XO, KITTY (2023)
Aired On: Netflix
Release Date: 05/18/23
Comedy. Drama. Romance.
"A new love story unfolds when teen matchmaker Kitty reunites with her long-distance boyfriend at the same boarding school attended by her late mother."
XO, Kitty is an expansion upon the world of Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, separating Kitty from Lara Jean and sending her out on her own way. In terms of the To All the Boys trilogy, they only descended in quality after the wonderful original and this series (which is not looking to stop after just one outing) is yet another plummet in quality for those that loved the charm of the first film in the franchise.
There’s plenty to lean on when it comes to pointing out the faults of the series: the performances, melodramatic story, and predictable nature of this “love story” that divulges further and further into plot lines we would witness in the 1000th episode of a “beloved” soap opera. I wish I could say that after watching the original trilogy, I thought to myself that Kitty would be a great lead for her very own vehicle but that’s to be honest, I never really thought fairly of the little sister character beyond her comedic beats to outweigh the melodrama Lara Jean and Peter brought.
Within XO, Kitty – another salutation inspired title, we are introduced to nearly a whole new roster of characters that Kitty must find her path through to find the true reason she traveled to Korea for schooling – love and family. The episodes are short, the season consists of ten episodes but the story is disconnected, leaving time on the table as just the most basic of character traits transition from episode to episode. This disconnect causes a lack of caring for the characters’ personal troubles and motivations. I burned through all ten episodes, not from enjoyment but with a morbid curiosity on if the poor quality would survive the entirety of the season.
What makes the season all the more tiresome is the fact that the story is left open-ended. Instead of providing yet another story with the characters from the original trilogy and closing it out in any fashion, similar to what a limited series would have offered. XO, Kitty is one cliffhanger I hope continues to struggle to hold on, just for the mere fact that it had the audacity to leave so much unfinished.