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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

XO, Kitty

Photo Credit: IMDb

Spoilers for “XO, Kitty”

“XO, Kitty” was a highly anticipated sequel to the movie trilogy “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before”, which was based on the books by Jenny Han. It was released back in early May and was an immediate hit-or-miss for a lot of viewers.

The ten-episode show follows Lara Jean Covey’s younger sister Kitty Covey, played by Anna Cathcart, as she moves to South Korea to attend the Korean Independent School of Seoul (KISS) to see her boyfriend Dae, played by Choi Min-young. They first met in the third “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” movie. 

I think my parents would go insane if I asked them to go to an international school for a boy, but Kitty explains that she also hoped to reconnect with her late mother’s Korean roots by attending the same school that she did when she was Kitty’s age. 

The first episode seemed promising. It gave a hint of the plot early on and we were introduced to a lot of the main characters quickly. 

One of these characters is Yuri Han, played by Gia Kim, a social media star who is the daughter of a rich businessman and the principal of KISS. She and Kitty meet after Yuri’s driver accidentally hits Kitty with a car. 

The fact that Kitty did not receive any serious injuries from the collision except for a bout of confusion is beyond me, but I digress. Yuri offers to give Kitty a ride wherever she needs to go, and conveniently, they both go to KISS.

The episode continues to introduce the major difficulties that the characters will be facing. For instance, Dae is having financial struggles and is unable to pay the KISS tuition, and Yuri is suspected of fooling around with a girl by her strict, influential mother. Then, the major bombshell drops when Kitty attends the welcome party to surprise Dae and finds Yuri on his arm. 

The show was fast-paced and I finished both my initial watch and my rewatch in a few days. The music was fun and the sets looked cool. 

There was a lot of drama–understandable in a show with a target demographic of teenagers–but I enjoyed seeing the characters’ friendships blossom and the actors did fantastic with what they were given.

For me, the problem came with the show’s overall execution. I think they were trying to mimic the endearing charm that the prior “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” movies had, but it was overdone. The plot was filled with endless and predictable cliches to the point of cringiness. 

For instance, when Kitty arrives at KISS, there’s a mix-up in dormitory assignments. She ends up in the boy’s dorm with Dae, Q, and Min Ho, played by Sang Heon Lee, who was the rude, stuck-up boy she met at the airport at the beginning of the first episode. 

It was hard for me to believe that a big mix-up like this was supposed to be overlooked, but hey! It’s fictional and it’s for the plot. 

I also found Kitty to be annoying in the first couple of episodes. For starters, she was definitely ignorant of a lot of Korean customs and seemed to hold a more romanticized version of the country in her mind. 

The way she handled a lot of situations throughout the show also had me screaming. She considered herself a “matchmaker”, but put herself into literally every single person’s business. Boundaries exist, Kitty! 

Despite all of this, I appreciated the show’s efforts in representation. I can’t speak for whether or not it was done superbly well, but I think the representation of LGBTQ+ characters in popular shows is important. To be able to see Yuri’s struggles, which I know can be relatable for many people, and seeing the relationship between Dae’s friend Q (played by Anthony Keyvan) and Florian (played by Theo Augier Bonaventure) grow was definitely a highlight of the show. I wish we had gotten more of them, but alas, we were stuck with the love triangle… Although, if you ask me, it was more of a love square. 

Kitty and Dae’s relationship had no genuine chemistry and neither did the fake relationship between Yuri and Dae. Then, Kitty realized she had romantic feelings for Yuri somewhere in the mix. At the very end of the season, we’re left with a cliffhanger where Min Ho confesses his feelings to Kitty after a whole season of them fighting like cats and dogs. 

Is your head spinning? Mine definitely is. As someone who already isn’t a fan of love triangles, Kitty’s romantic life had me wanting to chuck my phone across the room. 

Nonetheless, the show was quickly renewed for a second season. While there haven’t been a lot of announcements due to the WGA strikes, it has been confirmed and will most likely be in the works in the upcoming years. 

While the show had its light-hearted moments and some comedic relief, it was still cringe-inducing and definitely had a lot that could have been better. 

(I still hate the love square going on). 

Kitty, you were fun, but please give me my time and sanity back.

XO, Aleish.

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