Television : FIREFLY LANE arrives on Netflix on Feb. 3.

Two 14-year-old neighbors become fast friends. Tully is wild, driven, gorgeous, magnetic, but fundamentally sad, with a burned-out hippie mom who sleeps all day.

Awkward, nerdy Kate has a loving family and an innocent sweetness that follows her well into adulthood.

Firefly Lane, adapted from Kristin Hannah's best selling 2008 novel, traces their relationship from junior high in the 1970s to middle age, when Tully [ played as an adult by Katherine Heigl ] is a famous, lonely talk-show host and Kate [ Sarah Chalke ] tries to restart her journalism career as her marriage falls apart.

Like the book, this drama is unabashedly sentimental - think This is us but for friendship, complete with frequent tears and story lines set in decades past.

If you're looking for objects of ridicule, you'll easily find them; bad wigs, mawkish needle drops, obvious plot twists.

Yet despite its limitations, the show pairs nicely with a glass of wine; lead performances that avoid histrionics help, as does the genuine warmth of the material.

Firefly may not be a sharp, dazzling Tully, but sometimes a tender, unpretentious Kate makes better company anyway.

FIREFLY LANE arrives on Netflix on Feb. 3.

The World Students Society thanks J.B.


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