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FIREFLY LANE - Descending into Soap Opera


Katherine Heigl. Have lusted after her for more than a decade. Put up with some of the dumber comedies on the planet because she starred in them. And have forgiven Ashton Kutcher for not having a chubby all the way through The Killers.

Ahem.

This is all a lead-in to disliking Firefly Lane, which is the latest virtue-signaling, box-checking, faux feminist gunk from Netflix. This is a testament to two big reasons (No. Not those.) I watch Firefly Lane, including the ennui-inducing ENDLESS second season. Ms. Heigl's spectacular figure is one. But more important is her tremendous sense of humor and generational comic gift.

Am at the age where the sense of humor trumps the beautiful body and face.

Yikes. Sad to say that.

Ms. Heigl (Tully Hart), and co-star Sarah Chalke (Kate Mularkey) are Pushing-Middle-Age BFFs. They have been friends since puberty.

Tully is the daughter of drug addict, "Cloud" (Beau Garrett). Tully bonds with Kate over a need for some stability in her life. A mother in and out of rehab ain't cutting it.

The series cuts between the modern day duo as they negotiate failed marriage(s)/relationships, career adjustments and disappointments, and an understanding of their adolescent selves. The first season was a sweet coming of age tale. Season Two (Way too many episodes) is what happens when box-checking feminism overrides any creative effort by the show runner. Firefly Lane collapses into itself in a self-inflicted combustion of betrayal, both real and imagined, career over friendship, and the obligatory breast cancer.

Heigl and Chalke are very good as Hart and Malarkey, as are their teenage counterparts, Alyssa Skovbye and Roan Curtis, respectively. The issue with Season Two is there is no need for it. The gags are microwaved. The conflict with Cloud is warmed over. The hunky boyfriends/ex-husbands are story wallpaper.

Katherine Heigl is a talented comic actress with the lineage of Carole Lombard and Judy Holiday. Why she's no longer apparent on the big screen, or wasted on the small screen is a mystery. Somewhere there is a script with her name on it, and let's pray for some karmic intervention to bring her to the entertainment fore again.

Netflix

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