How Hulu’s ‘Dollface’ Teaches Us That We Don’t Need Romantic Love


Dollface is a recent Hulu original series with plenty of familiar faces. It features Brenda Song, Kat Dennings, Shay Mitchell, Esther Povitsky, and Vella Lovell.

This fun and sweet dramedy begins with Kat Denning’s character, Jules, who is dumped by her long-term boyfriend of 5 years. In the midst of the breakup, Jules quickly realizes that her entire life has revolved around him. Even all of her plans, such as going to his sister’s wedding and important holidays involved him. That’s when Jules decides to show up at her best friend Madison’s house even though they haven’t spoken since Jules began dating her now ex. 

Madison never forgot about Jules, however she feels betrayed. She brings up how she tried calling Jules when her mother was sick just to never hear back from her. For years. Over time, Jules earns back Madison’s trust and her other female friends. We watch the close-knit group go on adventures, get into trouble, and support each other through it all. 

Jules grows tremendously over the course of the first season. She learns about the importance of reconnecting, excelling at her career, having fun, and seeking advice from loved ones. 

Brief spoiler alert, though: Jules’ ex asks her for a second chance in the finale. She rejects him, though, saying that their breakup was the best thing that has ever happened to her. She has finally learned to prioritize herself and  feel happy again. He asks if she found someone else, and she says that she found three of them. She’s referring to the best friends she reconnected with!

Historically, American tv shows and movies have portrayed characters’ happy endings with romantic partners as their fulfillment. This is seen in nearly every Disney classic, and is often the case in comedies or action-adventures today. Just decades ago, many individuals stayed in toxic relationships because it was socially unacceptable to get a divorce. Today, the divorce rate has lowered to 50%, but the stigma still ensues. 

Romantic love is a beautiful thing. But the pressure and belief that humans are unhappy without it can significantly deteriorate your mental health.

I have been blessed with many female friendships, and I’ve noticed a pattern among my heartbroken friends. Nearly every time a friend has been dumped after a relationship, the question arises, “Why wasn’t I good enough?” This question is usually followed with the fear that no one will ever find them desirable. Or, even worse – that they are unworthy of love. My most common response is telling them all of the things I love about them and reminding them of the familial and friend love that they have in their life. Despite my best efforts, the societal belief that only romantic love ‘counts’ is so ingrained in a lot of us that my words barely comfort them. 

Dollface counters this narrative.

There is enough media portraying couples in love that they do not need to include a romantic story in their plot. Despite the absence of romance, the show is one of the most entertaining and meaningful series that I’ve seen in a while. The audience gets to see laughter, tears, passion, and adventure between four women who have absolutely no romantic interest in anyone. They share secrets, confide in each other, and have an amazing time while doing it.

If you struggle with self-esteem after a romantic rejection, know that you are not alone. We all respond to situations based on our experience and what we’ve been taught, and this is completely valid. Though it takes time to unlearn a major part of American culture, it is never too late to attempt to change your perspective by redefining what it means to be worthy and loved.

Featured image via @dollfaceonhulu.


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