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.
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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.
When Is Season 3 of ‘Ginny and Georgia’ Coming Out?
Ginny and Georgia centers on the heartwarming yet extremely complicated bond between a mother and her daughter after they put down roots in a New England town.
With so many compelling storylines and incredible characters of all ages, it’s no wonder that the coming-of-age drama has become a fan favorite among Netflix audiences.
The second season of Ginny and Georgia premiered on Jan. 5, 2023, which means that a third season is likely far off, especially considering Brianne Howey, who plays Georgia, just announced her first pregnancy, which will possibly delay filming.
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Of course, Netflix has to renew the series for a third season. As of March 28, 2023, it has not given the show a green light for additional episodes.
Fans shouldn’t be too worried, however, as a renewal is very likely considering the show’s performance, the rabid fan base, and the fact that season 3 ended on such a cliffhanger—Netflix knows that fans will be clamoring for another season to see how the situation resolves itself.
As for a premiere date, well, there isn’t one just yet. Until the series is renewed and production begins, it’s a bit too difficult to come up with a date for new episodes. The season could likely arrive in February 2024 if we’re looking at the previous premieres for both seasons 1 and 2, which both debuted at the start of 2021 and 2023, respectively.
But with Howey’s pregnancy thrown into the mix, that could delay things a bit, and it wouldn’t be the worst thing if the series returned during the summer when there’s a lull in content and fans are seeking out something to binge-watch and get invested in.
Either way, when Netflix makes an official decision, you’ll be the first to know as we’ll update this article accordingly!
Until then, you can gear up for the final season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Riverdale, and Firefly Lane!
Who Is Rhys Montrose on ‘YOU’ Season 4?
YOU Season 4 introduced a plethora of new characters as it revamped the series with a murder mystery format.
*Warning – stop reading if you haven’t finished YOU Season 4 – Spoilers Ahead *
The shakeup made sense considering Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) uprooted his life following the fiery events in Madre Linda that killed Love Quinn and started over in London, assuming the identity of Professor Jonathan Moore.
Rather quickly, he got pulled into an elite group thanks to his co-worker and neighbor, Malcolm Harding (Stephen Hagan), who was the season’s first victim. Joe/Jonathan naturally despised Malcolm’s group, though he did find Rhys Montrose (Ed Speleers), an author running for Mayor of London, to be a bit of a kindred spirit. They came from the same broken background and shared many of the same views.
As the first half of the season unraveled, Joe sought out advice from Rhys on a handful of occasions, engaging in plenty of long heart-to-hearts with him, so it was kind of shocking when it was revealed that Rhys, as audiences have come to know him, was never real.
Rhys Montrose existed, yes, but he was never friends with Joe, nor was he the Eat the Rich Killer. The version of Rhys that Joe bonded with was a hallucination conjured up by his subconscious to protect himself and eliminate his darker, more deranged thoughts.
For much of the season, we saw Joe desperately trying to set himself free from Rhys’ grasp. At first, he saw him as public enemy #1, who somehow figured out Joe’s real identity and roped him into a murder spree by threatening to frame him for the deaths if Joe refused to participate.
However, once Joe realized that Rhys was a figment of his imagination, he began to look for ways to silence the evil little voice forever, while also trying to figure out a plan to cover up the death of the real Rhys Montrose.
Joe was tasked with killing the mayoral candidate, who he assumed at the time was the Eat the Rich Killer, by Kate’s (Charlotte Ritchie) father, Tom Lockwood. When he arrived at Rhys’ secret countryside hideout and tied him up, he was infuriated that Rhys claimed not to know who he was, nor would he admit to kidnapping Marienne (Tati Gabrielle). Eventually, Joe’s rage and anger took over, and he “accidentally” killed Rhys, which is when fake Rhys showed up and revealed that Joe was having a semi-psychotic break.
In the end, Joe’s suicide attempt ensured that his hallucinations were forever gone, though he did embrace the darkness he was trying so hard to snuff out, making him more dangerous than ever.
As for the real Rhys Montrose’s killer, he pinned it all on poor Nadia (Amy-Leigh Hickman), a fan of Rhys’s from the beginning, who flew too close to the sun in her attempts to bring down Joe Goldberg. If only she just listened to Marienne’s advice.
A huge congrats to the YOU team for pulling off yet another jaw-dropping twist, and to both Badgley and Speleers for completely immersing themselves in their dual characters.
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Just when you thought you figured out where the season was headed, YOU pulls out the rug from under you yet again.
I’m definitely starting to feel the whiplash that Joe/Jonathan must be feeling right about now.
Things have gone from crazy to crazier rather quickly, as Rhys unveiled his true plan—along with how Joe is involved—while Joe came out victorious in front of the elite group once again, and all while a new suspect started piecing things together and realizing that Joe knows way more than he’s led on.
While Joe spent numerous hours trying to figure out a plan to get close to Rhys, Rhys just appeared at Joe’s place one night without so much as lifting a finger. Joe may think he’s the invisible one in the city, but for a man who’s so well-known and loved, Rhys seems to get around without anyone noticing.
And he made the rules of the game very clear—either Joe finds someone to frame for all the deaths or he goes down as the Eat-the-Rich killer, which isn’t exactly ideal. A little incentive goes a long way, so while Joe tried to distance himself initially, he couldn’t shake the desire for self-preservation and took the bait. He took the task rather seriously as it was either kill or be killed; he knew someone had to go down for it, but it had to be the right person.
With time running out, he genuinely began to consider Connie, but despite being an irrelevant character, he couldn’t justify pinning it on someone who was struggling with addiction and trying to turn their life around. Connie wasn’t a threat to anyone, except for maybe himself, so Joe couldn’t justify destroying his life.
But Dawn, well, she fell right into his lap. The few times we saw her snapping photos of the elite, and focusing on Joe–including when she spotted him at Rhys’ mayoral rally—I was convinced that she recognized him from his previous life. And that seems to be what the series wanted me to think so that they could pull a fast one on us because when Dawn pulled Phoebe aside to a “safe room” to keep her protected from the killer, it was revealed that Dawn was just an obsessive stalker who was connived that she was friends with the elite, Phoebe in particular. Dawn was a threat to a lot of people, so Joe took advantage of it. He framed her by planting Simon’s ear in her belongings, and since no one would ever believe a word she said over Phoebe’s accounts of what happened, Dawn couldn’t prove her innocence. Plus, she made an ideal suspect since she was at nearly every single event where a murder occurred as she was stalking the group. I mean, it couldn’t have been any more perfect if Joe had tried to plan it himself.
However, his heroics did raise some questions from Nadia, his student and the lover of all murder mysteries. She noticed that Jonathan seemed to be at the center of every single scenario, oftentimes being championed as a hero, though he’s not actually connected to any of these people in any meaningful way. It’s a dangerous thing to play detective, especially when you’re setting your sights on Joe Goldberg. Jonathan seems to like Nadia, but if she threatened him, I don’t think Joe would hesitate to take her down. Self-preservation is his M.O., remember?
Once Joe thought he finally got Rhys off of his back by framing Dawn, he decided to give into his desires and pursue a relationship with Kate. Honestly, Kate makes some really poor decisions, starting with just accepting Jonathan for who he is now and promising never to ask questions about his past. She wants someone to see her for who she is in the moment so badly that she’s letting logic take a backseat. Why would someone want to deny their past so badly unless they did something truly unforgivable? Kate wants to shed her past because of her connection to her father and she thinks that makes her and Jonathan equal, but they are not the same.
By the time she realizes the truth about who Joe is, it might be too late.
As for Rhys, did Joe think he was really going to get rid of him that easily? Rhys has always wanted a friend to help him get to the finish line so to speak. He believes that they are the same, so he wasn’t going to just let Joe slip away.
And while his motive wasn’t evident at first, he seems hellbent on taking out those who don’t deserve their success and wealth. The three victims, Malcolm, Simon, and Gemma, all threatened his mayoral run in some way, so they were taken care of, and now, he’s setting his sights on the ultimate villain–Kate’s father. She may have a complicated relationship with her tycoon dad, but I don’t think Kate would ever want to see anything bad happen to him, let alone at the hands of the man she’s in love with.
However, Rhys doesn’t seem to give Joe much of a choice as he still holds all of the cards. One might think that Joe could just handle this in the same way he always does, but well, you can’t just try to kill a killer. He’d see that coming from miles away. Joe needs to be strategic and deliberate in his plan, so for now, he has to play along. I, for one, am curious to see what all the hubbub is about Kate’s father–is he really as terrible as she makes him out to be?
As for Rhys, what is the catch? Fans were disappointed with the first half of the season since his reveal as the killer was obvious—and his motives, including his desire to kill Kate’s father–are exactly shocking or game-changing. What are we missing?
What did you think of the episode?
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