My Life with the Walter Boys Season 1 Review – Overlong, sluggish, and familiar

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: December 8, 2023 (Last updated: December 12, 2023)
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My Life with the Walter Boys Season 1 Review
My Life with the Walter Boys | Image via Netflix


Overlong, sluggish, and familiar, My Life with the Walter Boys doesn’t aspire to be much more than a retread of familiar ground but is almost too catatonic to manage even that.

Not to be smug, but I knew ten episodes was too many for My Life with the Walter Boys. There’s a strong case to be made that there is no teen drama that needs ten whole episodes, least of all this one, a daydream Netflix adaptation of the novel – which initially started on Wattpad – by Ali Novak.

Unless you were trying to break a world record for the sheer number of cliches you can stuff into a single season – a record broken in roughly two episodes here – then it’s impossible to see the length of this season as anything other than a detriment. There’s only so long anyone can watch a high school girl waver aimlessly between a couple of potential suitors before the whole thing becomes mind-numbing.

My Life with the Walter Boys Season 1 review and plot summary

Plot-wise, it’s simple enough. Jackie (Nikki Rodriguez) loses her entire family in a car accident and is forced to move in with the Walter family, almost all of whom are boys, and spill out of a Colorado ranch like clowns jumping out of a car. One of Jackie’s new classmates describes the place as “boy heaven”, and you have to imagine this is what such a place would look like.

The ranch is looked after by farmer George (Marc Blucas) and vet Katherine (Sarah Rafferty), but it’s really just a filing cabinet for the town’s most eligible adolescent bachelors, two of which, Cole (Noah LaLonde) Alex (Ashby Gentry), fall in love with Jackie in immediate and plot-mandated ways. This is what kick-starts everything, but it’s also kind of what smothers the drama in its crib since neither boy is likable – they’re just broad macho and overly nice guy archetypes – and their relationship with Jackie seems secondary to a long-time sibling rivalry.

This many characters – there’s a whole family of Walter boys who aren’t in Jackie’s immediate orbit – means a slew of underbaked subplots and relationships both romantic and platonic, which have mixed success but are all united in their two-dimensionality. It’s a bizarre thing to spend hours with someone and not feel like you know or understand them any better as a result, but that’s the case here.

RELATED: Will there be a Season 2 of My Life with the Walter Boys?

Ironically, the more compelling throughlines are the friendships and incidental dynamics that exist outside of the romantic pairings, but they’re obviously not what the target audience of this kind of thing is looking for, so they’re shunted to the wayside. On that subject, while it’s clear I’m not among that target audience, it’s hard to imagine that even those squarely in the middle of it will see anything in My Life with the Walter Boys that they haven’t already seen in countless other shows and movies (fans of the source material, of which there are very many, may well fare better.)

More of the same

In a way, though, this is a critic-proof show. It doesn’t aspire to be anything other than a comforting retread of familiar ground, and it manages to be that if nothing else. But it also fundamentally misunderstands the appeal of soft fantasy television that is all about delivering predictably happy endings – you have to care enough about the characters that you feel they deserve it. My Life with the Walter Boys doesn’t put the effort in to make us care on that level, so the whole thing just ends up feeling perfunctory.

RELATED: 10 TV Shows Like My Life with the Walter Boys

With so many shows in the same genre, on so many streaming platforms, it’s just difficult to make a case for this one. The positive messaging is probably welcome around the holidays, and the happy outcomes are refreshing when so much television wants to be edgy and daring. In the same way it’s always admirable for shows to try something new, there’s certainly a space for stuff that doesn’t want to try anything new at all. But that’s a backhanded compliment if ever there was one, and for the most part it’s the biggest one I can think of for My Life with the Walter Boys.

Take that as you will.

What did you think of My Life with the Walter Boys Season 1? Comment below.


Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Reviews
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