REVIEW: ‘Firefly Lane,’ Season One

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Firefly Lane

Firefly Lane, one of Netflix’s newest original shows, was released earlier this month. The show is based on a novel of the same name by Kristin Hannah. The show follows best friends Tully (Katherine Heigl) and Kate (Sarah Chalke) as they navigate life together. Having met when they were both in 8th grade, Tully and Kate have been through everything together. With the show taking place throughout three different time periods, audiences see all that Tully and Kate can accomplish. In the present day, Tully is a respected news icon but struggles with her past when she starts to fall for someone unexpected. Kate is separating from her husband, Ryan (Ben Lawson), while maintaining her relationship with her daughter, Marah (Yael Yurman). Throughout the whole season, viewers see what lead these friends to the lives they live now and the hardships they’ve had to endure.

There was some excitement surrounding Heigel and Chalke’s pairing in a tv show together, especially since both of them had been part of separate popular medical shows. Being a part of the same series was an incredible idea since their chemistry together was fantastic. They were able to play as life-long best friends well without it ever feeling forced or unauthentic. It also helped that their friendship was shown across several different decades rather than just having it shown through a linear story. What also made their paring so great to watch was the different levels that it covers. In other words, every part of their friendship and how it works was shown. Whether it was the supportive moments or the moments that would most likely label the bond they share quite toxic, Heigel and Chalke’s character’s friendship was established well.

Tully was an interesting character to watch throughout the first season of Firefly Lane, especially because of the home she grew up in. A lot of what she experienced as a kid stays with her throughout her dream of becoming an icon in the world of journalism. What makes her character stand out more comes from a scene where Ryan talks to Kate about Tully. In the conversation, Ryan tells Kate that he can see everything that Tully is trying to hide and how sad she must be. While that statement doesn’t shine the best light on Ryan’s character, but the fact that he can see the pain that Tully carries shows how great of an actress Heigel is. She can play a character that hides her pain from the world but can’t hide it from those who know her. Looking at it more closely, Heigel plays two versions of the same character, which is incredible. I had almost forgotten how great of an actress she is after not watching anything she’s done in quite some time.

It was fantastic to watch Chalke’s character throughout the first season of Firefly Lane. Most of the character progression that she undergoes this season is her becoming her own person. That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t need Tully by her side, but Kate slowly gains the confidence to be herself. Her relationship with Ryan is a prime example of this, especially the many reasons that lead to them being in the process of getting a divorce. It was also rather interesting to see the moments where Kate judged her friendship with Tully. Being two vastly different people seemed to be something that Kate constantly had to deal with and all the consequences that brought. But the love and the bond formed with Tully was what kept them together. If the show gets renewed for a season two, the show can expand on the relationship that Kate has with her parents, especially after the major event that occurred in the second half of the season.

One of the few but major gripes that I had with the first season of Firefly Lane was the constant flashbacks between the show’s decades. The events of the first take place in 1974, the ’80s, and 2003. Under normal circumstances, flashback scenes wouldn’t necessarily be an issue. Popular shows like This Is Us have found a way to have episodes occur in different time periods. However, the continuity in Firefly Lane was tremendously disrupted by the constant flashbacks. Without any real warning, changes in the time period would occur in the episodes. To make matters worse, the constant changes didn’t seem to really have anything to do with what was going on with the story’s main plot. Had the episodes chosen one of two time periods to focus on, the overall story would’ve flowed better rather than feeling disjointed.

Other than the constant flashbacks, Firefly Lane’s first season was quite enjoyable. The friendship between Tully and Kate is the heart of the show, and its development never disappoints. The chemistry between Heigel and Chalke is tremendous, and it felt so natural to see them together. Both characters were complex while also being vastly different, which made their friendship work. Given how the season ended, it will be interesting to see where their friendship is taken if the show gets a second season.

Firefly Lane is now streaming on Netflix.

 

Firefly Lane Season 1
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

TL;DR

Other than the constant flashbacks, Firefly Lane’s first season was quite enjoyable. The friendship between Tully and Kate is the heart of the show, and its development never disappoints. The chemistry between Heigel and Chalke is tremendous, and it felt so natural to see them together. Both characters were complex while also being vastly different, which made their friendship work. Given how the season ended, it will be interesting to see where their friendship is taken if the show gets a second season.