‘Firefly Lane’ Is *Still* on Netflix’s Top 10 List—But Is It Any Good? Here’s My Review
*Warning: Minor spoilers ahead*
I’m going to be upfront: I was pretty skeptical about the all-new Netflix series, Firefly Lane. I recently reread the 2008 novel by Kristin Hannah for the first time since high school and—let me tell you—it’s even more fantastic than I remembered. (It left me bawling and feeling nostalgic for days, which is a rare occurrence.) This clearly made me doubt that any small screen version could do it justice.
Still, I was intrigued by Netflix’s adaptation of Firefly Lane, which stars Katherine Heigl (Tallulah “Tully” Hart) and Sarah Chalke (Kate Mularky). The series premiered last month, and it’s been featured on the streaming service’s list of most-watched shows ever since. Since part of my job as an entertainment editor is to determine whether something is worth the watch, I streamed it with an open mind.
To my surprise, I was extremely pleased with Netflix’s version, even though it’s slightly different than the novel. While it didn’t tie up every loose end like the book, it did leave me wanting more—and that’s all I can ask for.
Here’s my honest review of Netflix’s Firefly Lane.
1. What's 'Firefly Lane' about?
The story spans the course of decades, following two lifelong best friends. (While Heigl and Chalke play the characters as adults, the teenage versions of Tully and Kate are portrayed by Ali Skovbye and Roan Curtis, respectively.)
The first episode shows viewers how they met, beginning with Tully’s turbulent childhood that led her to move in with her free-spirited mom, Cloud (Beau Garrett), in a house on Firefly Lane. It doesn’t take long for Tully to meet her across-the-street neighbor, Kate, who couldn’t be more different.
Fast forward several years, and they’re still best friends. Tully has achieved her dream of becoming a famous broadcaster. (She even has her own talk show called The Girlfriend Hour.) On the other hand, Kate chose to raise a family with her former boss, Johnny (Ben Lawson), who’s secretly in love with Tully. *Eye roll*
The problem? Kate is in the midst of a divorce from Johnny, and their teenage daughter, Marah (Yael Yurman), is acting out as a result. I don’t want to give too much away, but the series offers a glimpse into their decades-long friendship in a way that had me hooked from the second it began.
2. Is it worth the watch?
If you love cheesy romantic dramas (like Sweet Magnolias and Ginny & Georgia), the answer is 100 percent yes. Firefly Lane is a coming-of-age story that’s suitable for most viewers, which is a rare find in the age of Bonding and Bridgerton.
Not to mention, Firefly Lane left me wanting more. Although the series still has a lot to prove, I feel extremely obligated to wait for season two, since the first batch of episodes provided multiple cliffhangers.
It’s important to note that the show jumps between timelines on a regular basis. As a fan of the book, I was initially unsure about this format, since I enjoyed Hannah’s chronological storytelling. Nevertheless, Netflix does a good job of showing the transition between the flashbacks and present-day scenes.
Pro tip: Pay attention to Kate and Tully’s wigs, because their hairstyles will clue you into the time period. (For example, Tully has long brown hair when she’s training to become a broadcaster, but she rocks a short, cropped style later in her career.)
In short, Firefly Lane is definitely worth the watch. While I’m curious to see whether the show will end the same way as the book (if you know, you know), I applaud Netflix for revisiting this nostalgic story during these uncertain times.
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