Dash and Lily: TV Show Review


Hayden MacDonald

Dash and Lily is Netflix’s newest Christmas show depicting the inciting love story of two star-crossed teenagers.

Hayden MacDonald, Photojournalist

Netflix’s newest holiday lineup consists of a brand new show, Dash and Lily. This show portrays two young teenagers in the heart of New York City who both end up alone during Christmas. Although they are both alone, they have two very different points of view on Christmas and the loneliness they are experiencing.

Lily, a high spirited and jolly teen, is left alone with her brother when her parents take a surprise trip to Fiji and her grandfather travels to Florida to meet his longtime girlfriend. To deal with her grief, she creates a caroling group with some of her adult friends. Unfortunately, due to her individuality and love of reading, she had been ousted by her fellow teenagers and left alone. 

Dash, in contrast, is a somber and cynical teenager who is left alone when his divorced parents believe him to be staying at the other’s house while he bounces back between the two empty houses. He believes that Christmas is superficial and believes the joy it brings people is a distraction from the sadness of their real lives.

The two main characters become connected when Dash finds a journal with clues that Lily placed at a local bookstore, The Strand. This journal contains clues like a treasure hunt around The Strand that tests Dash’s knowledge of literature and the bookstore. Each clue is for a word or phrase in a book in the strand that is necessary to solve a word puzzle. Lily is an avid reader and was motivated by her brother to enact this treasure hunt in order to find somebody right for her. Dash, an avid reader himself, is entranced by this challenge and completes one clue after another. Dash quickly navigates through each clue, but the last clue requires Dash to sing “River” by Joni Mitchell in front of the entire bookstore. This act of courage emphasizes Dash’s commitment to the challenge and this mystery girl who he has never met before. Once Dash finds all the clues, the message reads “Will you be alone on Christmas?” 

For weeks, they solely communicate through the red journal Lily first left at The Strand. They are both scared to meet each other in person for fear of being rejected by the other. This book holds their entire story and is a safe place for each to share their deepest feelings that they can’t share with people in their own lives.

Although they both share deeply different philosophies regarding life, as Lily being an optimist and Dash being a pessimist, they both have critical lessons to teach one another. Lily doesn’t have a lot of friends due to her exuberant personality. It is revealed in a later episode that in Middle School, Lily made friendship bracelets for every student in her class as a Christmas gift. At the end of the dance, she had found them all scattered across the floor as her classmates threw away the thoughtful gifts. In order to get her out of her comfort zone, Dash requires her to do dares in order to continue their back and forth game. 

In return, Lily forces Dash to experience Christmas through her eyes by having him complete Christmas themed challenges. One of these challenges forces him to sit on Santa’s lap at the famous New York Macy’s in order to find out Lily’s name. Leila Shook (12) found the character’s commitment to each other’s increasing dares “very romantic and brave.” They each went outside their comfort zone to show their commitment and faith in the other. Although they have never met before, they each begin to fall in love with the other through the little red book they share back and forth and the dares inside them.

In conclusion, I was able to binge this show in one weekend due to its short episodes and fascinating plot. If you are looking for a heartwarming Christmas TV show and appreciate great literature, this show is perfect for you. Dash and Lily emphasizes the magic of Christmas and inspires its audience to push past their own comfort zones this holiday season to find someone special in their own life. Even if it’s spending time with family and friends, it is important to tell the valued people in your life how much they mean to you.