Series veterans Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke crew up for the primary time on the small display screen in “Firefly Lane,” based mostly on Kristin Hannah’s 2008 novel.
The 10-episode Netflix drama, tailored for the small display screen by Maggie Friedman, pinball-pings between the ’70s, ’80s and 2003 and will enchantment to followers of earnest, tug-at-your-heartstrings drama finessed by two acquainted TV faces.
The storyline is woven round BFFs Tully Hart (Heigl) and Kate Mularkey (Chalke), who meet as teenagers within the mid-’70s when Tully (Ali Skovbye) strikes to the show’s titular road together with her hippie/druggy irresponsible single mother Cloud (Beau Garrett), who’s continuously stoned and oblivious to her daughter’s wants.
Tully’s robust exterior masks a deeper, delicate facet, whereas bookish Kate (Roan Curtis) — who wears cruelly ginormous glasses — lives throughout the road together with her standard-issue sq. mother and father (Chelah Horsdal, Paul McGillion) and her secretly homosexual older brother, Sean (performed youthful by Quinn Lord and older Josh Mckinnon).
Kate is a good-natured soul, a socially awkward outsider who’s, by turns, repelled by and gravitationally drawn to Tully, who exposes her to a facet of life she may solely heretofore think about. They turn out to be quick buddies, bonding over their markedly totally different dwelling lives, a tragic secret and a shared love of small-town journey and escapism.
As the collection unwinds, we observe the arc of Tully and Kate’s friendship, which endures by means of highschool and past as they room collectively in faculty and enter the office. At this level, Heigl and Chalke take over and proceed within the Tully/Kate roles because the years progress. Life will throw them each curveballs of their romantic, skilled and private lives. Kate marries and has a daughter (Yael Yurman); Tully, decided to turn out to be a trailblazing TV anchor in Seattle, finally lives the dream in that be-careful what-you-wish-for form of method. Ben Lawson performs their romantic lightning-rod, Johnny Ryan, an Australian former struggle correspondent (with requisite stubble and pearly whites) who’s lowered to producing a softball native information program — and isn’t joyful about it.
I can not say how intently the characters and conditions in “Firefly Lane” adhere to Hannah’s novel (she’s a co-executive producer). The collection is entertaining sufficient in that angst-y form of method, with stable performances throughout, notably from Skovbye and Curtis because the youthful Tully and Kate. They’re very plausible as odd-couple opposites who respect what they discover in one another, and their performances are complemented by a pleasant on-screen chemistry.
Heigl and Chalke, with lengthy observe data in community drama, inherit the best-friends mantle and seesaw back-and-forth between their 20s and 40s alter-egos with aplomb, revealing the depths of their characters’ triumphs and tribulations. (Kudos to the show’s six-person make-up crew, costume designer Allisa Swanson and artwork director Kristina Lyne).
I would not name the collection binge-y in that “gotta see the subsequent episode — now!” form of method. It does get a bit repetitious at occasions, and its decades-jumping plotline, typically inside a single steady scene, might be jarring and complicated (wait, what 12 months is that?)
But if you happen to’re on the lookout for an fascinating place to go to, a stroll down “Firefly Lane” will do the trick.