“Dash & Lily” Review

Story posted November 17, 2020 in Arts & Entertainment by Sarah Simpson.

The newest romantic comedy series on Netflix, “Dash & Lily,” is sure to inspire holiday cheer in its viewers. The series was released on the platform November 10th, 2020, just in time for the holiday season.

“Dash & Lily” was based on the book series, “Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares,” written by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Netflix ordered an adaptation of Cohn and Levithan’s series in October 2019.

The series follows two teenagers navigating the holiday season in New York City. Dash and Lily begin writing to each other in a notebook that they pass back and forth in various locations throughout the city, despite having never met each other in person.

They develop a romance as they share personal details about their lives and dare each other to try new things.

The series consists of eight episodes that are between 23 and 27 minutes each. Each episode follows Dash, Lily or both as they exchange messages throughout the holiday season.

Austin Abrams stars as the cynical, rebellious “Dash” while Midori Francis plays the curious, cheerful “Lily.” The two actors have incredible chemistry throughout the series, despite not meeting face-to-face for the first several episodes.

Other standout performances include Dante Brown as Dash’s best friend “Boomer,” Troy Iwata as Lily’s brother “Langston,” Keana Marie as Dash’s ex-girlfriend “Sofia,” James Saito as Lily’s grandfather “Arthur” and Jodi Long as “Ms. Basil E.,” Lily’s godmother.

The series tackles a lot of important issues that today’s teenagers face. Both Dash and Lily struggle to handle complicated conflicts with their families, which are elevated by the holiday season. Lily also deals with the impact bullying had on her childhood while Dash struggles to move on from a past relationship.

“Dash & Lily” was created by Joe Tracz, who also serves as showrunner, writer and executive producer for the series. He brought on five additional executive producers to work on “Dash & Lily,” one of which is popstar Nick Jonas.

His popular musical group, the “Jonas Brothers”, makes a cameo appearance in the final episode of the series, performing at a New Year’s Eve party.

The music featured in “Dash & Lily” is cheerful and fun. The series features upbeat, modern holiday music that sets the tone perfectly. “Dash & Lily” was scored by Dan the Automator, who is a well-known record producer and DJ. In addition to “Dash & Lily,” he has also created original scores for projects such as “Booksmart,” “Holidate” and “Broken Bread.”

The cinematography of the series is unique and beautiful. “Dash & Lily” cinematographer Eric Treml did an incredible job of depicting city life during the holidays.

Another incredible aspect of “Dash & Lily” is the main characters’ several serendipitous meetings before finally meeting formally. There are instances where Dash will pass by Lily in public or they end up at the same party.

This is a nod to the magic of the holiday season and shows how these two teenagers were destined to come together despite living in a huge city.

“Dash & Lily” has received mostly positive reviews from critics so far. The series has an average rating of 7.67/10 on Rotten Tomatoes and 80/100 on Metacritic.

Overall, “Dash & Lily” is an inspiring, endearing series to watch around the holiday season. The two main characters are dynamic and learn many lessons throughout the series. “Dash & Lily” will remind audiences of the magic of the holiday season and the power of love.

Rating: 4/5

Sarah Simpson is a junior studying film-video. To contact her, email sus816@psu.edu.