Dash & Lily Review

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Emma Macintire

Although you can never get tired of your classic Hallmark Christmas and holiday movies, Netflix original Dash & Lily may provide you with a change of pace this holiday season.

Inspired by Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, written by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, Dash & Lily entails the adventures of two young teens, Dash and Lily, as they blindly converse with each other via a red notebook. Shawn Levy worked alongside executive producers Joe Tracz, Nick Jonas, and Brad Silberling to release 7 episodes, about thirty minutes each. The romantic comedy was released on November 10, 2020 and can be viewed on Netflix. For someone who loves a happy ending, Dash & Lily is worth the watch. 

Premise

As the weather grows cold and nights grow longer in New York City, Lily prepares for her favorite time of year, Christmas. Each year she waits in anticipation to surround herself with decorations, family, love, and caroling out in the snow for the holiday, but this year is different. This year, Lily’s holiday spirit is crushed.

She finds out her mother and father are taking an impromptu trip to Fiji and her grandfather to Florida, leaving her older brother and herself at home for Christmas. She wonders why anyone would ever want to be alone during the holidays, let alone Christmas. She dreads this year’s Christmas just as Dash has dreaded every Christmas since he was a kid.

This year, Dash tricks his divorced parents into thinking he is staying with the other, leaving him in his father’s penthouse all by himself. In contrast to Lily, Dash sees the idea of being alone for Christmas as one of the best gifts he could ever receive. Though Dash and Lily’s idea of Christmas spirit is far from identical, they do have one thing in common. Both of them often visit the same bookstore called The Strand.

Lily, in search of love during her loneliest Christmas, plants a red notebook in shelfs of The Strand with a riddle and a dare where Dash later ends up with it in his possession. He not only completes the dare but responds with one of his own, and so the adventure begins. From Grand Central Station to the smallest corners of the city, the notebook is an important connector between the two seventeen year olds as they push each other outside their comfort zones. Though they connect so well through the journal, what will happen if they were to ever meet in person? 

The Script

With each episode, not only do the main characters learn more about each other through the journal but the audience digs deep into both perspectives of Dash and Lily. We see what goes on in their lives and minds while being reminded that the only knowledge that Dash and Lily have of each other is through a little red notebook. The audience may be wondering: how will this journal idea even work out? What happens if the journal gets lost? The effortless flow of the storyline resolves any unanswered questions and may even spark some new ones on the way. It is important that the plot introduces so much of the characters background and personality while also paving some unexpected twists along the way. Though they may come as a surprise, it will leave you wanting more each minute. Overall, the execution of Dash and Lily’s story plays a large role in shaping Dash & Lily into what it is and why the show is so enjoyable. 

Acting

Austin Abrahms conveys Dash in a way that expresses his character’s sadistic personality, which contrast Lily’s optimism and joy, as depicted by Midori Francis. Their portrayals of these characters are juxtaposed throughout the series yet they both show a togetherness in their individuality. They differ from this version of “normal” in their society and the audience understands how this helps them connect to each other differently than they normally would with others. The audience can thank the incredible actors who successfully deliver this particular chemistry. 

Why Watch?

In the midst of a global pandemic, this series brings some much needed joy to the year. This show will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions but it is all worth it for the feel-good ending and much needed warmth this winter. If you have extra time or need a quick watch, consider adding Dash & Lily to your list.