While it’s no Disney’s “Fa-La-La-Lidays,” Netflix’s new series “Dash & Lily” is a perfect holiday pick-me-up. The series was created by Joe Tracz and is an adaptation of the young adult book series “Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares,” written by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn.
The series, only eight episodes with about 30 minutes each, explores quite a unique Christmas love story between the two main characters: Dash, the cynic (Austin Abrams) and Lily, the cheerful holiday spirit (Midori Francis).
Much of their budding romance resides within the pages of a red notebook left by Lily at their local New York City bookstore. Lily makes the first move by leaving a set of clues for any teenage boy who picked up the notebook to figure out in order to play her game. Dash stumbles upon the notebook and goes to ridiculous lengths to figure out the hidden message Lily left behind. Once he does, they start the game.
Lily is an innocent 17-year-old girl who knows nothing about love or risk-taking. The whole notebook setup was her brother Langston’s (Troy Iwata) idea. Yet, once she meets Dash through the words he writes in her notebook, she is hooked. Throughout the entire series, the two get to know each other through the notebook, spilling their inner secrets and biggest fears. They challenge each other to step out of their comfort zones in order to find out clues to the other’s identity. Dash encourages Lily to believe in herself, and Lily leads Dash to believe in the magic of Christmas.
This love story is the typical “cynical boy meets hopeful girl” trope, but having the two fall for each other based on only their words and not their appearances really adds something special to the story. It makes the romance much more genuine.
While the series is mainly focused on the story of Dash and Lily, it also highlights themes of family and friendship. Each person’s family and friends become involved with the whole notebook escapade. There’s even some drama when two characters from the past show up and turn everything upside down.
Netflix watchers looking to curl up on their couches or beds with a cup of hot chocolate and watch a Christmas love story unfold should definitely check out “Dash & Lily.”