This show was trending #1 in Australia on Netflix last week so I thought I’d give it a watch. There may be a few small spoilers in here but I’m not going to give away the whole plot or anything, so don’t stress…
I took a few notes as I was watching so I’m just going to refer back to those and expand. This isn’t like an all-encompassing review or anything, just a few observations.
So, the show basically follows the lives of Kate and Tully, two women who became childhood best friends and have constantly weaved their lives around each other’s since. Kate is played by Elliot from Scrubs. Tully is Katherine Heigl. For some reason they chose an Australian actor to play their boss at the news station they both end up working at (he’s actually a lot more than that but, as I said, I won’t spoil too much). He’s Frazer from neighbours circa 2006 (if anyone remembers back that far – I sure as hell don’t but I recognised his face and did a bit of a Google). He’s a little swoon-worthy but like, why do Aussie accents in American films always sound so gross? Is that how we actually sound? Or do they just make Aussie actors play up the drawl for the cameras? Anyway, he manages to sneak in a scene in a Maroons jersey to show he truly is a bona fide Aussie bloke so there’s that. IMDB says he was born in Bris so it may even be his actual jersey. Who knows. I thought it was a nice touch, either way.
This show was tricky for me. I’m not sure I love it, not sure I don’t love it. The concept itself is good and I can definitely see how it appeals to the masses (the drama alone is what pulled me in). Kate’s second-hand awkwardness is unbearable at times but I can relate to that on a personal level so it’s fine.
I think the biggest issue for me was that the show was spread across multiple time periods 1970s-2000s and they didn’t really pull off the ‘older actors playing their younger selves’ trick. Teenage Kate and Tully were played by younger actresses which was good. I think they cast those roles well and they both did a great job portraying the younger girls. When it came to their early 20s and even 30s though, they had Katherine Heigl and Elliot (yes, I know her name is Sarah Chalke in real life but she is Elliot to me) dressed up and made up to look as though they were that young, which, they clearly are not. Nothing against the way they look. They’re both stunning women, however, you can tell they’re not as young as they’re being portrayed to be in the flashback scenes (the hands are a big giveaway). It takes away from the realism a little.
Now, what does make Tully and Kate’s older lady to younger women transformations look impeccable is Tully’s mum. Throughout the film, she goes from being a teen to a middle aged woman, to an older woman and the old lady makeup just doesn’t cut it for me (no pic of her provided as I couldn’t find one online and can’t be bothered putting the show back on to take a screen shot, soz). Though I loved her portrayal of the character, I just couldn’t get past the overly-exaggerated painted on wrinkles.
I’m not 100% sure whether I stayed the full course for the story, for the characters or because I hate not knowing how things end. I guess I like it in the way that I like people watching. I could do it for hours on end but there’s no real point to it. Still, I guess I like it.
Oh, and another thing you need to know: the dog dies. Prepare yourself. I’m doing you a huge favour by telling you this in advance so you don’t get hit with it mid-show. I won’t tell you when or how, just know that it happens and it’s sad as hell (as it always is).
All in all, I can’t say I didn’t like it…because I binged the entire show over the span of a few days. I’ll probably look into reading the book at some stage. If you’re into soaps and emotional stories with hella drama, definitely give this one a crack.
If you’ve seen Firefly Lane (and/or read the book) what are your thoughts on it?