Real-life BFFs Emily Mortimer (Newsroom) and Dolly Wells (Bridget Jones’s Diary) write and star on Doll & Em (Wednesdays at 10 p.m.), HBO’s latest L.A. meta-comedy about a movie star (Mortimer) who hires her childhood pal (Wells) as an assistant. (Possible alternate title: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Ladies!) But once you clear the velvet rope, it’s apparent that Doll and Em is, at its heart, a portrait of female friendship rather than a Hollywood confidential.
The comedy — which is partly improvised, but never reaches laugh-out-loud levels of funny — debuts with back-to-back episodes, and good thing, considering the premiere is a bit anemic. After the initial set-up (Doll breaks up with her boyfriend in England, hence the hop across the pond and her new responsibilities fetching coffee and yelling at the GPS), the episode’s main conflict revolves around Doll getting locked out of Em’s house — and who’s responsible for the mix-up. Already we see small fissures in the pair’s relationship, but their petty squabbling isn’t exactly scintillating stuff. READ FULL STORY