By Hope Guzzle
It’s November, so you know what that means; Merry fucking Christmas. Don’t worry; this article will not be the 700th published this month dedicated to bashing early yuletide joy. I actually believe Christmas begins October 1st; no, it will be bashing one Christmas show, Dash and Lily. This holiday-centric, teen rom-com is about two high schoolers who meet through a notebook found at The Strand. A show like this literally sounds like my dream. It contains my three favorite things: Christmas, New York City, and a super moody hot boy who thinks he’s edgy because he has read Vonnegut. And yet this program was one of the worst things I have seen on Netflix this year (and they put out Emily in Paris). Yes, you got that right, this vaguely edgy, Christmas-obsessed, wannabe New Yorker hated this show with a deep passion, and I am here to tell you exactly why.
Allow me to preface this article with a short set-up of the plot. In the first episode, we meet the show’s two protagonists: Dash, a wannabe Salinger with a white knight complex, and Lily, a girl who dresses like she is seventy and acts like she is seven. In this episode, Dash finds Lily’s red notebook in the stacks of The Strand (Yup. He finds one notebook in that huge ass bookstore.) and learns that she created a riddle for him to solve. Throughout the series, the two characters fall in love via that same red notebook despite not really knowing anything about one another because the spirit of Christmas makes them fall in love.
Yeah, I love The Christmas Prince and A Christmas Inheritance, and this series was too much for me. Don’t get me wrong, those movies are objectively way worse than this show, but this one just irked me. I think my main issue with it was that Dash and Lily are just wrong for each other. He is your standard NYU freshman who talks about socialism to get laid, and she basically admits that she has never expressed a negative feeling in her life. So I don’t think that I am insane for not seeing them as a perfect match. The show attempts to explain this away by saying you don’t always end up with your dream boy or girl, which is absolutely true, I’m not dating young Hugh Grant, but they did not make sense. The first time she reads his initial journal entry, she was mortified that he didn’t enjoy Christmas and her brother told her that she should put it back if there isn’t a spark because “love doesn’t work like that.” She should have listened.
Another issue with this series is how the show expresses its characters “trauma,” and I use the word trauma loosely. No offense, but if your biggest struggle is that your parents are divorced, or you were bullied in middle school, you have an amazing life. Like most people, I was bullied in middle school, and I would never dream of doing an improved, poetic public shaming exercise to tell them how I felt (that happened in this show). I know divorce is hard on kids. My parents are also divorced, and I am absolutely fine. Yet both of these characters act like these experiences are some of the hardest things a person could go through. Both Dash and Lily live in wonderful apartments in New York City and attend private schools; while that might not fix all of your problems, it sure gives you a nice advantage in life.
My final major issue with this show is the LGBTQ+ representation that the show attempts to offer. I say attempt because what we get instead is just a myriad of stereotypes. Of the three main LGBTQ+ in the show, one is a gay college student with major commitment issues, and the other is a literal man-hating lesbian. I felt like the main gay relationship in this show was so chaotic and erratic that it felt like a gay TV relationship from the 1990s. If you’re going to represent this community, do it well or don’t do it at all because you’ll be doing way more harm than help.
So yeah, I do not recommend this show in the slightest. It looks like Netflix has a pretty decent roster of shitty Christmas movies coming out this year. Please just watch one of those instead of this crap.