Everywhere you look, there’s a holiday rom-com looking to fill your free-time during the holiday season.
And while there’s nothing wrong with indulging in some Hallmark and Lifetime movie magic – the predictable storylines offer a sense of warmth and comfort – if you’re hoping to break the mold and escape the “cheesiness factor,” there’s nothing better than Netflix’s heartfelt Dash and Lily.
The limited-series “romantic comedy” is based on the young adult book series of the same name, and was released in early November as part of the streamer’s early holiday rollout.
I initially skipped over it because I wasn’t ready to embrace the Christmas spirit before the Thanksgiving turkey was plopped into the oven, but as the weather became cooler and holidays drew nearer, I caved and found that it’s a whimsical and authentic story of finding love amidst the holiday rush.
There’s an innocence about the series that evokes feelings of endless possibilities – anything can happen if you just believe in the magic of Christmas.
But it isn’t as unrealistic as all the other rom-coms. The series trades in the small-town love story for New York’s festive backdrop and the overworked, grinchy adults for two teens looking for that fairytale romance… or at least someone who understands and accepts them.
The series doesn’t sugarcoat the reality that the holidays can definitely be lonely, and its titular stars are just two lost souls looking for their “other half.” It’s a realistic portrayal of two young adults who haven’t quite figured out life yet but have definitely been kicked down by it.
While Dash (Austin Abrams) and Lily (Midori Francis) may initially seem like your typical nerdy girl meets popular and brooding boy at first, but there’s nothing cliche about them; there’s more depth to these two that’s uncovered in the eight episode run, which interestingly enough offers both of their points of view.
Lily is a shy romantic who has had trouble fitting in and making friends because she’s “different,” while Dash is a cynical, self-proclaimed loner recovering from a breakup who is spending the holidays apart from his divorced parents. These characteristics could easily make them both insufferable, but instead, they straddle the line between awkward and genuine, which makes them and their experiences relatable to audience of all ages. In fact, it’s a welcome change to have the female protagonist as a girl who embraces her quirky and unique nature rather than one who conforms to societies standards.
Parts of the storyline may be predictable, but making this a series rather than a film allows Dash and Lily’s world to build on itself.
The duration of the series is perfect because it isn’t unnecessarily dragged out and yet provides just enough time to establish the characters and the connection they form via a notebook left behind at a bookstore. Even the supporting characters are fleshed out, have their own storylines that fit snuggly amidst the overall plot, and contribute to the action in some unexpected ways. Not only is the audience invested in what happens between Dash and Lily, but so are their friends and family members!
The plot builds on Lily’s challenge to the person who finds the notebook. Dash is up for the challenge and the duo begin a “pen pal” relationship in which they share dreams, desires, and dares passing the book back-and-forth to each other.
The goal of the series is to prove that it’s possible to fall in love with someone simply by establishing a genuine connection.
Of course, some tension is necessary and meeting in person proves to be a bit more difficult as the two wonder if the spark they have on paper might not carry over into real life.
Their insecurities get the best of them – which again is relatable no matter your age – and things get in the way of true love, as they always do, but eventually, love prevails.
As Macy’s and other retailers aim to sell you items you don’t need during the holiday season, the series aims to sell you an uplifting story of heartbreak and love with a dash (pun-intended) of tinsel. And unlike all those other purchases, this is one you won’t regret making… or watching.
Inventing Anna Series Premiere Review – Who the Hell Is Anna Delvey? (1×01)
From the creative mind of Shonda Rhimes comes Inventing Anna.
It’s the story of Anna Delvey that you’ve likely heard before, but with Shondaland’s exclusive twist on it.
Delvey, real name Anna Sorokin, was a faux socialite who scammed New York’s high society, including hotels, banks, Wall Street, and elite friends.
The Russian immigrant posed as a German heiress in an attempt to steal millions of dollars from the wealthy.
But despite having Sorokin’s name in the title, the first episode of the Netflix limited series hinges heavily on Vivian Kent, the ambitious journalist who landed the tell-all interview with Delvey.
Anna Chlumsky (who you might remember from the ’90s My Girl fame) is a powerhouse in the role as she sets her sights on Delvey/Sorokin (played by Ozark’s Julia Garner) in order to revive her career.
Kent has been banished to “Scriberia,” a corner of the office where she’s convinced journalists go to die. After coming upon Delvey’s upcoming trial, she sniffs out a case and tries to convince her bosses — Paul and Landon — to cover the story.
Unfortunately, neither of them seemed particularly moved by her spiel as they insist she covers the women of Wall Street’s #MeToo plight.
Kent, however, doesn’t feel compelled to bully these women into telling their stories for clickbait and pursues the Delvey story instead.
The more she digs, the less she knows.
Delvey is an enigma who seemingly crafted many personas while schmoozing with New York’s upper echelon.
Eventually, Kent is able to convince the editor of The Manhattan (the show’s New York magazine) to let her roll with the story.
It’s unclear why her editor, Paul, has it out for her, but the series seems to purposefully leave Kent’s background vague throughout the episode.
All we know is that something went wrong, a little boy was involved, Google will remember it forever (the internet never forgets), and that’s she’s desperate to revive her career, a feat she hopes to accomplish before she has her baby girl. When she realizes that it might not be possible, she has an entire breakdown at the gynecologist’s office during the ultrasound, which, as a woman trying to juggle a career and motherhood, is all too relatable.
And then — she gets the absolute motivation to convince Delvey to reject the plea deal being offered and fight for her reputation as well.
In an intense meeting where Kent levels with Delvey, she convinces her that she deserves to have her story told.
But that’s not what ultimately persuades Delvey. As a journalist, you want something from your subject, but in order to get it, you also have to know what your subject wants. So, in exchange for her story, Kent promises Delvey the one thing she wants more than anything: fame.
After all, Delvey herself claims that the persona she made up is a “masterpiece, bitches,” while the friends she conned note that she was a “legend” and “icon.”
In that pivotal scene, it seems as though Kent has fully tapped into why Delvey concocted her scheme in the first place. While she claims to be a businesswoman who wanted to secure a loan for an exclusive club she wanted to open up, Delvey was obsessed with the high life; the exclusivity of being an “it” girl.
Kent tapped into the vein fueling Delvey’s motivations this whole time — even from the depths of Rikers.
While the series is based on a true story, it’s definitely not an accurate depiction of what really happened, but that’s neither here nor there because the episode is wildly entertaining and keeps you hanging on to every single delusion Delvey divulges.
Much of Kent’s background — even if vague at times — is presented, while there’s just enough of Garner’s Delvey, with her intense accent, to hook you into coming back for more.
Though neither would admit it, Delvey and Kent have one thing in common — the need to prove themselves, which makes this profile something that’s in both of their best interests.
And it’s even in the interest of Delvey’s lawyer, Todd, who also wants to prove himself as an ADA.
Todd, played by Arian Moayed, is definitely battling some insecurity issues. He even tells his wife, a powerful attorney working at her father’s firm, that he feels inferior to many of their friends. He may be defending the world’s biggest con artist, but somehow, he’s the one feeling like a fraud while Delvey remains adamant she’s not the criminal they are painting her out to be.
At times, you almost feel for Delvey and start to believe her story, only to realize that her act is one big manipulation tactic. It also becomes harder to empathize with her when she calls Kent out for looking “very poor” and “very, very fat.” However, those moments paint a vivid photo of the kind of things Delvey prioritized, even while spending time in one of the most dangerous prisons.
All of this likely proves that Garner has nailed the role of the woman who was able to manipulate some of the smartest people in the city.
Of course, while much of the back-and-forth dance happens between Kent and Delvey, there’s an incredible supporting cast.
Todd faces off assistant DA Catherine McCaw played by Westworld’s Rebecca Henderson.
Rhimes takes care of her own as Scandal’s Katie Lowes and Jeff Perry; Lowes plays ex-Vanity Fair picture researcher and Delvey’s bestie Rachel DeLoache Williams, while Perry is Kent’s fellow journalist.
The Bold Type’s Alexis Floyd as Neff, an employee at the hotel Delvey stayed at who assists Kent with her story, while Orange Is the New Black’s Laverne Cox will appear as celebrity fitness trainer Kacy Duke.
Inventing Anna has all the makings of a Rhimes hit series, so strap in for the ride because from the looks of it, Delvey is just getting started as we take a peak behind the curtain to figure out what exactly led up to this very prison meeting.
And we can’t wait to see where Garner takes this role as the trial ramps up, which leaves all of NYC’s finest quaking in their boots.
After all, did you ever imagine that Ruth would become the moral heartbeat of Ozark?!
‘The Woman In the House’ – Everything You Need to Know About Kristen Bell’s New Thriller
Kristen Bell is known for her comedic chops, but she’s dabbling a new genre come 2022.
“The Good Place” actress will star as Anna in a dark comedy thriller on Netflix.
Here’s everything we know about the upcoming series “The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window.”
What’s It About?
The series focuses on the heartbroken lead who lives everyday the same way — staring out her window and watching life pass her by while she sips her wine.
All of that is flipped upside down when her handsome neighbor moves in across the street and she witnesses a murder… or does she? Does someone want her to forget? Did she imagine it? Are they the hallucinations?
We’re already totally invested.
Is there a Trailer?
YES! Glad you asked. The teaser is intoxicating and shows exactly why Bell was the right choice for the role!
Check it out below:
Who Else Is in the Series?
Well, there’s Bell. Other cast members include: Michael Ealy, Tom Riley, Mary Holland, Cameron Britton, Samsara Yett, Christina Anthony, and Benjamin Levy Aguilar.
When Does It Premiere?
The show hits Netflix on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022!
Is There Going to be a Second Season?
While it’s crafted as a limited-series that doesn’t necessarily mean that a second season is out of the question. After all, Big Little Lies was also a limited-series. Never say never!
WATCH: Christmas is Here Early With a Trailer for ‘The Princess Switch 3’
Oops… she’s doing it again!
The holiday season isn’t complete without Vanessa Hudgens, who is back once again for The Princess Switch 3.
Netflix has released the official trailer and from the looks of it, it’s going to be filled with comedy, romance, and yes, three different accents and voices all performed by the talented actress.
Check out the trailer below.
Hudgens is once again reprising her roles as Queen Margaret and Princess Stacy, with a new addition Fiona, the cousin.
After the special guest, the Vatican’s Star of Peace is stolen, the two royal lookalikes need to team up together to steal it back. In order to do so, they enlist the help of their cousin Fiona who is also identical to them. The three completely different personalities work together to safely bring back the missing treasure.
Alongside Hudgens, the cast includes Sam Palladio, Remy Hii, Nick Sagar, and Will Kemp.
Netflix will release The Princess Switch 3 on November 18th, so set your calendars!
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