After viewing a selection of darker series, I was on the hunt for something light and fluffy — the streaming equivalent of an emotional cupcake. After a few clicks through my Netflix account I came across the trailer for Alexa & Katie that features plenty of pastels and a cutesy theme song.
Netflix’s Alexa & Katie is about two best friends at the beginning of their high school careers as they support each other through Alexa’s cancer treatment. While one of the leads does have cancer (I’m more than aware that the C-word is heavily associated with doom), the series doesn’t spiral into sorrow; instead it comes across as a sugary sweet tale as it shows the viewer how much can be conquered when the right person is at your side. Alexa provides the narration for the series as she shares story after story of how Katie helps brighten her life.
Alexa is a spunky and vivacious teen and her BFF and neighbor Katie is a slightly awkward and anxious pile of nerves, but they balance each other out. Their friendship and loyalty to each other is palpably seen throughout this endearing sitcom when the duo shave their heads together, plan for their first high school dance and take on their mean-girl nemesis.
Alexa & Katie doesn’t make light of cancer, but they do provide a much needed spotlight on how cancer patients, especially young cancer patients are so much more than a tragic diagnosis. At the beginning of the series the duo go to great lengths to hide the truth about Alexa’s health because she’s afraid of being known as the “sick girl.”
The parents and siblings provide emotional support and plenty of laughs throughout the season; the cast is well rounded with a rambunctious younger brother and as well as a vain, mildly dopey older sibling. Tiffani Thiessen performs well as Lori, Alexa’s doting and at times smothering mom.
This series, which would feel very at home on the Disney or Freeform channel, is a fun viewing experience for the whole family.
Alexa & Katie has 13 20-minute episodes on Netflix. The series is rated TV-Y7. Audiences may also enjoy Netflix’s One Day at a Time, a sitcom about a Cuban family living in Los Angeles. Viewers might also enjoy the mysterious happenings to a group of teenagers on Hulu’s Runaways.