“Dash & Lily”
Rated: TV 14
Review by: Livi Edmonson
Starring relatively unknown actors Austin Abrams and Midori Francis, and based on the best-selling YA novel of the same name, “Dash & Lily” is Netflix’s new hit teen series that is perfect for your holiday binge-fest.
The plot revolves around two teens, a cynical, Scrooge-like guy, Dash (Abrams) and a cheery, quirky girl, Lily.
Lily leaves a red notebook full of mysterious clues and dares in a library one day, causing Dash to find the journal and play along. What follows is a non-stop adventure through New York City that will undoubtedly leave its audience in the Christmas spirit — which we all need this year. Right?
As someone who read this book when it came out but forgot everything about it, this “Dash & Lily” was a pleasant surprise, given that most critically-acclaimed books in this genre are either butchered after a television or film adaptation, or they end up being amazing — but there is never really an in-between.
This show is a rare case of a great adaptation. It was so great that I found myself watching all eight episodes in one sitting. The episodes are about 22 minutes long each, so it definitely is a quick binge. Not to mention that the show is lighthearted and fun, which is something we could all use this awful year.
The joyful playlist of Christmas songs, both traditional and renditions, completed the show for me. The picture-perfect setting of Christmastime in New York City, with many of its unique landmarks highlighted significantly throughout the series, is enough to make even the Grinch a fan of Christmas by the second episode.
These fresh-faced actors can also be praised for the success of this series. The show is by no means cheesy, but also cliché enough to impress the hopeless romantics or should I say, the Hallmark lovers. The script is excellently written to where every voiceover and scene feels effortless and not too forceful. After recent Netflix disasters like “Emily in Paris” that audiences either loved or hated, it is refreshing to watch a show that not only has a certified fresh score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes but also seems to be well-received by all audiences who have seen it thus far.
Although “Dash & Lily” feels whimsical and unrealistic at times, it’s a show that we all need to watch this time of year. Even if you do not necessarily quite fit into the target audience of the teen genre, if you like a good romantic comedy, then you will adore this show. At first glance, I thought this show would be a disappointing sap-fest, but instead, it ended up touching me in emotions that I didn’t know I had left this year. This was a rare case of “the adaptation was better” and while the story is not meant to have a sequel, under different circumstances this show would be renewed for a few more seasons. I give it a 9 out of 10 — it’s just what I needed this Christmas.