Arts Reviews

TV Review: Dash And Lily

Amrit Virdi

Based on ‘Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares’ written by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, ‘Dash & Lily’ is a form of much needed escapism this Christmas which will leave you lost in a festive and romantic literary wonderland.

Along with a slew of Christmas films, Netflix graced us with this binge-worthy 8-episode show which is a great way to get yourself in the holiday spirit (whilst procrastinating your coursework of course). Set in the idyllic winter escape which is New York in December, the plot follows the budding romance between Dash (Austin Abrams) and Lily (Midori Francis), who, on the surface, could not be more different to each other, with one embracing the festive season whilst the other avoids it at all costs.

As an English student and book-lover myself, I loved the literary references and the series’ appreciation for the old-fashioned bookshop. It almost felt like you were being taken back in time; instead of using the internet and dating apps to find each other, the protagonists found love in a (somewhat) old-fashioned way. Choices by creator Joe Tracz and the executive producers, including some big names such as Nick Jonas, saw Dash and Lily communicating from a distance via red journals, which led to the characters going on a trip to remember around the glistening city, finding out more about each other every step of the way as their two worlds collided.

The series also sees good-girl Lily rebelling against her grandfather’s wishes as she explores a new world of romance and partying

The definition of a teen rom-com, the series has a great mixture of moments of humour and heartfelt romance, cleverly mixed with references to real-life family dynamics, including both the isolation which one may feel from family members as well as how family members can prove to be helpful. Lily’s brother Langston (Troy Iwata) gives Lily the idea to find her true love via a treasure-hunt style journal chase, whilst Dash’s father is encouraging him to get back with his ex-girlfriend Sofia (Keana Marie). The series also sees good-girl Lily rebelling against her grandfather’s wishes as she explores a new world of romance and partying. I personally would have liked the family dynamics to have been explored further, yet I understand that this is challenging in 8 episodes, and it potentially makes way for a season 2 next Christmas.

It has to be mentioned that the New York backdrop adds immensely to the festive atmosphere and warmth that the show offers. The moonlit, fairy-light adorned streets and the packed crowds of shoppers throughout the city being sung to by Christmas carollers as they went about their day replicated the festive hustle and bustle which we all miss, as Christmas in a pandemic takes this away from us.

A true form of escapism into the teen rom-com world, it’s definitely a way to get yourself into the holiday spirit

Whilst the coincidental nature of events becomes slightly tedious and there are moments in the series where you desperately want the characters to meet in real life, ‘Dash & Lily’ is a must-watch this Christmas. A true form of escapism into the teen rom-com world, it’s definitely a way to get yourself into the holiday spirit and distract yourself from the craziness of the world at the moment.

Amrit Virdi

Featured image courtesy of Mollie Sivaram via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

In article images courtesy of @dashandlilynetflix via Instagram. No changes were made to these images.

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