The word Christmas brings out the two extremes in people. There’s those who love the holidays and those who loathe them. The former sing carols, get into the festive spirit and revel in all the food, drink and joy; decorating their apartments or houses ready for the big day.
On the other end of the spectrum are those who just can’t wait to get it over and done with, fed up with hearing “All I want For Christmas Is You” every 15 minutes on the radio. As someone who worked in retail and bar-work for 7 years – been there, done that, got the “I survived Mariah Carey” shirt.
And these two extremes are ultimately what make up the crux of Dash & Lily. Unlike other holidays, Christmas-themed content gets away with being overly cliched, cheesy and over the top. It’s almost like an unwritten rule that only applies to this holiday-themed content.
Thankfully, this 8 episode rom-com is every bit as cheesy, cliched and cuddly as one may expect from this sort of show – and it’s all the stronger for it.
Dash & Lily – as you may have guessed from the name – revolves around two hopeless romantics during the Christmas season.
17 year old Lily hangs out with her parents and Grandfather, is given wise words of advice from her brother Langston and has never been kissed. She absolutely loves Christmas time but she’s never had a boyfriend to share it with. Could this year be different?
Dash meanwhile detests Christmas. His gift to himself is solitude – which he revels in as he hunkers down on his Dad’s lavish couch and gorges on treats. Only, this year is different. Lily happens to have left a notebook in a local book-store he frequents with one goal – find Prince Charming.
Dash inevitably finds the book and the pair start trading notes to one another, courtesy of several people in-the-know who help ferry the book back and forth. Along the way, all the usual shenanigans pop up, wrapped in a shiny veil of tinsel, eggnog and carol singing. It’s simple, festive fun and cleverly released in November before the inevitable march of Christmas music begins.
All the usual plot tropes are here – including the big misunderstanding, the flamboyant romantic gestures and our characters managing to face their fears and step out their comfort zones. There’s nothing particularly challenging or different with this show but what Dash & Lily lacks in complication, it more than makes up for with its feel-good factor.
Every character is likable, there’s a good lesson here about facing your fears and the structure is nicely aligned to an advent calendar count-down of sorts; each episode feels like you’re opening a new window as expository text counts us down from December 17th to New Years Eve.
The jokes are pretty good too and the humour overall manages to hit just the right notes between slapstick and silly to keep things feeling lighthearted and festive. All the best Christmas movies and shows pull this blend off and it’s great to see Dash & Lily joining those ranks.
If this show was set at any other time of the year it wouldn’t work anywhere near as effectively as it does here. The various montage segments use a variety of old and new Christmas tunes which reinforces that Holiday cheer all the way to the satisfying conclusion. Fans will inevitably claw for a follow-up season when they’re done with this but to be honest, Dash & Lily doesn’t need it.
Dash & Lily is the perfect holiday present to ease some of those worries; settle in with a box of chocolates, a steaming cup of hot coffee and enjoy the ride – this is one Christmas show you won’t regret watching.
Verdict - 8/10