The core of Firefly Lane can be described by one relationship – the one that Kate and Tully shared ever since they were 14 years old. For almost decades now, they’ve been supporting each other through thick and thin and adapting with the growing pains of life. The endless support is present despite the fact that they’re radically different people.
The Kristin Hannah's series, Firefly Lane debuted on Netflix on 3rd February, 2021, and it is adapted from the novel with the same title by Kristin Hannah. The ten-episode long series encapsulate the 30 year long friendship between two best friends with polar opposite personalities. Tully tends to be more outgoing and extroverted, while Kate prefers to be more grounded and quiet.
The show reflects their lives from 1970s and stretches till early 2000s – in between this time, Tully steps into the spotlight while the latter steps down to embrace motherhood. The series is about the little moments that we often neglect and fail to cherish. It covers all grounds – from messy teenage romances to quiet ambitious streaks to indulging in quick banter while having a heated debate over the menu and to making the most ridiculous parenting decisions – the series is enriching and reflective of real life. However, amidst the chaos, we witness hardships and betrayal and its Kate and Tully’s friendship that pays the price of it.
Maggie Friedman was naturally drawn to the project after hearing the brief narration of the book. She was craving to create a story which centered around female friendship. In an interview, she emphasized that your soulmate isn’t necessarily the person you marry and fall in love with. She hopes for her viewers to call their best friends right after finishing the series.
Book Vs. Series
In the book, the three decades of Kate and Tully’s friendship are covered in a straightforward and linear fashion. However, the series tend to jump between timelines – every episode distinctly deals with the teenage, adolescent and adult lives of the characters.
Fans of the book would point out that the adaptation is not strictly followed; however, the creators have tried to stay true to the source material. Hence, the characters will find the right evolution which will be comforting to watch. Tully had a tumultuous childhood, which is reflective in her adult life as she constantly navigates through life seeking validation and love from others. Kate, on the other hand, tackles her inherent shyness as it continues to come in her way and stops her from achieving what she strives for.
The one similarity between the book and series is that they both carry the coming-of-age enigma that was required to push Kate out of her comfort zone while granting stability to Tully. However, there were several major events that were evident in the book, but they didn’t make it into the series – perhaps the creators are saving those for the second season?
Hannah published the sequel of Firefly Lane which mostly covers Tully’s backstory and her broken relationship with her mother. The theme of the sequel was primarily on motherhood, love, and loss.
“The biggest question that came from Firefly Lane concerned Tully’s mom, Dorothy. She was a really screwed-up character and a terrible mother. My readers wanted to know why, and so did I.” – Hannah told Book Reporter in a 2013 interview.
Despite being on board as the co-executive producer of the show, Hannah didn’t participate in writing the screenplay of the series.
However, Katherine Heigl candidly revealed that Hannah had a couple of stipulations that mandated them to stay true to the novel.
Katherine was the first actor to join the series as Tully, after which Sarah Chalke got casted as Kate. The chemistry between the two actresses is evident on screen. It’s effortless and unguarded, unlike friendships portrayed in other shows that seem forced, to say the least.
We’re not sure whether or not there will be another series in the cards, but the fans— along with the creators—have their fingers crossed. Netflix is normally known for not renewing series after their first seasons, but if it does make the cut, it would be a reason to celebrate!
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What do you think about the key differences between the novel and the movie of Kristin Hannah’s 2008 series?