“Dash & Lily is neither clumsy nor cheap-looking. The show’s saccharine candy shell soon melts to reveal a richer emotional core,” says Robyn Bahr of the Hollywood Reporter. (Photo Credit: Chloe Mintz/ Achona Online)
“Dash & Lily is neither clumsy nor cheap-looking. The show’s saccharine candy shell soon melts to reveal a richer emotional core,” says Robyn Bahr of the Hollywood Reporter.

Photo Credit: Chloe Mintz/ Achona Online

A Series Review: Netflix’s Dash & Lily

December 11, 2020

“Are you going to be alone on Christmas?”

Most unfortunately.

If I’m being honest, and I always try to be, I am terribly and utterly romantic— and quite the holiday enthusiast. A rather unlikely pairing in the midst of a global pandemic. 

Neighborhoods are void of carolers, Santa Claus is a public health hazard, and holiday festivities are to take place via Zoom. 

Honestly, “romantic” ought to be replaced with “blue.”

Enter “Dash & Lily.” (Shot pre-Covid).

“Dash & Lily” premiered November 10, 2020 via streaming service Netflix. Austin Abrams (of “Chemical Hearts”) and Midori Francis (of “Ocean’s 8”) portray the series’ titular characters respectively. The eight-part series is based upon the novel “Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares” dually composed by New York Times bestselling authors David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. 

The series opens amongst the beloved shelves of New York’s very own, The Strand. Gentle music plays, and Lily’s monologue commences:

“Imagine this. You’re in your favorite bookstore, scanning the shelf where your favorite books reside, and there, nestled between the familiar spines, sits a red notebook.”

The scene cuts, the stillness of the emporium bandied for the vibrance of the city, and the camera focuses upon Dash: our antihero; our Grinch.

Emerging from the Union Square Subway Tunnel, he scrutinizes the hustle and bustle of the season. 

“It’s the most detestable time of the year,” Dash bemoans (internally). “The forced cheer. The frenzied crowds. And, of course, the couples naive enough to mistake holiday spirit for being in love. I made that mistake once, too.”

In an attempt to evade such spirit, Dash seeks solace within the comfort of The Strand— only to stumble upon (much to his chagrin) a lonesome red notebook. The neat script of “Do you dare?” (presumably belonging to Lily) etched into its leather. 

Of course. Dash dares. 

Via notebook, Dash and Lily exchange dares, confide secrets and traverse the city (all while unaware of the other’s true identity). Yet, as both Dash and Lily grow increasingly fond of the other, the pair cannot help but wonder if there is more to their relationship than what meets the page. 

I cannot vouch for the series accuracy comparative to its novel, yet I can promise the three or so hours one must spare to complete the eight episodes are three or so hours well spent.

“It was a really cute show,” says Lola Accardi (‘21). “I liked how it drew on two different storylines that would eventually intertwine. I also really liked seeing all the different places in New York City where it was shot.”

Not quite sold? Nick Jonas is an executive producer of the series. And his theatrical career did not culminate with the final installment of “Camp Rock”. 

“Dash & Lily” is an incredibly heartfelt watch and ought to be streamed on loop throughout the holidays.

Go ahead, I dare you.

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