XO, Kitty Is Netflix's To All the Boys Spin-Off Worth Your Time

“XO, Kitty”: Is Netflix’s “To All the Boys” Spin-Off Worth Your Time?

It is time for a change in the “To All the Boys” universe.

Kitty Song Covey, the sassy little sister, embarks on an epic adventure to reunite with her boyfriend halfway around the world.

However, does this new series live up to its predecessor?

Let us dive into this question.

This week, we are reviewing the Netflix series “XO, Kitty,” the fresh offshoot of the 2018 blockbuster “To All the Boys I Have Loved Before.”

The film, featuring Lana Condor and Noah Centineo, ignited Netflix’s love affair with Young Adult Romantic Comedy, although no subsequent release quite recaptured the original’s success.

Hence, the question arises: Can a spin-off resurrect the fading trend?

The first season of “XO, Kitty” premiered on May 18th.

Developed by “To All the Boys” writer Jenny Han, the series shifts the spotlight from Lara and Peter to Kitty, Lara’s vibrant younger sister.

Set four years after “To All The Boys: Always And Forever,” Kitty, played with effervescent charm by Anna Cathcart, is still smitten with her Korean pen pal, Dae (Choi Min Young).

When the distance and the absence of her big sister become too overwhelming, Kitty decides to shake things up.

With an entertaining PowerPoint presentation, Kitty persuades her parents (played by the original series’ John Corbett and Sarayu Blue) to allow her to study in Korea at the same Elite Boarding School as Dae.

However, will this surprise visit, including a meticulously planned first kiss, be as romantic in reality as it is in Kitty’s head?

The series hinges on this RomCom trope of inevitable misunderstandings and misadventures.

While in Korea, Kitty also seizes the opportunity to connect with her late mother’s roots, adding depth to the narrative.

However, the series requires viewers to suspend disbelief to a large extent: 16-year-olds travel alone to a foreign continent, not knowing the language or anyone there.

Additionally, the constant coincidences, frequent interruptions at crucial moments, and one clumsy mishap after another may push the boundaries of credibility.

Despite the story often being overloaded with plot twists, “XO, Kitty” is easily binge-watchable due to its brisk pace and light-hearted tone.

Unfortunately, however, this fast storytelling can sometimes undermine the development of the characters, reducing them to mere props shuttling between different states of mind.

In addition, the dialogues, although sometimes teetering on the brink of embarrassment due to their superficiality, coupled with the noticeable lack of chemistry between Kitty and Dae, could be areas of improvement for the show.

However, there is a sugar rush to “XO, Kitty” that might appeal to a certain audience.

The series, set in Korea, taps into the K-pop and K-drama trends, featuring a mostly Korean cast and a blend of Western and Korean music.

The visual style, replete with pastel and candy colors, mirrors Kitty’s youthful innocence, maintaining continuity with the original “To All the Boys” series.

The series addresses cultural differences, although its treatment might raise eyebrows: Kitty’s limited understanding of her Korean heritage and the characters’ seamless switch between Korean and English.

However, exploring Kitty’s mother’s past and her self-discovery journey adds substance to the series.

As the season progresses, “XO, Kitty” finds its rhythm.

The narrative does not shy away from surprising turns, maintaining an air of unpredictability about Kitty’s love life.

Though it does not quite recapture “To All the Boys” magic, the show still holds promise.

The season finale leaves room for a potential second season.

Moreover, it suggests that Netflix is confident about “XO, Kitty” resonating with its young target audience, who will likely embrace the relatable protagonist, the cute cast, vibrant visuals, youthful energy, and easy-to-digest humor.

As for the rest, a plunge into Kitty’s candy-colored world might be a one-time adventure.

So, is “XO, Kitty” worth your time?

If you are a fan of Young Adult RomComs, it is certainly worth a watch.

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