February just got a little more exciting—with a new Netflix release! Based on Kristin Hannah’s book of the same title, the new series Firefly Lane follows bestfriends Tully Hart (Katherine Heigl) and Kate Mularkey (Sarah Chalke) through their teenage years all the way into adulthood. In ten episodes, the drama showcases all of the ups and downs of best-friendship. Tully and Kate encounter many challenges in life, including divorce, alcoholism, drug addiction, miscarriage, and sexism in the workplace. It is realistic and honest, which helps viewers feel connected to the characters.
If you’re like me and have a hard time making it through a TV series, this one might actually keep you hooked. The way the story unfolds and the structure of alternating time periods in the plot will keep you glued to your screen for hours. The use of time proves just how strong Kate and Tully’s friendship is, as it evolves over three decades. The scenes switch back and forth between the characters’ teen years in the ‘70s, college life in the ‘80s, and adulthood in the mid-2000s. These seamless transitions coordinate memorable events, such as the ninth episode “You Say It’s Your Birthday?!” where we follow Tully’s birthday celebrations throughout her life. We are shown incomplete bits and pieces of Kate and Tully’s lives, making us want to continue watching to put together the puzzle. There are a ton of flashbacks, which allow us to make deeper connections between current and past relationships.
Tully and Kate meet during middle school in Seattle. The two neighbors, who live on a street called “Firefly Lane,” couldn’t be more different. At first, it’s shocking that these two would become inseparable, especially for the next 30 years of their lives.Tully is confident, cool, and outgoing. Meanwhile, Kate is quiet and gets made fun of at school. Kate’s innocence serves as a further contrast from Tully’s wild side. Tully brings Kate out of her shell, encouraging her to occasionally skip class to smoke weed or steal a pack of cigarettes from the corner store. Additionally, the two come from opposite households. Tully is an only child raised by a single mother–an aging flower child from the ‘60s–who is more interested in smoking pot and drinking than raising a child. Tully’s childhood and relationship with her mother is, imaginably, rocky. Tully is often embarrassed by her mom, and as a result, she becomes very independent. Kate’s family, however, appears to be unproblematic from the outside, but, as the story progresses, much is revealed about their own troubles. I don’t want to give too much away just yet!
Throughout adulthood, Tully and Kate continue to stick together, even though their lives are still vastly different. Tully becomes a superstar talk show host, while Kate is a stay-at-home mom. Kate’s marriage goes through some turbulence, and Tully deals with commitment issues and is nervous to settle down. Tully is extremely supportive of Kate throughout her marriage troubles, and is more than happy to drink a bottle of wine together and just hangout. Meanwhile, Kate encourages Tully to follow her heart and settle down towards the end of the series when she thinks she might’ve met the right man. Though they live dissimilar lives, Tully and Kate remain each other’s number one cheerleaders through it all.
As seen in an interview on Hoda Kotb’s and Jenna Bush Hager’s segment of the Today show, Katherine Heigl describes the series as honest, poignant, relatable, fun, and ultimately, a beautiful story of friendship. Tully and Kate epitomize the meaning of true friendship by supporting each other through both the brightest and the darkest moments of life despite their differences.
The relatable nature of Firefly Lane makes it attractive to a wide-ranging audience. The show appeals to adults, covering the troubles of marriage and divorce and younger people can find themselves relating to the nature of high school and college. With three decades of material to cover, audiences of many ages can connect with the show. Tully and Kate become sisters, and they seem to be able to overcome any fight… until the season finale. At a funeral, the two seem disgusted with each other. Kate arrives with her daughter, and the two engage in a nasty encounter with Tully, in which they tell her to leave. The finale is basically crying for a season two—there are so many unanswered questions. We are left wondering not only who died, but what could’ve possibly caused what looks like a traumatic turn in Kate and Tully’s seemingly unbreakable friendship.