Netflix unveiled a delightful assortment of Christmas treats with a few new movies and the first season of a charming romantic comedy. Netflix and other streaming services have seen a surge in activity due to increasing cases of coronavirus keeping people at home. The eight-episode first season of “Dash & Lily” stars Midori Francis and Austin Abrams as the titular Dash and Lily. The holiday treat will put you into the mood for Christmas and gets better with each episode as you get to know each of the main two characters. The first four episodes serve as an introduction to the characters with the episodes pushing a little more each time with their growing connection.

The new series is based on the books by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan with season one following events seen in “Dash & Lily's Book of Dares." The book is followed by two more entitled “Twelve Days of Dash & Lily” and “Mind the Gap, Dash & Lily.” The story follows Lily who is a teenage outsider that follows the beat of her own drum by making her own clothes, forming her own caroling group, and having this vibrant uplifting joy around the holidays. Dash is her opposite. Where Lily seems to love everything about Christmas, Dash seems to despise everything about it. One red notebook later and the two are challenging each other through messages left in various locations with each pushing the other a little outside their boxes to try new things, dare to dream bigger, and possibly fall headfirst into romance.

Be sure to include this delightful new series on your holiday watch list, along with other classic Christmas movies to stream.

'Dash & Lily' first four episodes review

The first episode focuses on the first half of "Dash & Lily" by introducing Dash (Austin Abrams) as it sets up his dislike of Christmas and how alone he is with each parent not in the picture (with each being away).

Then everything changes after he discovers a red notebook with a message from a mysterious girl who challenges him to a dare. He doesn't even know the mysterious girl's name but with a little encouragement from his best friend, he leaves his own message behind. His friendship with Boomer is a central part of his story as his friend is the only support system shown (as both of his parents aren't seen) and their dynamic provides a great deal of comic relief throughout each episode.

"Dash & Lily" kicks off with Dash, spending the whole episode from his perspective so you're following along as he discovers the notebook, takes his first dare, and you're wondering with him just who this mysterious girl is.

The second episode introduces Lily for the first time and, personally, is when I fell in love with "Dash & Lily" as Midori Francis who plays Lily with a charm that blends socially awkwardness, originality, a carefree spirit, and talkative and inquisitive nature. She's a character that has a true love for the holidays and has an infectious excitement from getting her own caroling group started to celebrating traditions with her family. All these plans come crashing down when her parents announce that they're leaving to go on the Honeymoon they never had and her grandfather decides to fly off to Florida to be with his lady friend which leaves Lily and her brother home alone, except even her brother has plans of his own with his new boyfriend Benny.

"Dash & Lily" stands out from other romantic holiday treats. Where other romcoms focus all their efforts on the love story, "Dash & Lily" channel this focus into getting to know the titular characters on an individual level, building up the relationship from each of their perspectives before the two ever meet.

The story of 'Dash & Lily' balances perspectives

"Dash & Lily" has a unique format in that it weaves between two perspectives, telling the beginning of this love story before the two ever meet. The love story is pushed second to the journeys of each of these characters as their connection allows this push between them that edges the two a little outside of their comfort zones to experience something new.

Lily is a reserved person that tends to be outside the typical social groups and Dash gives her a nudge to go to a rave and let down the walls that she's built around herself. Dash has shut out the holidays and this overall meaning of them so his first dare is Lily getting him to steal Santa's hat. The highs and lows they each experience are reflected through the entries they place within the notebook while their choice of dares reflects each of their personalities while also representing the journeys they need to go through. "Dash & Lily" Is an instant holiday classic with its creative approach to storytelling, a character-driven plot, and fresh addition to the holiday genre. It's a fresh addition to the streaming service's Christmas and holiday fare which will no doubt be included on future lists of best Christmas movies on Netflix.

'Dash & Lily' stars tease their show on Netflix

Austin Abrams recently shared, with Us Weekly, that he wasn't sure if Netflix would be picking up a second season of “Dash & Lily” but the actor seemed hopeful that a renewal was a possibility. He added that their chances seemed to be a conversation (between Netflix and showrunner). Executive Producer Joe Tracz teased to TVLine that while they still don't know an answer, "Dash & Lily" still had so much more story to tell about these characters and their world. The EP further teased for the fans that also love the books, that the third book was actually written on set during visits from David Levithan and Rachel Cohn who would work on chapters on the set.

Midori Francis shared with WhoWhatWear that she hardly acted with Abrams during the first season of “Dash & Lily” as they show is more about the study of two young people during the holidays and how this red notebook brought them together. A lesser-known fact about the actor is that she's also a writer, sharing her poetry and short stories online. She said it gives her a fantastic feeling whenever someone relates to what she's written while admitting that it's also scary to put stuff out there. Check out her works on her Instagram account and be sure to watch the first season of "Dash & Lily" on Netflix.

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