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Mayor delivers the laughs

Series veterans Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke team up for the first time on the small screen in “Firefly Lane,” based on Kristin Hannah’s 2008 novel.

The 10-episode Netflix drama, adapted for the small screen by Maggie Friedman, pinball-pings between the ’70s, ’80s and 2003 and will appeal to fans of earnest, tug-at-your-heartstrings drama finessed by two familiar TV faces.

The storyline is woven around BFFs Tully Hart (Heigl) and Kate Mularkey (Chalke), who meet as teens in the mid-’70s when Tully (Ali Skovbye) moves to the show’s titular street with her hippie/druggy irresponsible single mom Cloud (Beau Garrett), who’s constantly stoned and oblivious to her daughter’s needs.

Tully’s tough exterior masks a deeper, sensitive side, while bookish Kate (Roan Curtis) — who wears cruelly ginormous glasses — lives across the street with her standard-issue square parents (Chelah Horsdal, Paul McGillion) and her secretly gay older brother, Sean (played younger by Quinn Lord and older Josh Mckinnon).

Kate is a good-natured soul, a socially awkward outsider who is, by turns, repelled by and gravitationally drawn to Tully, who exposes her to a side of life she could only heretofore imagine. They become fast friends, bonding over their markedly different home lives, a tragic secret and a shared love of small-town adventure and escapism.

Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke team up for the first time on the small screen in “Firefly Lane.”COURTESY OF NETFLIX

As the series unwinds, we track the arc of Tully and Kate’s friendship, which endures through high school and beyond as they room together in college and enter the workplace. At this point, Heigl and Chalke take over and continue in the Tully/Kate roles as the years progress. Life will throw them both curveballs in their romantic, professional and personal lives. Kate marries and has a daughter (Yael Yurman); Tully, determined to become a trailblazing TV anchor in Seattle, eventually lives the dream in that be-careful what-you-wish-for kind of way. Ben Lawson plays their romantic lightning-rod, Johnny Ryan, an Australian former war correspondent (with requisite stubble and pearly whites) who’s reduced to producing a softball local news program — and is not happy about it.

I can’t say how closely the characters and situations in “Firefly Lane” adhere to Hannah’s novel (she’s a co-executive producer). The series is entertaining enough in that angst-y kind of way, with solid performances all around, particularly from Skovbye and Curtis as the younger Tully and Kate. They’re very believable as odd-couple opposites who appreciate what they find in each other, and their performances are complemented by a nice on-screen chemistry.

“Firefly Lane” is based on Kristin Hannah’s 2008 novel.COURTESY OF NETFLIX

Heigl and Chalke, with long track records in network drama, inherit the best-friends mantle and seesaw back-and-forth between their 20s and 40s alter-egos with aplomb, revealing the depths of their characters’ triumphs and tribulations. (Kudos to the show’s six-person makeup team, costume designer Allisa Swanson and art director Kristina Lyne).

I wouldn’t call the series binge-y in that “gotta see the next episode — now!” kind of way. It does get a bit repetitious at times, and its decades-jumping plotline, often within a single continuous scene, can be jarring and confusing (wait, what year is that?)

But if you’re looking for an interesting place to visit, a stroll down “Firefly Lane” will do the trick.

Filed under Ali Skovbye ,  Ben Lawson ,  dramas ,  katherine heigl ,  netflix originals ,  Roan Curtis ,  Sarah Chalke ,  what to watch ,  2/23/21

News Source: New York Post

Tags: search dramas katherine heigl netflix originals sarah chalke what to watch to the show’s the show’s street their romantic netflix drama firefly lane between kind of way

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Kate Garraway to open up about husband’s heart-wrenching Covid battle in new TV show Finding Derek

KATE Garraway will open up about her husband's battle with coronavirus in a new ITV show, Finding Derek.

In a special one-off documentary, the Good Morning Britain presenter will offer intimate insight into coping with the impact of Covid-19 as Derek Draper remains seriously ill a year on from contracting the virus. 

3Kate Garraway has a new TV show out about her husband's Covid battleCredit: Rex Features

Kate's unflinching account of her family's trauma over the last 12 months will be laid bare in front of the cameras.

She will also meet survivors of the disease and discuss the long-term effects of the virus.

Whilst Derek has beaten Covid, he's been unable to gain consciousness from his induced coma and is still in intensive care a year after catching the virus.

He remains in a critical condition and is now the UK's longest surviving Covid-19 inpatient.

3Derek Draper with his wife Kate in 2019Credit: Rex Features

Announcing ITV's spring schedule, channel director Kevin Lygo said: “In Factual, Kate Garraway will open up about the challenging year for her family."

Kate's new show follows the release of her new book, The Power of Hope.

It's being published by Transworld, with Kate writing about the devastating impact Covid continues to have on Derek and their two kids Billy and Darcey.

The 53-year-old presenter said: “This virus has impacted every single one of us.

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"By telling the story of Derek’s illness and how it has altered our lives, I hope to be able to reach out to others who are suffering.

“If writing about my experience of facing fear, coping day to day with an uncertain future and finding streng­th for the sake of my kids can in some way help another who is feeling lost or in despair, it will mean a lot.”

Kate Garraway reveals she still 'can't see or visit' Derek Draper in hospital as Frank Bruno sends his best wishes to seriously ill husband

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