Anna Cathcart Delivers Spunk and Whimsy to ‘To All The Boys I Loved Before’ Spinoff ‘XO, Kitty’: TV Review


Kitty moves to Seoul for her junior year to surprise Dae and start the romantic relationship she's always wanted.
Anna Cathcart Delivers Spunk and Whimsy to ‘To All The Boys I Loved Before’ Spinoff ‘XO, Kitty’: TV Review
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Gen Z’s ideal role model is Katherine Song Covey (Anna Cathcart), also known as Kitty. The precocious younger sister of Margot (Janel Parrish) and Laura Jean (Lana Condor) has walked to her beat ever since she was first introduced in the “To All The Boys I Loved Before” trilogy six years ago. Kitty was persistent, tenacious, and a little nosy, and her meddling helped LJ meet Peter (Noah Centineo), her longtime boyfriend. With the new spinoff television series “XO, Kitty,” the younger Covey sister has stepped into the spotlight and is pursuing the life she believes she deserves, even if doing so means suffering heartbreak. 

The “Glow” novelist Sascha Rothchild and “To All The Boys” author Jenny Han collaborated on the series, which begins in the latter days of a Portland summer. Kitty, who has been dating Dae (Choi Min-Yeong) for several years after meeting him while the family went on vacation to Seoul, South Korea, has grown irritated with the distance in their relationship. She is left to play games with her father, Dan (John Corbett), and step-mom, Trina (Sarayu Blue), with her sisters gone from the house.

Kitty, though, won’t accept a “typical” high school experience. Instead, she persuades them to let her enroll in the esteemed Korean Individual School of Seoul (KISS). Dae goes to the same school where Eve, Kitty’s late mother, spent one of her life’s magical years. 

Kitty moves to Seoul for her junior year to surprise Dae and start the romantic relationship she’s always wanted. She does so while carrying a sizable yellow bag and exuding confidence and self-assurance. But as she approaches Dae at KISS’ welcoming dance, she discovers the well-liked and bubbly Yuri (Gia Kim) on his arm, and reality rapidly sets in. 

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The same elements that made “To All The Boys” so popular are present in “XO, Kitty”. The tone of the book captures those same frenetic, overpowering sentiments associated with initial experiences and wanting to take up space in the world, even though Kitty’s outlook on life is less optimistic and upbeat than that of her elder sister LJ’s. Additionally, there are corny and awkward incidents, such as Kitty almost being hit by a car or causing cupcakes to implode in front of her classmates. But in some ways, these embarrassing incidents capture the core of what makes adolescence so distinctive. 

XO, Kitty” isn’t exactly ground-breaking television, as it only has 10 episodes that are 35 minutes or less long. However, it treats oneself seriously enough to discuss topics that are currently occupying teens’ minds. The show weaves together themes of parental mortality and a longing to connect to the past. Divorce, abandonment, financial difficulty, parents who are supportive and encouraging or who are not, queerness, othering, the shortcomings of the American public education system, classism, and self-acceptance are all major themes in this. 

“XO, Kitty” also provides a thorough examination of contemporary Seoul and contemporary Korean society. Shot on location, the majority of the scene features Kitty and her pals at the KISS campus, but there are also hints of the shining city and even breathtaking vistas of the surrounding countryside, including cherry blossoms and vegetation. Except for Kitty, the characters transition between English and Korean with ease. It’s energizing to see a multinational teen ensemble featured outside of the confines of the U.S. with nods to K-pop, traditions like Chuseok, Korean cosmetics, and K-dramas.

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[Source : Variety.com]


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