Anna Cathcart returns as the youngest Covey sister in Netflix's new series set in Korea.
"XO, Kitty" is a wholesome Netflix spinoff series that puts the youngest Covey sister, Katherine Song Covey (played by Anna Cathcart), aka Kitty, in the spotlight. Building upon the success of the "To All The Boys I Loved Before" trilogy, this new show takes us on Kitty's journey as she explores her Korean roots in Seoul, pursues her dreams, and navigates the complexities of love and self-discovery.
Created by Jenny Han, the novelist behind the original "To All The Boys" books, and Sascha Rothchild, known for her work on "Glow," "XO, Kitty" introduces us to Kitty's world in the final days of a Portland summer. Frustrated with the distance in her long-term relationship with Dae (Choi Min-yeong), Kitty convinces her parents to allow her to attend the prestigious Korean Independent School of Seoul (KISS). Armed with confidence and a vibrant personality, Kitty sets off for Seoul to surprise Dae and live out her romantic fantasies.
The series captures the essence of Kitty's character, blending her spunky naiveté with newfound maturity. Anna Cathcart delivers a stellar performance, grounding the show with Kitty's determination, humor, and earnestness. The show also delves into the desires and circumstances of the people around Kitty, adding depth to the narrative and exploring themes such as parental death, finding connections to the past, grief, abandonment, and self-acceptance.
With 10 episodes that are 35 minutes or less, "XO, Kitty" is an easily bingeable series that doesn't overstay its welcome. While it may not break new ground in terms of storytelling, it tackles issues that resonate with today's teens, including sexuality, classism, the American public school system's shortcomings, grief, and the pursuit of self-identity. The show balances these weighty themes with moments of teenage awkwardness and humor, often resulting in cheesy yet endearing scenes.
One of the show's strengths is its portrayal of present-day Seoul and modern Korean culture. Shot on location, the series showcases the vibrant cityscape, its bustling streets, and the beauty of nature just beyond its limits. The characters effortlessly switch between English and Korean, adding authenticity and showcasing the international teen cast outside of the usual U.S. setting. References to K-pop, Korean skincare, and K-dramas provide a refreshing cultural immersion.
"XO, Kitty" also stands out for its feminist and LGBTQ+ affirming storyline. It celebrates a generation that is unafraid to challenge societal norms and pursue their own truths. While romance is not entirely the show's main focus, it captures the essence of being a teenager and explores the power of friendship, self-discovery, and personal growth.
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