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.
Freddie Prinze Jr. Is Back! Everything We Know About the ‘Christmas With You’ Heartthrob
Freddie Prinze Jr., the ’90s heartthrob, is back on our TV screens in Netflix’s newest holiday rom-com, Christmas With You.
In the film, Prinze Jr. stars as a Latino single father, Miguel Torres, who teaches music class at his daughter Cristina’s (Deja Monique Cruz) school when his path unexpectedly crosses with Angelina (Aimee Garcia), a burnt out popstar looking for her next Christmas hit.
The actor, who starred in hits like She’s All That and I Know What You Did Last Summer, admitted he felt pretty nervous getting back into the swing of things, but thankfully, it seems to be paying off as the film is being well-received by audiences for it’s heartwarming and important message.
And now, we’re answering some of your burning questions about the leading man!
What Ethnicity is Freddie Prinze Jr.?
Since Prinze Jr. stars as a Hispanic father, the question of his ethnicity has come up quite frequently. The star reportedly embraces his Latin ancestry as his paternal grandmother was Puerto Rican, from Boquerón, so he is fluent in Spanish. His mom is of Italian descent, along with German, English, and Irish.
Does Freddie Prinze Jr. Have Kids?
Prinze Jr. shares two children with his wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar—13-year-old Charlotte Grace Prinze and 10-year-old Rocky James Prinze.
In fact, the actor told TODAY that his return to acting has a lot to do with his daughter, stating, “My daughter has taken an interest in acting and performing, dance and things like that. So both my wife and I wanted to take a more active role to show her the way, so to speak, because we have very different processes (with) the way we deal with success and failure, rejection and acceptance and all those things.
“We wanted to give her an opportunity to see that it’s not just being famous, limousines and millions of dollars and all that. It requires a lot of sacrifice and a lot of hard work, time away from the people you love,” he added.
Freddie Prinze Jr. Age
Since many of us grew up watching Prinze Jr. in the ’90s and early ’00s, we still think of him as this teen actor, but the truth is that he is 46 years old.
Freddie Prinze Jr. Wife
As mentioned before, Prinze Jr. wed his Scooby-Doo co-star, Sarah Michelle Gellar, in 2002. In fact, the couple met on the set of 1997’s I Know What You Did Last Summer, but didn’t start dating until a few years later in 2000.
They recently celebrated their 20th anniversary together, with Gellar sharing a sweet photo from the nuptials in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on Instagram.
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Who Plays Freddie Prinze Jr.’s Love Interest on Christmas With You?
Aimee Garcia, best known for her role as Jamie Batista in Showtime’s Dexter, takes on the role of Prinze Jr.’s love interest and pop sensation Angelina Chavez Torres, who visits the small town where Prinze Jr’s character, Miguel, lives with his daughter, who is preparing for her quinceanera. Her big holiday wish? To meet the pop star who remains the only connection to her late mom.
Christmas With You is currently airing on Netflix.
Virgin River Season 4 Episode 1 Premiere Review – All Is Not Calm In This Scenic Town
All is not calm in this scenic town, but you already knew that?
However, if you didn’t know what to expect when Virgin River Season 4 returned to your screens, you probably didn’t anticipate the first episode to kick off with a very pregnant Mel walking with Jack. You assume you’re getting a glimpse of what’s to come, but suddenly, Mark, very much alive, comes their way as a debate erupts over who the father of the child actually is.
Thankfully, it’s just a nightmare (though, Mel might see it as a dream), and a peek into Jack’s current mental state when it comes to how he’s coping with the pregnancy news.
It doesn’t take long before the series dives right in where we left off dishing out the expected dose of drama, feel-good moments, and that gorgeous, picturesque scenery.
Mel and Jack arrive at the doctor’s office where she’s classified as a high-risk pregnancy because of her previous stillbirth. Jack continues to worry about Mel throughout the episode, which isn’t helping her since she doesn’t want to make a fuss about it. She informs him that when she was expecting with Mark, they did everything by the book and still lost a child, so her plan is just to live her life this time around and hope for the best. It’s not an easy thing to accept, but who can blame Mel for not wanting to worry when anything can go wrong regardless?
A new doctor blows into town, and since he’s a young, good-looking man, it stirs up a lot of gossip! Not only is Dr. Cameron Hayek a looker, but he’s also a great guy! But he’s no competition for Jack, even if the town’s people are hoping for some kind of love triangle strictly for their own entertainment.
Jack asks Mel not to tell her sister, Jo, about the baby as he wants to keep it a secret for a little longer, but Joey knows something is up when she calls Mel. When breaks the news to her, she informs her that she’s not sure who the father is. Either way, Joey is thrilled and knows this is what Mel has always wanted.
Jack continues to worry about Mel throughout the episode, which isn
Anette O’Toole is back as Hope, but this isn’t the snappy and spunky woman we’ve come to know. Hope is recovering from a traumatic accident that led to a brain injury, so she’s not feeling like herself. Everyone is kind of tip-toeing around her as she deals with her new reality, particularly when it comes to Lily. Hope asks Doc if Lily is mad at her because she’s not returning her calls. Her brain blocked out the information that Lily passed away, and Doc does his best to avoid the topic at all costs because he doesn’t want to inhibit her recovery in any way. When Lizzie volunteers to take care of Hope, she accidentally reveals that Lily is dead. Once she realizes Hope doesn’t know, she panics and calls Doc who comes to inform Hope that she knew about Lily’s death and was actually on her way to the funeral when she got into the accident.
As Doc deals mostly with Hope’s memory loss and recovery, he’s shocked to hear that there has been a young man looking for him claiming that he’s his grandfather. Obviously, since he had no children, he doesn’t really believe it. But at the end of the episode, Denny arrives on his doorstep and informs him that Rose Miller gave him Doc’s information. Doc recognizes Rose’s name immediately, but he also thought she died 49 years ago. The fact that he remembers how many years have passed means that she meant a great deal to him. Will Rose somehow be involved in the series?
Her appearance is brief, thankfully, but she does divulge that she’s expecting boys, a secret she’s conveniently keeping from Jack. I just feel bad for the kids because she clearly doesn’t value Jack as their father and is going to make being in their lives as hard for him as possible.
Preacher doesn’t have much action in the first episode, but considering the nature of his storyline, I’m sure it will change soon enough. He’s worried that he hasn’t heard back from the PI about Vince after he kidnapped Christopher. He considers taking the whole thing public but decides against it because he doesn’t want to spook Vince into hiding. Eventually, he’ll slip up and they’ll be able to find Christopher safe and sound. Hopefully.
Brady is in jail, which is quite a scary place to be when you’ve betrayed a whole gang and are responsible for the raid that landed them all in prison, including Jimmy. He keeps trying to reach out to Brie and even requested a bail hearing, but things are moving pretty slowly. Jack suggests that maybe Brady was framed. He notes that Brady is a lot of things, but dumb isn’t one of them, so the chances of him driving around with the gun in his Jeep are slim.
Brie goes on a job interview as she hopes to stay in Virgin River and make a life for herself here. After everything that transpired between Brady and Jack with the arrest, she chooses to ignore her former lover’s calls from prison. Will she eventually hear him out and let him explain his side of the story?
Hope is still in such a fragile place — how will she react to the news that Doc had a son and is a grandfather? Gossip travels fast in town, so it’s best if Doc tells her before she hears in the same way she found out about Lily.
Who do you think the father of Mel’s child is? It’s such a unique situation, and she’d likely be happy with either outcome. How will her pregnancy affect the storyline moving forward? Is the new doctor hitting on her or is he just super friendly?
Is Charmaine out of line? Will Brady survive in prison?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Stranger Things Season 4: Nancy Wheeler Owes It To Herself to Give Steve Harrington a Chance
It seems almost silly and trivial to prioritize romance when the world — specifically, Hawkins — is being taken over by a disturbed and power-hungry creature from the Upside Down, but it’s such a human emotion to value and champion love even in the darkest moments when everything looks bleak.
As Stranger Things continues to prove, love, in all of its shapes and forms, trumps hate every time. And Nancy and Steve? They love each other. They might not know it yet or simply aren’t ready to admit it, but there are some strong feelings there that deserve to be explored, especially in light of a possible end-of-the-world scenario. Ask yourself, if not now, when?
Stranger Things Season 4, through all of its darkness, found a light with Nancy and Steve. Hero hair aside, Steve underwent massive character growth from your stereotypical and shallow jock to a father figure, caretaker, and most importantly, a man who knows what he wants. Steve and his voluminous Herbal Essence commercial hair ran towards danger countless times for the greater good and for his friends. Steve’s emotional glow-up wasn’t lost on Nancy either, as she took notice on several occasions, and at times, found herself taken aback by his newfound maturity. As some people pointed out on Twitter, Season 4 Steve Harrington just hits different.
Yes, he’s portrayed as a ladies’ man, but on the inside, Steve is a softie with a mad crush and a dream of having a real relationship with the right one. He acknowledged the progress he’s made since season 1 and how much he’s grown in the swoon-worthy speech to Nancy that further drove him into heartthrob territory with audiences while proving to Nancy that those butterflies she’s been feeling whenever he looks at her aren’t just a result of an unexpected trip to the Upside Down. Steve Harrington told Nancy flat-out that he was to have six kids (six nuggets, to be exact) with her, and if that didn’t convince her that he’s top-notch boyfriend material, I honestly don’t know what would.
I wouldn’t have blamed them if they took advantage of the moment and used the “apocalypse” excuse to sneak in a passionate kiss, but that’s the other point — despite his desires, Steve never made a move on Nancy because he respects her and their friendship. He knows that she’s with Jonathan, and he’s not going to cross that line even if they might never get a chance to pursue these feelings again. At least not without Nancy making a move and giving him the go-ahead.
Deep down, Steve cares about Nancy as a friend. He proved it not just with words, but also with his actions as he stood by her when Vecna put her in a trance. He could’ve left the Upside Down at any point to save himself, but he would never leave her there. And, in turn, Nancy proved that she would risk it all for Steve when she jumped into the water and swam into the Upside Down to go after him. She’s always had a soft spot for Steve, but now that he’s become a man worthy of her, there’s no denying the attraction.
There’s also a love and understanding between them that has provided for a solid foundation that would be helpful if they were to pursue a romantic relationship.
Stranger Things benefited from the love triangle this season, in particular, as it kept tensions high and provided a personal escape for the characters, but it also cannot be dragged into the final battle. The bottom line is that Nancy and Jonathan can’t string each other along as Steve continues to pine Nancy — it’s not fair to any of their very deserving characters.
One might argue that Jonathan has always been the underdog so he deserves the girl, but even that’s starting to change as Steve grows into his own and figures out his real connection to Nancy that’s only intensifying as time goes on.
This brings me to Jonathan. I know it isn’t entirely his fault that he wasn’t by Nancy’s side when the fight against Vecna began, but it speaks volumes that he was on the other side of the world. The reason Mike was with Eleven when it mattered is because he willingly made the trip to go see her. Neither Nancy nor Jonathan chose to visit each other despite being apart for so long. The chance was there, but they both decided to stay put and deflect.
There was a time when Nancy and Jonathan were the right choice for each other, but there’s nothing left between them but a forced relationship that continues because it’s comfortable and safe. The spark between them barely has a pulse. When they were finally reunited at the end of the season, it didn’t seem like a romantic relationship but two friends who care about each other. And that’s the thing — they’ll likely always love each other and feel a connection through shared trauma, but they are not in love with each other anymore.
They aren’t on the same page anymore, no matter how much they hope to be. They want two different things out of life, but they’re refusing to come to terms with the fact that their paths are taking them in opposite directions. Nancy wants to excel in college and make something of herself, while Jonathan didn’t even apply. The worst part is that they both know that time is running out on their relationship, so they are avoiding the hard conversations. Neither of them has the heart to tell the other the truth.
Even if nothing happens between Nancy and Steve in the upcoming season, in the face of the unknown and a potential apocalypse, Nancy and Jonathan owe it to themselves to be honest about their feelings and go after what their hearts desire. I’m not sure what that is for Jonathan at the moment as he seems pretty lost about his future, but for Nancy, I think that definitely involves six little nuggets with Steve Harrington somewhere down the line.
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