
    The writing is sharp and believable, the chemistry between the two best friends obviously an advantage and the star cameos well-deployed.
  6. Reviewed by: Amy Wilkinson
    Mar 14, 2014
    75
    The two-part debut starts off anemic, but serves up redemptive meat (soy protein?) when they hit up a Hollywood bigwig's celeb-filled party. [21 Mar 2014, p.58]
  7. People Weekly
    Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Mar 13, 2014
    75
    This partly improvised comedy is closer to Girls than All About Eve: wistful yet stinging, silly yet wise about the instability of even the deepest friendships. [24 Mar 2014, p.37]
  8. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Mar 19, 2014
    70
    It's at its best--if not necessarily its funniest--when Em and Doll are struggling to find a balance between their childhood selves and the more demanding adults they've become.
  9. Reviewed by: Tirdad Derakhshani
    Mar 19, 2014
    70
    It's hardly required viewing, but it's enjoyable, light fun.
  10. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Mar 19, 2014
    70
    It is a very reliable deliverer of certain genre pleasures.
  11. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Mar 19, 2014
    70
    An awkwardly funny and occasionally heartbreaking attempt to peel back the many meanings and layers of friendship.
  12. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Mar 18, 2014
    70
    The story is framed by the outsize absurdities of show business, but Doll & Em is a character study in miniature.
  13. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Mar 18, 2014
    70
    Mortimer and Wells are both fine, juggling dramatic moments with more farcical ones, but this is still a fairly slight project even by HBO’s less-exacting standards.
  14. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Mar 13, 2014
    60
    Despite some funny and even pungent moments, in fact, Doll & Em is so gentle that you can barely feel anything.
  15. Reviewed by: Erik Adams
    Mar 19, 2014
    58
    It’s painfully funny at times, and occasionally poignant. In between those peaks, however, it’s needlingly formless.
  16. 50
    Despite its refreshing commitment to realism, Doll & Em is ultimately too relaxed and meandering for its own good. There are times when you may wish it had embraced the occasional cliches with more gusto.
  17. Reviewed by: Sarah Rodman
    Mar 19, 2014
    50
    There are definite laughs and tears to be wrung from Doll & Em, but the actresses’ own inherent likability and warmth toward each other, oddly enough work against the premise.
  18. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Mar 19, 2014
    50
    Every beat of that material is predictable and clumsy and unfunny.
  19. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Mar 19, 2014
    50
    Much of the comedy comes out of that type of awkwardness but Doll & Em is less a comedy-of-the-uncomfortable series (a la a female "Curb Your Enthusiasm") and more just kind of slow and boring.
  20. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Mar 19, 2014
    50
    While sporadically and quietly amusing, the entire enterprise has the whiff of an in-joke vanity production.
  21. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Mar 19, 2014
    50
    There’s some enjoyment to be had from the lead performances of real-life best friends Emily Mortimer (The Newsroom) and Dolly Wells (Bridget Jones’s Diary). A brisk walk would be better for you, though.
  22. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Mar 18, 2014
    50
    It has some promise at first but quickly becomes predictable.
  23. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Mar 19, 2014
    20
    The latest British girlfriends comedy is anything but absolutely fabulous. Sadly, it’s a bit tedious.
User Score
4.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 14
  2. Negative: 5 out of 14
  1. Apr 28, 2014
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Watching this show made me hate women.

    (This review contains "spoilers" because this show is already rancid enough that knowing details in advance couldn't possibly make it worse. I created an account JUST to post these comments--it's that bad.)

    Two adult women who claim to be lifelong friends just pointlessly treat each other like crap. One goes out and reflexively locks the doors, unknowingly stranding her friend outside for hours because she is from England and apparently the women there are pathetically helpless.

    When her friend finally comes home, the stranded one childishly refuses to allow for it being an innocent oversight and runs upstairs to punish her friend like a sullen child.

    Doll and Em are at a party. Doll is bored, Em agrees to meet Doll outside to go home.

    But on the way Doll is overcome with a flirtatious man, and instantly abandons her friend who only agreed to leave because SHE wanted to! Not only doesn't Doll think to signal her "best friend", who is now standing in the driveway like an abandoned waif, but she refuses to take calls from her "friend" to tell her why she just ditched her!

    It goes on this way for all six episodes, with each "friend" that the other "loves" taking turns doing hateful-chick things to each other. As a man it made me wonder, "Could every crappy thing I've ever attributed to females be RIGHT?" Is this show proof that women tend to be vacuously "affectionate", demonstrating their superiority to men by HUGGING their victims before they shove something trivial painfully up their girl-holes?

    No, I actually know some women who even if they aren't offended by this show at least refrain from the childishly spiteful behavior that this show seems to want to attribute to all women. (Susan Sarandon ingenuously protecting her 8-year old son (?!) from the pretend living room "sharks" that the idiot kid made up himself? I never thought I'd see this liberal goddess playing a psychotic woman who likes to ridicule autistic children!)

    Wells was passable in her teensy anonymous role in "Peep Show", but Mortimer has always seemed too precious by half. (Exactly who COULDN'T bring off any of Aaron Sorkin's cartoonish characters? The acting in his shows always reminds me of high school.)

    "Doll and Em" is exactly the right show to watch before going out to a pick-up bar, because then you won't care if none of the women talk to you--whether you're a man OR a woman. Otherwise, only watch it if you have absolutely nothing to do but want to feel aimlessly pissed off at everyone.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 18, 2015
    0
    Dreadful- I couldn't watch it and I'm a woman. Just tedious and precious and heavy handed. Totally over done with pauses for the tiniestDreadful- I couldn't watch it and I'm a woman. Just tedious and precious and heavy handed. Totally over done with pauses for the tiniest nuance of feeling. I watched the latest episode -season 2 ep 2- and it cut to a scene of them both in white around a bespoke 'shabby chic' white desk laughing and writing their inane play. Ugh! Thought it would be good chick lit escapism but they are so totally up themselves, it is absolutely toe curling. Full Review »