Spoilers alert for S1 of Firefly Lane
Another day, another new Netflix series to binge.
Everyone seems to be talking about Firefly Lane, the newest Netflix series starring Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke, and fans can’t get enough of the emotion-filled drama. The first season has left us feeling heartbroken, whilst also extremely frustrated with the ending (what did Tully do??).
Firefly Lane, based on the best-selling novel by Kristin Hannah, was brought to the small screen on 3 February – with a few noticeable adjustments from the book which creates the exciting possibility of a second season. The show, which lasts ten episodes, is all about the Firefly Lane girls and their decades-long friendship. The short series is packed with love, emotion, and a whole lot of laughs.
Tully (Katherine Heigl) and Kate (Sarah Chalke) are two completely different people from the very beginning, but who nonetheless become inseparable throughout the years. Their story begins when Tully and her mother move into a house on Firefly Lane, a small countryside road with not much else around. This is where the two first meet and their friendship blossoms, hence why they call themselves the Firefly Lane girls.
Kate fits the nerdy stereotype and doesn’t have a lot of friends. She comes from a loving and on the surface happy home, but it is soon revealed that are some underlying issues with her parents. Tully, on the other hand, has an absent, drug-addicted mother and a very distressing childhood. Despite being polar opposites, after the two meet they go on a lifelong journey together – from boys to their journalism careers, they are never far from each other’s sides.
The evolution of Heigl’s character, Tully, is particularly emotional for the audience. After we witness her tragic upbringing, we see her go on to have her own TV show that makes her rich and famous like she always dreamed of. On the surface, Tully appears happy and she does an excellent job at keeping it together, but in reality, the audience is privy to her deep-rooted issues through the disturbing flashbacks that she experiences. However, although these flashbacks touch on extremely big issues such as addiction, sexual assault, and miscarriage, the show fails to focus on these and loses what could have been a poignant moment to make a proper impact on the audience. Alongside Tully’s storyline, we see Kate going through a tough divorce with Johnny (played by Ben Lawson) as he decides to leave his family to follow his dream as a war reporter.
Firefly Lane swings back and forth between several timelines which can cause some confusion and, in parts, is unnecessary. From teens to middle-aged women, some parts are hard to follow as the narrative jumps erratically between the 70s and 2000s. With that said, the soundtrack plays a key role in setting the scene for which decade they are in, and it does a surprisingly good job of this – from The Go-Go’s in the backdrop of the 80s college scenes, to Outkast bringing us back to the present day.
One point to note is that the storyline could have been improved by focusing more on the show’s hard-hitting issues, rather than showing us several pointless ‘Carol tries it’ scenes from their reporting days. With a series like this, viewers want to relate to the characters and feel their pain – instead, while Firefly Lane might bring a tear or two to your eye, it will not have you reaching for the tissues.
The last episode ties the series back together – leaving its audience shocked and in suspense awaiting series two. Snippets from the finale scene were teased throughout previous episodes building up to the cliff-hanger, leaving viewers slightly disappointed whilst also leaving us wanting more. This was another moment when the music in the series played a major role, as during the final scene ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ by INXS plays while Kate tells Tully she never wants to see her again – perhaps the title of the song suggests otherwise and hints at them making up in season 2.
Despite a few shortcomings, Firefly Lane excels at portraying the love and bonds of friendship that tie people together. In the midst of the current lockdown, that sentiment alone feels like what we need to get us through these long, dreary winter days.
Words by Codie Bullen
Support The Indiependent
We’re trying to raise £200 a month to help cover our operational costs. This includes our ‘Writer of the Month’ awards, where we recognise the amazing work produced by our contributor team. If you’ve enjoyed reading our site, we’d really appreciate it if you could donate to The Indiependent. Whether you can give £1 or £10, you’d be making a huge difference to our small team