Oakland — Christmas is right around the corner and there are a plethora of holiday-themed movies and TV shows to watch. But which one do you pick? Something with holiday magic or hope? And who doesn’t love a Rom-Com? No one. That’s who. If that’s the case for you, check out “Dash & Lily” — one of the most underrated Christmas series currently on Netflix.
The limited series checks all the boxes for that holiday feel-good viewing.
Unfolding in New York City during Christmas week, the eight-episode series tells the story of an aggressively sweet teen romance between Dash and Lily. Everything in this show won’t give you a toothache, but the writers did a good job with trying to balance emotions. And when it comes to Christmas, Lily and Dash are opposite ends. He’s not the biggest fan of the holiday. She loves the caroling, the family getting together and gift giving. Lily’s determined brightness is reflected and rewarded in all the holiday magic waiting around every corner.
But they both have two things in common — bookstores and wanting to fall in love. And this is where their story begins.
While most Gen Z are spending most of their time connecting (or not) through social media, Dash and Lily spend most of their romance getting to know each other through a red notebook. Dash discovers the notebook Lily planted in a bookstore with the title “Do You Dare … ?” Dash is intrigued because the notebook comes along a set of clues for an intrepid teenage boy to find and decode. Thus begins their flirting safely from a distance and the pair give each other elaborate “dares” to do throughout the city. Through the notebook they learn about each other, prove their commitment to the experiment and ultimately see the city from a different perspective.
This show reflects not only the romantic relationships that blossom during the holiday season but also the idea of Christmas being a sucky holiday or the best of the best holidays. The series also does a good job showcasing the spirit of Christmas in the city, which has rarely looked so bright, sparkly or promising as it does in “Dash & Lily.” New York is at its most gleaming and chaotic at this time of year as landmarks like Grand Central Station, The Strand and even the particularly festive neighborhood of Dyker Heights get moments in the spotlight. Each is bathed in an eternally warm glow.
As someone new to watching the show, get it now. It's no wonder why I see so many people on my feed talk about this show and how it's a ritual for them to watch every time this time of season rolls around. (OK. The movie is only three years old.) What I enjoyed most is how the show heavily used both sides of the same coin on why Christmas sucks but it's one of the best times of the year.
What’s the miracle? You have to check the show. It’ll totally be worth it.
Ana G. Valdes, (she/her) is an Oakland-based journalist who covers culture and entertainment, films and TV shows.
Edited by Nykeya Woods