“XO, Kitty” is a perfectly sweet and chaotic spin-off


Via Netflix

Netflix’s “XO, Kitty” released on May 18 and is a spin-off show to the “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” series. The show follows the youngest sister, Kitty Song Covey (Anna Cathcart), as she navigates a semester abroad in Korea.

Ever since I watched Netflix’s “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” series and read Jenny Han’s books in sixth grade, the series and its characters have held a special place in my heart. Although I love the “TATBILB” series, I was sure Netflix’s “XO, Kitty,” following the youngest sister from the series, would be another one of Netflix’s many poorly done spin-offs. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. 

“XO, Kitty,” released May 18, starts with Kitty Song Covey (Anna Cathcart) getting accepted into the Korean Independent School of Seoul — a private school that, not only her long distance boyfriend, Dae (Choi Min-yeong), goes to, but her late mother had as well. Upon her acceptance, Kitty moves abroad for the semester in hopes of learning more about her mom’s past and to be reunited with Dae. However, her dreams do not go anywhere according to plan.

When initially watching the trailer for “XO, Kitty,” I thought the show appeared to be a westernized version of a K-Drama, in which I’d watch cringeworthy scene after cringeworthy scene. While the show does resemble a K-Drama in multiple ways, it is executed perfectly. “XO, Kitty” seemed as if it would contain a straightforward and formulated plot; Kitty would go to Korea and “surprisingly” be hit with a love triangle or a wild form of miscommunication. Yet, there were rarely any moments in which I could guess what would come next in the show. 

Each key point to the story contained a crazy plot twist — I found myself, many times, having to pause the show and simply process the new and unexpected information. Though constantly throwing me off the track of where the show was going, “XO, Kitty” held my attention throughout — there was never a moment in which the drama and comedy was lacking. 

Along with being a sweet, funny and easy watch, “XO, Kitty” manages to incorporate serious topics into its characters and their conversations without clashing with one another. Throughout the series, Kitty or her peers confront topics such as LGBTQ+ acceptance, the effects of divorce, moving on after death in a family and racial identity. Oftentimes, light-hearted shows try to cover such topics but fail to do so without disrupting the easy-going flow that is meant to be maintained. Yet, “XO, Kitty” addresses difficult topics without losing the original structure of the show — in fact, dealing with these issues allowed for the characters to evolve and bring an emotional and meaningful full-circle ending to the season. 

Though I had my initial doubts about “XO, Kitty,” the show proved to be entertaining and unpredictable throughout. It contained the perfect amount of cheesiness without going overboard and proved to be a sweet, chaotic and fun watch. “XO, Kitty” is great for “TATBILB” fans hoping to return to that nostalgic teen romance feeling from the movies — and I can only hope for an equally great season two.