Laughing At Gilded Fireflies — Shakespeare in Firefly Lane on Netflix

My wife and I have reached that age where quality time together means binge-watching the latest show that all our friends are discussing. This explains how I ended up on Firefly Lane, a very, *very* girly story that tells us the life story of two best friends. It stars Katherine Heigl of “I remember her from Grey’s Anatomy” fame, and Sarah Chalke, who will forever be Elliot from Scrubs to me. It’s a very well-acted show (especially Elliot), but it is also one of the most cliche-ridden, predictable things I’ve ever seen, which is what probably made it tolerably entertaining for me. Scene after scene, I’d do some of the dialogue, only for that exact dialogue to come out of the screen 10 seconds later. (And I’m sure my wife found it equally entertaining, right? 🙂 )

So it was in this context that we find Kate (Chalke) and Tully (Heigl) in a flashback to their high school days, sitting in English class and debating whether “fake stories about fake people” are as interesting as “real stories with real people.” In the background, we see a chalkboard with “But soft what light through” marked out in iambic pentameter, and I note, “….and, there’s the obligatory Shakespeare. I wonder if there’ll be any more.”

But indeed, there is! We quickly learn that the English teacher – the young, hot English teacher – is going to have the class do Romeo and Juliet because, of course they are.

I’m not going to spoil a bunch, but I’ll post some funny observations. There turns out to be a good amount of Shakespeare content covering multiple episodes, including a play performance (though not much of one), There are people hurling quotes at each other outside play rehearsals, and there are callback quotes when they’re adults. There’s the obligatory “will the real-life romances in the story map to the Romeo and Juliet casting” story arc that ends up resolving in what I thought was a pleasantly surprising way.

You probably already know much of the story, anyway, just from my description. One friend is the nerd, who of course knows all the words and longs to be Juliet, while the other is the popular girl who could care less. Guess who gets to be Juliet? And did I mention that the English teacher is handsome? Start writing your own script, and you’ll probably be pretty close.

Anyway, it’s a good show, and if you’re looking for something to binge-watch, you might want to consider it. If the story of two women’s decades-long friendship (including all the ups, downs and dirty details) is something you or someone you love can get into.

Random Thoughts

Most of the budget seems to have gone into costumes. Lots of kids roaming around in nice costumes, but the actual stage we get is pretty bare (and we don’t get much time for them to actually use it).

The quotes they use randomly are not what you normally see. There are the typical highlights, but then random stuff that I don’t think I’ve ever heard in this context before. I don’t remember Marcia Brady talking about sharp sauce and sweet goose. The kicker is that they then give that line to the wrong person 🙂

None of it is particularly well acted, except perhaps for the obligatory scene where the hot teacher demonstrates how to do it and all the girls swoon.

Teacher: Come up on stage, show us how Juliet’s supposed to be done right.

Juliet <enters>

Me from couch: O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo…

Juliet: O Romeo, Romeo, where the f%^& are you, Romeo?


Kid hoping he’ll be cast as Romeo, talking to his friends in the hall: And at the end I get to stab my own guts out!

Me from the couch: NO YOU F*()&$ING DON’T!

I have a tendency to talk to the screen when I get passionate about things.

Juliet, rehearsing: Oh happy dagger, here is thy drops dagger

Dead Romeo: Ow.

I don’t know why I found that so funny, but I laughed myself silly.

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