July 24, 2021

Netflix’s ‘Dance of the Fireflies’ is a ‘This is us’ of friendship

Take a look at The fireflies dance On Netflix it means noticing a detail instantly: it is not part of the company’s first division productions, of which they can cost up to ten million per episode (here it reigns supreme). The Crown) but has a more modest budget. It would benefit from a raise, it’s true, but it makes sense for it to look like a decent weekend telefilm – you don’t need more to invoke a This Is Us focused on the friendship between two women.

The story of The fireflies dance (Firefly Lane in its original version) is that of Tully Hart (Katherine Heigl), daughter of an irresponsible hippie woman, and Kate Mularkey (Sarah Chalke), from a structured home but with its doses of problems, who have known each other since Tully moved to the neighborhood of Kate in her teens.

The argument

Tully and Kate met as teenagers and have been supporting and living in parallel for three decades: Tully more focused on her career and Kate on her family

They spend three decades together and supporting each other: from university where they study journalism to maturity where Tully drinks the honeys of professional success and Kate enters the world of work again after leaving it to care for a family that has ended in divorce. Compare the series with This is us It is almost inevitable: the drama travels through time, making parallels between past and present and looking for the root of the problems, their ways of being and the dynamics they have established.

It should come as no surprise that it fits this mold: Dan Fogelman’s family drama is America’s biggest free-to-air television success since it premiered in 2016 and has been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Drama three times (with Sterling K. Brown taking the statuette for the best leading actor). The strange thing would be that no series tried to tread the same terrain (and here it would also enter A million little things not so much for the structure but for the emphasis on the emotional).

There are flashbacks in which they sneak in (more or less) and others where no joke.

Netflix

And, if someone is looking for a series focused on worldly personal conflicts and a clear look at human relationships, The fireflies dance fulfills its functions. Maggie Friedman’s script is not exempt from falling into common places: Kate’s character is clumsy in a forced way (one thing is that she is not a star like Tully and the other is that every time she is in front of an unknown person she has than to make a fool of himself in the least expected way) and does not make us forget the convenience of the few characters that make up the plots.

The same can be said of elements such as the portrayal of Tully and Kate: Sarah Chalke and Katherine Heigl do not sneak into their university stages, where it might be worthwhile to win back the teenage actresses Ali Skovbye and Roan Curtis or look for new candidates (Skovbye, for true, it is a huge success like Heigl as a young man). Also distracting is the use of blurring the image in the past to rejuvenate the characters and sell the idea of ​​the past, especially when the plots of the present have such a functional photograph (a “let’s turn on all the lights and that’s it”). And, if one speaks of secondary, it is worth noting the little presence of all the actors (the level is very low).

Katherine Heigl, magnética.

Katherine Heigl, magnética.

Netflix

But does all this matter? Possibly not because The Dance of the Fireflies fulfills the fundamental thing: in making a mural about the relationship of the characters, moving in an always accessible terrain, and the friendship between Kate and Tully is bought. He has that production mentality for weekend afternoons: the kind you will forget but, if you are sitting on the couch, you will let the episodes go by one after the other.

And above all, this production serves as a reminder of the tremendous charisma of Katherine Heigl, who has a magnet for the camera even after Hollywood sidelined her a bit after her brief stint as queen of romantic comedy (with 27 dresses Y The crude reality).