One of the latest successes achieved by Netflix has been ‘The Dance of the Fireflies’, an adaptation of the homonymous novel by Kristin Hannah published in 2008 in which it explores the friendship between two very different women. With the additional hook of having in their leading roles with the participation of Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke, the series has led the list of the most viewed on the platform for several days and it will be strange that its renewal for a second season is not announced sooner or later.
For my part, I have to confess that ‘The fireflies dance’ was not a series that attracted me too much, because it gave the feeling of trusting more than necessary in the good work of its two protagonists, something that has been confirmed when I I have encouraged you to give it a try. And it is that in the end the chemistry between Heigl and Chalke is the best of a ragged proposition, where the negative prevails more than the positive and that he never manages to fully squeeze the ideas he explores.
A curious structure
Perhaps the greatest distinguishing feature of ‘The Dance of the Fireflies’ is in the fact that there are constant time jumps to explore the friendship between Tully (Heigl) and Kate (Chalke) in different reasons in their lives, thus covering from the moment they met in the 70s to the present in the series, set in 2003. It’s a change from to the linear structure of the book and interesting to avoid repeating itself, giving a greater variety to the story by connecting with each other what happens at one time with another.
It’s also a solution that the series doesn’t take full advantage of for two main reasons. The first is that never really delves into any of the topics it presents, not even in the most dramatic aspects called to leave an indelible mark on its protagonists. This may change as the episodes progress, but after the fourth chapter I concluded that ‘The Dance of the Fireflies’ was not a series for me, because in the end everything was too conventional without there being at least some element that helped me to trust in the possibility that the series really grows.
From the fact that the traumas that you present are too common places and that you do not get a really stimulating turn Until simply the scripts of the series are not a big deal, either because they do not openly decide on a clear approach – in the dramatic they lack emotional intensity and when they bet on something lighter they do not want to do it too much in case that unbalances a series that He never finds a clear tone for what he is proposing.
More shadows than lights
Another aspect that is out of place in the time jumps of the series is that those in charge know very well that many people are going to see ‘The dance of the fireflies’ by Heigl and Chalke, so can’t resist the temptation that they also interpret themselves as university students, suffering the credibility of the series. It is not that the work to make them appear younger is horrible -although it can be improved- as much as they have to interact with other characters, reducing the strength of the plots it proposes and causing one to disconnect completely from what they see on the screen.
And it’s a shame, because they had a perfect solution in hand by letting Ali Skovbye and Roan Curtis, the young actresses who bring Tully and Kate to life as teenagers, also take on that part of ‘The Dance of the Fireflies’. Both because they are quite successful in their roles – and their chemistry has little to envy that of Heigl and Chalke – and because the jump in ages is much scarcer, but it has prevailed to have more on screen to the stars of the series – let us remember that Heigl also serves as executive producer – and the play has not gone well for them, thus detracting from the effort of the actresses.
Beyond that, the setting work is quite successful although it does not work as a hook by itself and there are some details here and there that work better than the rest – I think, for example, of Beau garrett like Tully’s irresponsible mother-, but in general it is a flat series that seems to want to follow the path of ‘This is Us’ but remains halfway in everything it proposes.
‘Dance of the Fireflies’ has little to offer beyond what Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke bring to the series, whose work is also tainted by an important decision to have more minutes on screen. Beyond that, the structure with the temporary jumps is curious, but too warm when investigating its dramatic possibilities to get hooked.
Save more than 20% on your annual (€ 69.99) or monthly (€ 6.99) subscription to Disney + before February 23.