At the beginning of February, Netflix released its latest original offering, Firefly Lane. The 10-episode drama follows the lives of two lifelong best friends (played by Katherine Heigl, who also produces the show, and Sarah Chalke). Here’s what we thought.
Firefly Lane, based on a novel by the same name, is a drama which spans across a lifetime. Jumping between scenes from the main characters’ past, present, and future, it introduces us to the shy Kate Mularkey, and her eccentric and emotionally damaged childhood friend, Tully Hart. The two girls stick by each other through thick and thin, through good relationships and bad, through traumas and career changes, remaining fast friends well into adulthood. The story could easily have become a dull and prosaic one, were it not for the captivating style of its storytelling.
The drama, as it unfurls in its time-hopping fashion, is interspersed with humour and tears, making Firefly Lane something of an emotional roller coaster. What had a lot of potential to be horribly dull – particularly if, like me, you’re not a big fan of the drama genre – turns out to be surprisingly easy to get stuck into. Characters grow, make mistakes, and fall out in a way that feels authentic and makes the viewer invest in them.
While there are a few lapses in the juicy action – as in real life – the twists and turns of the tale somehow manage to reel you back in. This is partly because of the unpredictable and wild Tully Hart’s penchant for making the wrong decisions and creating a bit of a mess. As the consequences of one lapse in judgement are cleared up, another unfolds. Kate’s marriage is crumbling and we sympathise as she dips her toe back into the dating pool while also learning more and more about the history of her relationship with her husband.
Ultimately, the emotional scars that linger on the lead characters into adulthood almost become characters in themselves, and the entire plot is fuelled by their deep emotional damage – which resonates, as none of us really escape this.
It’s also enjoyable watching two of the leading actresses from our favourite hospital shows ( namely Grey’s and Scrubs) coming together to bring life to their new roles and, after a couple of episodes, one does manage to see them as Kate and Tully rather than as the previous roles they played.
A warning, though, for those who choose to proceed and watch Firefly Lane: You might just get extremely invested in the story – with all of it’s unpredictable twists and turns – and then find yourself dangling awkwardly off the cliff at which it ends. It may be a while before Netflix releases season 2 and answers some of the questions the final episode leaves us with.
I haven’t read the novel on which Firefly Lane is based, but others on the internet claim the Netflix adaptation is quite different from the book. In that regard, those who have read it may find it lacking or disappointing. For those of us who haven’t read the book and who enjoy watching others struggle with the every day difficulties of being a teenager and growing up into adulthood (although I don’t get this because isn’t life tough enough without this?), then this is probably a good choice for your next Netflix Binge.