12 March, 2015

Doll & Em [DVD] by Dolly Wells and Emily Mortimer, directed by Azazel Jacobs [Jonny, Central City Library]

Real-life best friends, Dolly Wells and Emily Mortimer have written a six-episode story, where they play ‘versions’ of themselves.  London-based Wells suffers a breakup/down and Mortimer offers her a job as her P.A. and a home in her LA pad. Mortimer is pleased, at first, to have the company as she faces the pressures of being the lead in a movie and is away from her family.

The six episodes of this TV show follow the disintegration of a close friendship tested by a power-shift; a move from the private to the professional world.

I loved the mix of comedy, usually courtesy of Wells, who has excellent comic timing and is adept at physical comedy, Mortimer counterbalances Wells as the A-lister haunted by the anxieties which plague any actor. On top of this she has to deal with her needy best friend/employee.

As with a lot of HBO comedies Doll & Em is constructed with a looseness that gives the actors room to breathe and improvise and the story a chance to flow. The many awkward moments between the friends slowly build each episode in intensity and complexity in a downward spiral that is perfectly plotted over six episodes.

I can’t think of a recent TV comedy that offers such an in-depth look at the challenges of close friendships that so deftly combines comedy with real depth.

Title: Doll and Em
Author: Written by Dolly Wells and Emily Mortimer, directed by Azazel Jacobs
Publisher: Madman Entertainment
Published: 2014

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