Netflix’s “Firefly Lane” provides viewers a candid look into the lives of two childhood best friends, Tully (Katherine Heigl) and Kate (Sarah Chalke). The two when they are 14 years old and embark on a friendship spanning three-decades into their 40s. The series is based on the New York Times Bestselling novel by Kristen Hannah, who is known for crafting endearing characters that find their way into the hearts and minds of readers.
Described by Netflix as a romantic television drama that is sentimental, heartfelt and intimate, “Firefly Lane” also reveals that there are always secrets hidden beneath surface — ones that can come to define you in adulthood.
The first episode starts off during the summer of 1974, as Kate finds herself at the bottom of the social pyramid, while Tully is facing her own troubles dealing with a turbulent home life. Much to Kate’s surprise, Tully, who quickly rises in popularity at her new school, moves in across the street and befriends Kate. Although they are polar opposites, the two girls make a pact to be best friends forever and become inseparable as they navigate the messy waters of middle school, high school and their adult lives.
As children, both Tully and Kate dream of becoming journalists. However, Tully finds more success in this field and is able to live out both of their dreams through her talk show “The Girlfriend Hour.” Kate, on the other hand, has been dealt a more difficult hand in life and constantly finds herself in the shadow of her best friend. She struggles to cope with a divorce while raising a rebellious teenage daughter and trying to find a new job.
Each episode travels across three separate timelines and takes viewers through a complicated, yet remarkably relatable, set of events about the highs and lows of growing up alongside your best friend. The story weaves through a somewhat predictable set of events, with Tully serving as the extroverted, outspoken friend who always finds her way into the spotlight, whereas Kate falls into the background and can never seem to catch up to Tully. Despite the mainstream plot, “Firefly Lane” features a solid cast of characters and span of events that fans of romance and television drama will find appealing.
The show definitely demands your full attention as it jumps between various time periods in Tully and Kate’s life, while introducing new characters with little to no warning. Some might find this to be a fault, as it is easy to become confused or lose track. However, for viewers who watch closely, the flashbacks to their childhoods offer the ability to learn about the characters’ pasts and gain a better understanding of what led them to their current situations.
Heigl and Chalke’s on-screen chemistry helps transform “Firefly Lane” into a heartfelt drama that details the lives of two childhood best friends, each with their own set of baggage. Through divorces, having kids, finding fame and more, Tully and Kate’s promise they made during the summer of 1974 to be best friends remains a constant and enduring part of both of their lives.