XO, Kitty: Kitty’s Time to Shine

XO Kitty show poster. From Left to Right: Dae Heon Kim, Quincy Shabazian, Kitty Song Covey, Gia Kim, Sang Heon Lee

My wish is granted. Today, we get to return to the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before cinematic universe. But instead of following Lara Jean, we are following Kitty’s journey in XO, Kitty on Netflix. The last time we saw Kitty she was starting a relationship with Dae, a cutie she met in Korea. We find her now years later moving halfway across the world to be with Dae and learn more about herself. But she does not get the love story she intended. Instead, she finds that relationships are more complicated than she previously thought.

XO Kitty protagonist Kitty Song Covey. She's excitedly standing in front of a screen that says "Welcome to Korea." She's wearing a black turtle neck.
XO, Kitty. Anna Cathcart as Kitty Song Covey in episode 101 of XO, Kitty. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

I love this show. It is the adorable quick-witted K-drama-esque little sister to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I was so excited to come back to the story to find out it still had so much to tell us. It felt so natural for XO, Kitty to be a K-drama, and it has all the best parts of a K-Drama. There are love triangles, enemies to friends to lovers, piggyback rides, and loads upon loads of drama. Every time I thought “Oh there’s no way they’re going to address that/go there,” they absolutely did. And of course in the most dramatic way possible.

XO Kitty characters Minho and Dae sitting at a cafeteria table in their school uniforms.
XO, Kitty. (L to R) Sang Heon Lee as Min Ho, Choi Min-yeong as Dae in episode 102 of XO, Kitty. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

Additionally, because of the success of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, XO, Kitty is able to take risks that a lot of other K-dramas cannot. XO, Kitty beautifully combines classic K-drama tropes with new stories allowing the show to explore queerness. The show gives us loud and proud queer characters. Like, way more than I actually thought we’d get at least half the main cast is gay.

It’s also incredibly refreshing to see so many queer characters of color many whose love interests are also of color. My only complaint about the queer relationships is that one of the main characters has a white love interest. It’s still very cute but in a school of mostly Korean students to end up with a white person is…yea. Less white and of-color queer pairings, please. XO, Kitty also explores unique experiences throughout the Asian diaspora. Kitty is half Korean. It becomes distinctly clear in the show, though, that she is Korean American and specifically half Korean American. Kitty has trouble fitting into a culture she so desperately wants to embrace to feel closer to her mom. 

Kitty Song Covey standing in front of cherry blossoms taking a selfie or selca.
XO, Kitty. Anna Cathcart as Kitty Song Covey in episode 102 of XO, Kitty. Cr. Park Young-Sol/Netflix © 2023

This series allows Kitty to shine on her own so beautifully. I started out the show hoping for a Lara Jean or Peter cameo. But as it went on, I found myself caring less and less about their story. I was too into Kitty’s story. Her story of wanting to learn more about her mom to find herself is so relatable. Her relationship with Dae is so heartwarming, but it is also clearly her first relationship. That leaves the viewer torn about what we want for them. She has so much vulnerability and it is great to see a main character who is not afraid to be honest with themselves.

Kitty really has to deal with the consequences of her actions in this show and is forced to grow up. The characters of XO, Kitty are very adorable and the jokes and drama are hilarious. The Covey family still being so heartwarming and caring had me wanting to call my therapist out of jealousy. This show is an excellent watch and a great “how to” guide on how to do a spin off correctly. My only complaint is I need more of it. Season 2 when?

Needing more of Sydney’s writing? Check out The Black Women of Bridgerton Deserve Happy Endings, a review of the hit show Queen Charlotte: a Bridgerton Story.

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