Thursday, December 3, 2020

Netflix Picks: Dash & Lily

It was the trailer that got to me. I discovered Dash & Lily while scrolling social media and the premise of this show had me hooked! I went looking for it on Netflix on the date that they said it would be coming out and watched it on the same day!

As excited as I was about watching it, I was disappointed to discover that Dash & Lily was a series and not the movie that I had expected. Fortunately, the show was only made up of eight episodes of less than thirty minutes each, so I managed to finish the entire thing in one sitting. It was still a significant amount of binge-watching time, but the episodes were entertaining enough that I did not notice the time.

A Christmas rom-com, the series is based on Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. One of the executive producers of the show is Nick Jonas, who does a cameo with his brothers near the end of the series. The series starts with Dash discovering a red book that dares him to do something he never would have done otherwise. From there it becomes a sort of scavenger hunt of dares between Dash and Lily that push both beyond their comfort zones, learning about themselves and each other in the process.

There were so many things that I loved about this series. I loved that the female lead is Asian, something that I am glad to see is becoming a thing now, with Crazy Rich Asians and To All the Boys I Loved Before having Asian female leads. I loved that the series featured new actors — not that they are newbies per se, but that they are not that established yet. That meant I would not be watching a celebrity play a role but I would see the character the actor is playing. The leads also have, oddly enough, good chemistry with each other even if they are hardly in any scenes together. The “kilig” is there even if they only end up face to face near the end of the series. I love how charming both the leads were, I'd love to see them in other movies in the future.

I enjoyed how this romance developed. Because the two characters did not know each other and had not seen each other before exchanging messages in the red book, they both let down their guard and said what was on their mind. I think the fact that they were unguarded and there were no pretenses was the reason why they had such witty banter in the book. It was this honesty between them that made them connect and I liked that. Now I know in this day and age of catfishing this is not exactly a safe way to meet someone, but I’d like to think that their story is the exception to the rule.

There were a lot of supporting characters from this series, but I think my favorite is Lily’s aunt, who she is named after. She seems to be living in a more glamorous home compared to the rest of the family and she seems to be estranged from everyone else for some reason but it was not explained fully in the show. I would be happy to see a show that was about her younger years and how she came to have the life that she was living at the time of the show. She just seems to be too interesting to be relegated to such a small role.

Even if the show was about a couple of high school kids finding love over the holidays, it was still a show that I enjoyed watching. It was a feel-good show that is perfect for the season. In this age where social media and self-image seems to be so important to today’s youth, watching two young people fall in love without the influence of that was refreshing to see. If you have the time, this is something worth watching.


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