XO, Kitty hits all the right rom-com beats, infusing Korean aesthetics into an already well-established franchise. That makes this a marketing masterpiece but is also entirely superficial, with no depth or individuality.
We review the Netflix series XO, Kitty Season 1, which does not contain spoilers.
Netflix recently announced that they would be investing a whopping $2.5 billion in new South Korean film and TV content over the next four years, confirming the company’s ambitious plans for this booming genre of pop culture.
They have even employed Korean culture in their latest original series XO, Kitty, which follows the titular student’s journey to Seoul.
This show also marks the first spin-off series for Netflix from one of its own original film franchises, that of the super popular To All the Boys films.
Clearly, Netflix hopes to strike gold again, mixing K-drama with a previously established franchise.
XO, Kitty Season 1 Review and Plot Summary
XO, Kitty centers on Katherine ‘Kitty’ Song Covey (Anna Cathcart), a kind-hearted student and self-professed matchmaker, who we find in a long-distance relationship with her dream boyfriend, star student Dae (Choi Min-young).
Kitty struggles with the loneliness of this long-distance romance while watching all the other students around her happily in love back in Portland. To solve this issue, she decides to apply for a scholarship to Dae’s school, KISS (the Korean Independent School of Seoul), to be with her soulmate once again.
On arrival in Seoul, Kitty dresses for the student welcome party, surprising Dae with a grand entrance.
Unfortunately, this romance isn’t going to be the happy-ever-after she had planned. Dae is actually in a relationship with Yuri (Gia Kim), the daughter of a wealthy businessman who owns an empire of hotels.
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Kitty must now choose whether to fight for her love or accept her fate and find a new partner in this foreign land. Along the way, Kitty makes new friends, with Love, Victor star Anthony Keyvan playing Q.
And her fair share of enemies, including rising star Sang Heon Lee, who portrays Min Ho. There’s also plenty of ‘Seoul’ searching and all the usual teen rom-com tropes that come with the territory.
Is XO, Kitty Season 1 Good or Bad?
XO, Kitty is another characteristic offering from Netflix. One that obviously ticks off all of the streaming giant’s marketing goals, combining Korean culture and an already successful film franchise to create what can only be described as a guaranteed, sure-fire hit. And the series is well-meaning and harmless enough, but it feels superficial on the whole, with no depth to it.
This is your typical easy-viewing rom-com, with a likable lead and all of the right ingredients for an entertaining binge-watch. There’s a wholesome family message, topical and mature explorations of modern relationships, and lots of silly fun to be had. Yet it also features extremely low stakes and paper-thin romances that don’t feel gripping.
The show is predictable, even for your standard teen rom-com. While the same frustratingly repetitive plot points are used again and again to stretch out this ten-episode drama. And surprisingly, for a show set in Seoul, there is very little Korean culture to be enjoyed.
Is XO, Kitty Season 1 Worth Watching?
Regardless of my opinion or any other critics for that matter, XO, Kitty is bound to be a huge success for Netflix. This is a marketing stroke of genius that, like Wednesday before it, combines multiple popular genres to appeal to the largest audience possible.
This cliched teen adventure cannot fail.
What did you think of XO, Kitty season 1? Comment below.