Netflix has invested considerable time and resources in building a robust lineup of TV shows catering to a female audience. Their streaming platform boasts an extensive collection of programs centered around themes of romance and female camaraderie, often intertwining the two. Their latest addition to this ever-expanding library is an adaptation of Kristin Hannah’s novel, Firefly Lane, starring Sarah Chalke and Katherine Heigl as lifelong best friends. This series continues Netflix’s successful foray into storytelling with a female-focused lens.
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Spanning three decades in the lives of Kate (Chalke) and Tully (Heigl), this 10-episode journey takes us through the duo’s friendship, from the early days of high school to the show’s interpretation of the early 2000s. As the series seamlessly navigates through time, it beautifully illustrates how friends can become family, underscoring the unwavering support they offer each other through heartbreaks, significant career achievements, and personal triumphs that shape and define a person’s life.
For those who have already enjoyed Firefly Lane’s first season and are eagerly awaiting news of a potential Season 2, we have a recommendation to help pass the time. Explore these seven shows that also delve into the intricacies of female friendships, navigate the complexities of steamy romances, and delve into the intricate dynamics of the workplace.
1. Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce (Netflix)
When it comes to depicting the intricate complexities of relationships, Bravo’s five-season drama, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, stands out as a prime example. Lisa Edelstein leads the cast as Abby McCarthy, a self-help author whose marriage to Jake (Paul Adelstein), a director, finds itself in disarray at the series’ outset. As they make the painful decision to end their marital journey, Abby and Jake, much like Firefly Lane’s Kate and Johnny (Ben Lawson), discover that while love may still linger, achieving a successful and fulfilling relationship might be an elusive goal. In navigating the aftermath of heartache, Abby finds solace in a circle of friends who, like her, have experienced divorce—a group that even includes Firefly Lane star Beau Garrett. While the series delves into the emotional intricacies of ending a marriage, it delves into a wide array of issues, from co-parenting and the bonds of friendship to the financial and domestic aspects of divorce.
2. Sweet Magnolias (Netflix)
Much like Firefly Lane, Netflix’s delightful series, Sweet Magnolias, centers around the enduring friendship of women and the unbreakable bonds that sustain them through life’s significant moments. Adapted from Sherryl Woods’ novel series, this show features Joanna Garcia Swisher, Heather Headley, and Brooke Elliott as three inseparable friends residing in a picturesque Southern small town. The first season, and it’s worth noting that Season 2 is already in the works, delves into the romantic journeys of the trio, including Maddie’s (Swisher) burgeoning relationship with her son’s baseball coach following her husband’s (Chris Klein) highly publicized affair. However, it doesn’t neglect the intricacies of family or workplace dynamics, often stemming from the women embarking on business ventures together. While it offers a sweeter, Hallmark-like experience compared to the wild escapades of Kate and Tully (mostly Tully) in Firefly Lane, there’s enough common ground to ensure you’ll discover something to enjoy.
3. Dead to Me (Netflix)
While not all friendships are forged in the fires of youth, some are born out of rather dire circumstances. Take, for instance, the unlikely connection in Netflix’s engaging dark comedy, Dead to Me. It all kicks off when Jen (Christina Applegate) inadvertently collides with Judy (Linda Cardellini) and, unknowingly, forms a friendship with her at a grief support group. Little does she know, Judy is harboring a dark secret about her involvement in the car accident that claimed Jen’s husband’s life. As the series unfolds, their bond deepens, and the story becomes increasingly suspenseful, with their relationship growing more intricate as the impending truth looms overhead.
4. Younger (Hulu)
While Tully soared in her journalism career on Firefly Lane, Kate’s journey led her to motherhood, and she’s now cautiously venturing back into the working world during the show’s first season. She’s starting from scratch, and in this regard, she shares similarities with Liza Miller from Younger. In the TV Land drama, Liza has to fib about her age to secure a job in a publishing company, sparking off her own unique professional journey. However, both shows don’t just explore workplace challenges; they also celebrate strong female friendships. Beyond Liza’s enduring bond with her lifelong friend Maggie, she forms deep personal and professional connections with her colleagues Kelsey and Diana. These relationships provide ample humor and heart in Younger as Liza navigates her evolving career and personal life.
5. Virgin River (Netflix)
While Firefly Lane has been making waves as a captivating drama on Netflix, it faces stiff competition from the beloved Virgin River, which draws inspiration from a series of romance novels penned by Robyn Carr. The show revolves around Melinda “Mel” Monroe, a nurse practitioner and midwife who decides to leave the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles behind, seeking solace in the quaint, secluded Northern California town of Virgin River after enduring a string of painful heartbreaks. Unlike Firefly Lane’s focus on lifelong friendships, Virgin River centers on forging fresh connections and starting anew. However, just like Tully and Kate’s journeys of self-discovery, Mel’s quest to find herself and her desires takes center stage here as well. Add in a romance with a local bartender and former Marine, some medical drama, and a hint of criminal intrigue, and you’ve got an oddly addictive binge-worthy series ready for your viewing pleasure.
6. This Is Us (Hulu)
Firefly Lane takes viewers on an emotional journey spanning 30 years in the lives of Kate and Tully, weaving a compelling narrative through its 10 episodes. If you find the multi-timeline storytelling and deep emotional connections of Firefly Lane captivating, then NBC’s This Is Us is an absolute must-watch. This series, narrated across various timelines and spanning many years, delves into the lives of the Pearson family. It revolves around Jack, Rebecca, and their three children—Kevin, Kate, and Randall. With its emotionally intricate and heartwarming exploration of love and family dynamics, This Is Us is sure to leave you reaching for the tissues after each episode. The good news is that the show has already been renewed for up to Season 6, ensuring you have plenty of heartwarming material to immerse yourself in.
7. The Bold Type (Hulu)
If Firefly Lane had chosen to center its narrative solely around Kate and Tully during their post-college years and the early stages of their journalism careers, it might have resembled a lot of what you’ll find in The Bold Type. This beloved Freeform series is based in the bustling heart of New York City and offers viewers a glimpse into the intertwined personal and professional lives of three close friends working at the fictional Scarlet magazine. Jane, portrayed by Katie Stevens, is a talented writer, while Meghann Fahy’s Sutton serves as an assistant in the fashion department, and Aisha Dee’s Kat is responsible for managing the company’s social media presence. While the show certainly empowers its characters through workplace narratives, it also delivers an ample dose of romantic entanglements and intricate family drama to keep the storyline engaging and dynamic week after week.