“Firefly Lane” is Compelling, Intimate, and Thoroughly Enjoyable

Featured Image courtesy of Netflix

Firefly Lane is a wildly entertaining show with messages of friendship, love, and loyalty. Set in Seattle, this ten-episode Netflix original tells the story of Tully (Katherine Heigl) and Kate (Sarah Chalke), best friends that met in their teenage years and remained friends for over three decades. Each episode goes back and forth between different time periods in their lives, showing the pair go through relationships, family drama, and difficult situations. After getting some encouragement from Kate’s mother, Tully becomes determined to be the “next Jean Enerson”, Seattle’s first female newscaster. Viewers watch as Tully slowly works her way up in the entertainment and journalism industry until she hosts her own talk show, The Girlfriend Hour. Kate follows Tully’s lead for a while, working in the entertainment industry as well, before leaving her job to raise her daughter, Marah. As Kate deals with a divorce and raising a teenager, Tully finds issues in her talk show, finding it shallow and overproduced. Viewers watch Kate and Tully struggle with these issues and many more, staying loyal to each other all the while.

Tully Hart is dedicated, intelligent, and independant. I thought it was an interesting choice to make one of the main characters somewhat of a celebrity within the show, and I think the writers did a great job of portraying the way that fame isn’t always a good thing. I enjoyed watching Tully become more willing to be vulnerable in front of others throughout the series, and I think the show did a good job of indirectly saying that showing emotion doesn’t make you weak. 

Kate is kind, caring, and a little shy compared to Tully. Although she loves her daughter, she envies Tully’s life and wants to get back to work. Viewers watch her struggle to find a job she enjoys while continuing to raise her daughter mostly alone. She is also dealing with divorcing her husband, Johnny (Ben Larson), the producer of Tully’s talk show. I liked watching Kate become more vocal about what she wants in her life. I thought both characters had very interesting and realistically paced character development.

The acting was phenomenal. Viewers could feel every ounce of the exhaustion, pain, fear, and happiness the characters endured. I also thought the cinematography was fantastic. During the more emotional or dramatic scenes, the colors were sharper and there were quicker transitions between shots, while in the more mellow or happy scenes everything felt softer and calmer. I think the show did a good job of portraying the harmfulness of past trauma, and the way that situations from the past can still affect your mindset in the present. I enjoyed watching the contrasts between the two households and lifestyles the girls had growing up, and the way that they both wished for what the other had. It was a nice way to show that even if someone’s life looks perfect on the outside, there may be things they’re dealing with on the inside. I also thought the makeup artists did a great job relating the makeup looks to the characters. Tully always had a more glamorous look, while Kate had more minimal makeup. You could also tell through the makeup what age they were supposed to be whenever there was a transition to a different time in their lives.

Although the transitions between years were seamless, the extremely frequent switches could sometimes feel confusing or slightly overwhelming. A lot of information is given in every episode, which can sometimes be a little hard to keep track of. It was difficult to get worried about the fights the girls had when they were younger because the audience already knew they would end up friends again. It was also a little hard to grasp the struggle and uncertainty of moving up in an industry because viewers knew that Tully would end up with her own talk show. I also would have enjoyed hearing the perspectives of the side characters sometimes, although I do understand that the show is mainly about Tully and Kate.

Overall, I thought this show was a beautiful portrayal of loyalty and friendship. It’s a little rare to see such powerful bonds in TV without it being romantic, so it was refreshing to see such an intimate, genuine friendship. I recommend watching this show if you enjoy dramedies with close bonds such as Sweet Magnolias. It was a very entertaining and addicting series, and I can’t wait for another season.

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