‘XO, Kitty’ is a candidate for the worst show in a long, long time…
Netflix’s latest spin-off series ‘XO, Kitty’ came with a lot of expectations, given it was born from the much-loved ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ franchise. However, since its premiere, the show has garnered mixed reviews and some sharp criticism, particularly from fans disappointed by its lack of authentic Korean cultural immersion.
‘XO, Kitty’ takes Kitty Song Covey, the bubbly sister from the original franchise, and places her at the center of a new high school narrative. Netflix pitched the series as a K-drama, leading fans to anticipate a series rich in Korean culture. The setting in Korea, Korean cast, and plenty of K-pop songs seemed promising. But the viewers’ verdict? The show feels overwhelmingly American.
Fan discussions on Reddit reflect this sentiment. One fan pointed out that Kitty, despite being part Korean, didn’t make an effort to learn the language. “Am I the only one frustrated that Kitty, part Korean, didn’t even try to learn Korean or speak mostly herself?” they wrote.
They expected Kitty to pick up at least basic conversational skills during her time in Seoul and felt it unrealistic that her relationship with Dae, her Korean boyfriend, hadn’t motivated her to learn more.
Another fan echoed this, expressing their disappointment at Kitty’s lack of immersion in Korean culture and language throughout the series. They found it hard to believe that Kitty, having been in a long-distance relationship with Dae for years, hadn’t picked up any basic vocabulary or phrases from him.
Fans had hoped to see Kitty embracing her Korean heritage more explicitly, particularly through language learning. This immersion would not only have made Kitty’s Korean journey more believable but also have provided a sweet narrative thread of her connecting more deeply with her mother’s culture.
As this ‘fake K-drama’ continues to roll out, viewers are voicing their dissatisfaction with its cultural authenticity. Fans expected a high school drama situated in Korea to truly reflect Korean culture, language, and norms rather than relying on cliches and tropes.
In this case, the high bar set by the original ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ franchise seems to be a hurdle ‘XO, Kitty’ is struggling to clear. The creators might need to take these criticisms into account and infuse more genuine cultural elements into the show if they want to win back their disappointed fans.