Based on Kristin Hannah’s bestselling novel, Firefly Lane follows the platonic love story of wallflower Kate Mularkey (Sarah Chalke) and firecracker Tully Hart (Katherine Heigl). The series sees them through 30 years of love, loss, sex, marriage, divorce and kids. Here’s how Kate and Tully echo some classic TV BFFs.
BFF truth: Sometimes the love that makes you feel understood isn’t romantic
The pair: On television’s longest-running prime time medical series, Grey’s Anatomy, Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) and Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) are aspiring surgeons who always find a way to reconcile their tumultuous friendship.
The scene: In season six, after a big fight, Cristina reveals to Meredith that she listed her as the emergency contact for her upcoming abortion. “You’re my person,” Cristina tells Meredith, a line denoting deep trust and unconditional love.
This week, on Firefly Lane: When Kate finds out Tully helped her daughter get birth control, she stops answering her calls. A contrite Tully throws a rock at Kate’s window to get her attention and talk it out, later declaring “You’re my soulmate.”
BFF truth: Sometimes there are three people in a marriage
The pair: On Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, the two eponymous leading women are played by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, former rivals who befriend each other after their husbands leave them (for one another).
The scene: In season six, Grace double-books getaway weekends with her new husband, Nick, and Frankie. To fix it, she combines them, inviting Frankie and Nick on what was supposed to be a romantic holiday to Hawaii. Nick isn’t thrilled, but Grace refuses to choose.
This week, on Firefly Lane: Jealous of how much time she spends with Tully, Kate’s husband, Johnny, asks if Tully is the real father of their baby-to-be. Just as the couple begin making up, Tully shows up unexpectedly with a gift: a new dog.
BFF truth: Breaking up is hard to do
The pair: On HBO’s Insecure, Issa (Issa Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) are long-time BFFs with very different personalities. Molly is driven and successful but can’t make a relationship last, while Issa is always booed-up and perpetually confused about her career path.
The scene: In season three, the roles reverse, which causes serious friction. But eventually, the two meet at a favourite Ethiopian restaurant. Molly says, “I’m glad you came,” and Issa responds, “I’m glad you called.”
This week, on Firefly Lane: Tully longs for Kate’s stability, while Kate feels eclipsed by Tully both professionally and romantically. In episode four, Kate explodes when her family ignores her in favour of her best friend. “You’re like a neutron star. You pull everything around you into your orbit,” Kate says in anguish. The two ultimately reconcile—of course.
Firefly Lane debuts February 3 on Netflix.