On Feb. 3 Netflix released Firefly Lane, based on a book by Kristin Hannah. I’m a purist when it comes to my favorite books emerging onto the screen. I loved the Firefly Lane book. Like sat in my room and cried, love. I have liked all the Kristin Hannah books. Although they are often so long I find myself begging her to get on with it about 75% of the way through! I REALLY wanted to love the show.
I expected at least the first season on Netflix to somewhat follow the book’s storyline. And when I say somewhat, I mean the BIG parts of the storyline, but Tully is pregnant and Kate is getting a divorce? Nope. Not about that life. The beauty of the book (in my opinion) was the dichotomy between the two worlds these characters inhabited, that they represented the two worlds women are forced to choose between – career and no family or family and no career – And that they (as characters) could coexist together, be the best of friends. Maybe the writers were trying to “even everything out” and show that woman can be a little bit of both, but I don’t feel like it had as much impact.
Yes they did the trailer park scene, the bonfire scene, the scene where Cloud loses Tully at the protest, (kind of) the robbery scene, well, but I felt like those were only minor parts to the larger story. (and by no means am I trying to minimalize the rape scene and how it shaped Tully Hart)
They turned the love triangle with Kate, Tully and Johnny into a love square adding Mutt. I wasn’t quite sure that added much other than a delay of Kate and Johnny’s inevitably getting together. Then added another corner to the square with Travis. As much as I loved Travis (one of the better actors in the show, aside from Kate and Tully as teens) he didn’t belong there (because I’m a purist). And I felt so bad for him. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, inserted himself into shit, and Kate was either super freaking awkward with him or treated him like shit. Although I have not been through it I can imagine it’s hard to get back in the dating game while your child is in high school and being super judgmental. The voicemail scene was SUPER cringy. I did at times feel like Travis was asking for it – like dude – don’t tell this woman’s not-quite ex-husband where things are in his kitchen. It was unclear to me the original reason for the separation. Was it that Kate was being flirty with Travis via email or was it that Johnny announced he was leaving to report overseas and THEN Kate sought out companionship? Unclear.
What I appreciated in both the book and the show was that Tully and Kate talked through all their shit. Ok, maybe not right away, but they did and then they forgave each other. We are not perfect human beings. We make mistakes and it takes true, unconditional love to talk through it and forgive each other. Not only that but openness, trust and vulnerability to have those conversations and then subsequently make change. I have had too many friendships end and have NO clue why because the friend wouldn’t open up and tell me what I had done. Let’s PLEASE have tough conversations. That’s the only way we grow.
I loved the idea at the ending where Tully was the host of the show and Kate was the producer. But it also made me wonder if that was the inception of this fight between Kate and Tully at the end of the season. Are the writers going to work in the scene from the book where Tully is reporting while Johnny is in the hospital? Also, did the pre-departure “bone” (as Tully would put it), lead to the twins that are in the book? I guess we’ll have to wait until season two to see!