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The Netflix series that puts Hallmark’s horrific holiday movies to shame

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“Dash & Lily” is the warm hug we deserve

In his heart, Dash and Lily is cruel mockery.

The Christmas-themed romantic comedy series, which premiered on Netflix this week and has already reached the top of its most popular list, is set in New York City over the holidays, a Before Times postcard reminding us of the magical spirit of the city at this time of year.

The coolest thing about me is how much I love the city at Christmas. I just used the word “magic” to describe it and I’m not even embarrassed. This year, we won’t experience that magic, thanks to the sewage geyser spewing throughout 2020, and it’s surprising how sad it makes me.

New York City at Christmas so charming and irresistibly romanticized Dash and Lily is perfect, because that’s just it: a romanticization. This reflects the sparkling, crisp, comfortable version, anything is possible – even falling in love! – unrealistic version we have in our heads. It’s such a pleasure to see that it’s also instantly heartbreaking. From the first image, Dash and Lily is an explosion of nostalgia for the New York vacation, and an exercise in rejoicing – rather than being tortured – at the bitterness about it.

Dash and Lily is based on the young adult book series Dash & Lily Book of Dares. Dash (played by Austin Abrams) is a Christmas Scrooge, a natural extension of his otherwise cynical personality. His divorced parents respectively abandon him during the holidays, so he crashes alone in his father’s bachelor apartment during the winter holidays.

Lily (played by Midori Francis), meanwhile, lives for Christmas. She is a cunning and enthusiastic 17 year old who can’t get along with kids her age and has no friends, which is why having her family totally embrace the holidays is such treat for her. This year, however, her parents have to travel, leaving Lily and her older brother Langston (Troy Iwata) on their own to create their own Christmas experience.

It’s Langston and her new boyfriend’s idea to help Lily come out of her shell – and maybe even meet a boy – by setting up a scavenger hunt of challenges in a red notebook and leaving him. in the Strand Bookstore. Dash finds the book and, intrigued, completes the challenges.

The two then become seductive pen pals, writing to each other throughout the book and setting up new challenges designed to help the other get out of their funks: Lily asks Dash to let go of her jaded exterior and to begin to sincerely embrace the sweetness of the world; Dash brings Lily out of her comfort zone and discovers that she is worthy of being trusted.

Everything is very cute. When I was describing the show to a few friends, they both audibly sighed and their faces relaxed into a serene smile when I just mentioned the phrase “pen pals”. Dash and Lily are so adorable that it’s no surprise that Netflix audiences are already devouring the series.

Not only does the famous Strand Bookstore play an important role in the show, but the characters travel by tube through the entire city and its landmarks, both touristy and local. They go to Think Coffee and Two Boots Pizza in the Village, Christmas land at Macy’s in Herald Square, costume warehouses on Broadway at Silvercup Studios in Queens, pie in Brooklyn, singing in Washington Square Park, getting drunk at McSorley’s Old Ale House.

You really want New York back then, when things were open and the streets were alive. Of course, these weren’t places I really frequented or activities I attended. But, oh, can’t wait to have that option!

The best thing about Dash and Lily That’s how much better he is than Santa’s trash bag that piles up on networks and streaming services this time of year.

I don’t quite understand how the craft industry of holiday-themed romances that span Hallmark and Lifetime’s 4 million days of Christmas – and now streaming services too – also imply that their downside is horrendous, to the point that that’s supposed to be part of the appeal.

I’m not sure all the people who sing about how addicted they are to this dreck’s marathons actually appreciate them, or if they just appreciate the fake personality trait that they adopt once a year as someone who love to watch a city girl. return to his rural hometown, fall in love with the pastry shop owner, and kiss exactly once, ad nauseum, for two consecutive months.

On the one hand, I’m a big believer in anything that keeps Lacey Chabert in a paid job – and if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times, The Princess Switch 2: changed again Star Vanessa Hudgens is the Eddie Murphy of our generation. But as a Christmas lover, it’s offensive to me that when there are so many well The Christmas movies, those cookie-cutter romances are the ones everyone is obsessed with. That’s why I’m so grateful for Dash and Lily!

He brings up everything so superficial and phoned about these other movies. It’s deviously deep; There’s a devastating arc revealing what occasional childhood bullying does to a person, even if it seems adjusted years later. Just as cruelty is unnecessary, sadness persists. And it’s deceptively funny. An instant icon: Lily’s wise aunt who remembers visiting McSorley’s “with Estelle Getty and the cast of Hair. “

It’s like New York in every way Emily in Paris doesn’t feel like I’m in Paris and looks like Christmas in all the ways I’m already devastated that I missed this year. These are nice people who deserve to be happy, to feel kindness when they need it, and to fall in love. It’s cute, people! We deserve it!

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