‘Dash & Lily’ Bring the Magic Just in Time for the Holiday Season

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Published November 22, 2020
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The Montclarion
"Dash & Lily" premiered Nov. 10, 2020 on Netflix. Photo courtesy of Netflix

Warning: spoilers ahead.

Netflix’s latest original series, “Dash and Lily,” is an eight-episode romantic comedy that will undoubtedly put viewers in the Christmas spirit.

Shawn Levy of “Stranger Things” and Nick Jonas are the executive producers on the series which premiered on Nov. 10, 2020. The story is based on Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s book, “Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares.” It follows Dash, played by “Euphoria” actor Austin Abrams, and Lily, played by New Jersey-born actress Midori Francis.

While browsing the Strand Bookstore in the East Village of Manhattan, Dash comes across a red notebook filled with clues left by Lily. Intrigued by this, he decides to write back. Their messages to each other include dares to do different things around the city to step out of their comfort zones.

Dash, played by Austin Abrams, learns to enjoy the magic of Christmas. Photo courtesy of Netflix

Dash, played by Austin Abrams, learns to enjoy the magic of Christmas.
Photo courtesy of Netflix

Dash encourages Lily to go to an underground punk concert, while she pushes him to try the meticulous activity of making mochi. They spend most of the series communicating through the red notebook, leaving viewers at the edge of their seat until the pair finally meet in person.

The show can be classified as a cookie cutter love story, but that is the beauty in it. Viewers can take a step back and watch the characters slowly fall more in love with each other through each entry in the notebook. If you are someone who loves romantic comedies, this is the perfect feel-good series to binge watch with friends and a mug of hot chocolate.

Even for those who are not a fan of the romantic comedy genre, the magic of the holiday season is sure to get to you. If you have ever been to New York City during Christmas time, “Dash & Lily” presents the nostalgic feeling of a New York Christmas.

The scenes are filmed throughout various parts of the city. With images of Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park and Dyker Heights at Christmastime, the show’s aesthetic begins the countdown until it’s time to start putting up holiday decorations.

Lily (Midori Francis) writes to Dash in the red notebook.

Lily, played by Midori Francis, writes to Dash in the red notebook.
Photo courtesy of Netflix

Despite this, it does not take away from the complexity of the characters. Dash has a cynical view of the world and is often alone, as his divorced parents are not very involved in his life. On the other hand, Lily has a bubbly personality, spends most of her time reading and does not have friends her own age.

The story also highlights hardships that each character faced in their childhoods. The beauty in their relationship is the way they learn from each other’s differing personalities, as viewers get to watch them handle their problems in new ways and grow from them as a result.

Dash learns to see the magic of Christmas while coming to terms with his feelings, while Lily learns to take risks and discovers new outlets for her emotions.

Unlike many other shows, “Dash & Lily” also takes some time to focus on other supporting characters. Langston, played by Troy Iwata, is Lily’s older brother and has his own storyline, aside from helping his sister navigate her feelings. Each character goes through their own learning process that the audience can benefit from as well.

Dash’s best friend, Boomer, played by Dante Brown, is one of the most underrated characters. He always had his friend’s back through every tribulation, and hopefully more can be learned about his personal life if there happens to be a second season.

If there is anything that the viewers will leave this show thinking about, it is that taking risks for love is necessary. Everyone makes mistakes, but what is important is that we learn from them.

If the holiday magic and love story are not enough, maybe a special musical appearance by the Jonas Brothers in the final episode will convince you.

Overall, “Dash and Lily” is a heartwarming show that can easily be binge-watched in one night. Viewers can leave the show believing in love and that even during the times we feel most isolated, we are never truly alone.

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