‘XO, Kitty’ series review: Candy floss rom-com isn’t good for your teeth, but still warms the heart 

While Anna Cathcart/ Kitty’s “perky aggressiveness” might take a bit of getting used to, the charmingly-convoluted ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ Netflix spin-off keeps growing on us 

May 19, 2023 06:36 pm | Updated 06:36 pm IST

A still from ‘XO, Kitty’

A still from ‘XO, Kitty’

When a spin-off series for Kitty (Anna Cathcart) from the To All the Boys film series was announced, one wondered if it was truly necessary. After spending five hours with love guru Kitty and watching her and the people around her go through a whirly-gig of emotions, one can safely say it is a harmless, happy way to idle away an afternoon.

XO, Kitty
Season: 1 
Episodes: 10
Run time: 24 to 34 minutes
Creator: Jenny Han
Starring: Anna Cathcart, Choi Min-young, Anthony Keyvan, Gia Kim, Sang Heon Lee, Peter Thurnwald, Regan Aliya
Storyline: Kitty, the youngest of the Song Covey siblings and love guru, goes to Seoul to be with the love of her life, only to discover reality is just that little bit different

The To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy was based on Jenny Han’s YA romantic bestsellers as was the sweetly shallow The Summer I Turned Pretty— but that is another story. Han is creator, writer and executive producer for the show, which picks up four years after the events of 2021’s To All the Boys: Always and Forever. Lara Jean and Margot are mentioned in the show, while dad, Dan (John Corbett) makes a couple of appearances to be supportive and give sage advice.

Kitty decides to come to Seoul to spend time with her long-distance boyfriend, Dae (Choi Min-young). She applies to the Korean Independent School of Seoul (which just happens to have KISS for an acronym) as an exchange student for her junior year of high school, just like her mum. Dae studies at KISS, and Kitty’s plan is to surprise him at the welcome dance. Well, being a high school teen show, we know how that is going to turn out.

There is no lack of K-drama through the 10 little episodes as Kitty finds out truths about herself and the people around her. Her mum had a secret. Why is Principal Jina (Yunjin Kim) refusing to acknowledge Kitty’s mum, even though they were best friends and roommates? Jina’s daughter, social media star, Yuri (Gia Kim) is in love with someone her parents do not think suitable. Dae’s best friends, the poor little rich boy Min Ho (Sang Heon Lee) and fellow American Q (Anthony Keyvan) also have to sort out their feelings. Is part-French part-Greek and wholly-hot or haute Florian (Théo Augier) interested in Q? Is flaky, fixated Madison (Jocelyn Shelfo) serious about Min Ho?

Is the kind teacher, Alex (Peter Thurnwald) related to Kitty? Why was Juliana (Regan Aliyah) sent away to London? And why is Professor Lee (Michael K. Lee) so mean? Incidentally, he is the one who dismisses Kitty and her “aggressive perkiness.” All kind of comes right in the end with an extended airport sequence ending in coach with that sequel-demanding conclusion.

And would we wait for it? Of course, there seems every good reason to spend time with these well-dressed and extra-ordinarily well-behaved boys and girls as they go about their fairly picture perfect lives set to the correct bubblegum music.

XO, Kitty currently streams on Netflix

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