I wanted to love Firefly Lane, I did. A part of me feels like I should have, because the show has good moments, it’s charming, and there are times when it really works, and other times when it almost works. And then there are some decisions that make it …not work at all, for me.
Now, I’m not familiar with the book, but I don’t really think you need to be to go into this. From my research I don’t think reading the book beforehand would have changed my opinions on the show that much, which tells you absolutely nothing, and everything, I guess.
Let me be clear, though, I’m not here to trash Firefly Lane. I’m perfectly aware that, for some people, what the show is bringing will be enough. For others, it might be more than enough. It just wasn’t for me. Maybe that’s a matter of expectations. Maybe I wanted this story about two friends to be more than it could have ever been.
Maybe I wanted something that truly spoke to my heart, and not just entertained me after a glass of wine or two.
And my criticism of the show isn’t even that it’s very, very white (which it is), and mostly straight (which it is). I’m a little tired of the reasoning why these kinds of shows always are, and really bummed about never seeing friendships between WOC on screen, but that’s not really why I didn’t like this show.
In fact, it isn’t even because the “tragedy” that brings these two women together looks so much like the tragedies that always jump-start the journeys of women, though yes, I am tired and desperate for new ideas, new ways of telling stories about women. We’re more than a tragedy, and we can and do make lifelong friends without the need for any such event to make us bond.
Shocking, I know.
Even if I could look past those two things, though – and I did, at times, because the show managed to make me interested enough, the way Firefly Lane was framed, the story they were trying to tell was enough to pull me out of the story, repeatedly.
It wasn’t what I expected, no, but that’s not always a problem. There’s nothing better than a show that can surprise you, push you out of your comfort zone. Except, you know, when it feels like the show is doing it not to tell a good story, but to deliberately tug at your heartstrings.
Helping that along are strong performances from the entire cast, but especially Sarah Chalke, who is utterly convincing as every version of Kate, the frazzled one, the angry one, the confused one, and even the angry one. Whatever Kate was feeling, I was feeling, and though I can’t say I always agreed with her, or even came close to understanding her, the acting pulled me in enough that I wanted to.
Katherine Heighl’s Tully worked well, too, though I never felt as close to her as I felt to Kate. And they worked really well together, there was never a doubt in my mind that these two women were friends, could actually be friends.
My issue wasn’t the actresses, though. Or the writing in general. My issue was with some big storytelling choices, and since I can’t go into them without giving you spoilers, I will just say what I can, which is this:
I wanted this to be one thing, and it wasn’t that. Doesn’t mean it won’t be your thing. Doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it. But, for a story about a friendship, Firefly Lane didn’t leave me feeling like I needed to call my best friend and tell her how much I love her, and that just feels like a missed opportunity.
Are you excited for Firefly Lane? Share with us in the comments below!
Firefly Lane will be available to stream on Netflix February 3rd.