Unfortunately, I Watched My Life With The Walter Boys
A survivor's tale.
Let me just start by saying that I actually hate romance, and I don't discriminate. I hate romance film, romance books, and romance television shows: the tacky plot, the cringe writing, the insufferable characters. But, to be transparent, I watch every single teeny-bopper love triangle show on the market.
I loved to hate The Summer I Turned Pretty, the adaptation of Jenny Han's novel starring Lola Tung, Gavin Casalegno, and Christopher Briney in which Belly (Tung) falls in love with not one, but two brothers. It took over the world, having 30 year old women debating the question: Team Conrad or Team Jeremiah?
The "stuck between two brothers" trope is ever-popular and goes hand-in-hand with the classic Love Triangle. Think The Vampire Diaries, where Elena can't decide who's really right for her: Stefan or Damon. Or Twilight's ever-present battle of Team Edward vs. Team Jacob. So when I hear that Netflix has released their dupe of The Summer I Turned Pretty, I figured it would be the same, deliciously terrible media that we all love to consume...
Except it's inherently terrible. Originally a Wattpad novel by Ali Novak, My Life With The Walter Boysfollows recent orphan Jackie Howard (Nikki Rodriguez) as she's forced to move from Manhattan to Silver Falls, Colorado to live with her mom's best friend (and her plethora of 10 sons) on a ranch.
Immediately, she's torn between two boys: Cole, ex-football player who had a full ride to Alabama before he was injured (more on this later), and book nerd Alex, who is shy, soft-spoken, and making a play at Jackie's heart. It has all the makings of the worst Hallmark film you've seen: overworked Manhattan socialite gets lost in small town with lumberjack that teaches her the meaning of Christmas. Except the men of the show are laughable at best.
Starting with Cole (Noah LaLonde), who absolutely cannot let anyone enjoy a football game without having a tantrum that he can't play. Seriously, the guy had a breakdown when he learned someone else was wearing his number. So obviously, the clear lack of therapy and emotional comprehension is already a red flag...and to make matters worse he's still in high school, so he just doesn't want to play football if you ask me.
Jackie and Cole
And then there's Alex (Ashby Gentry). Hopeless, hopeless Alex. The Jeremiah of the brotherly duo. Poor Alex likes to read in his free time and is clearly the safer option for recently traumatized Jackie Howard. I have minimal problems with Alex in the same way I hate every character in this show, but his behavior offends me the least.
The show begs the question: what would happen if you combine The Vampire Diaries, The Fosters, The Summer I Turned Pretty...and gave it no plot with bad writing? And don't you dare blame it on the Wattpad of it all...how could you when it gave us cinematic masterpieces like After?!
What is normally tolerable about these shows is that they are so simple, and the dialogue is so outrageous, that you physically can't stop watching these characters ruin their lives. However, all I could think about while watching My Life With The Walter Boysis that every single character needs the heaviest of in-patient therapy.
Nevertheless, like all incessant annoyances in my life, My Life With The Walter Boys has been renewed for a second season. And I guess I'll have to watch.