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My Life with the Walter Boys: YA book adaptation hits #1 on Netflix

Published Dec 11th, 2023 5:29PM EST
My Life with the Walter Boys on Netflix
Image: Netflix

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When Melanie Halsall, creator of the newly released Netflix series My Life with the Walter Boys, first pitched the show to the streaming giant, she described it as Dawson’s Creek meets Friday Night Lights.

I’m not a TV executive, of course, but that’s not a bad pitch for a show — in this case, a show based on the novel of the same name by Ali Novak. The 10-episode My Life with the Walter Boys, which hit Netflix at the end of last week and is currently #1 in the US, tells a coming-of-age story about 15-year-old Jackie who loses her family in a tragic accident and, because of that, has to move from Manhattan to rural Silver Falls, Colorado. That’s where her mother’s best friend lives, the woman who will now be Jackie’s guardian.

“While settling into her new, chaotic countryside home,” Netflix explains, “Jackie is determined to stay focused on her dream of getting into Princeton, all while wrapping her head around her feelings for two very different Walter brothers: The reliable and bookish Alex, and the mysterious and troubled Cole. As Jackie tries to navigate her new life, the feelings and tensions she tries to deny threaten to throw everything off course.”

My Life with the Walter Boys on Netflix
Jaylan Evans as Skylar and Nikki Rodriguez as Jackie in “My Life with the Walter Boys.” Image source: Netflix

As noted above, the show has only been live on the streamer for a few days (since Dec. 7), but already it’s opened up quite a split between critics and viewers. In fact, the gap between the pretty strong 88% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes compared to the 43% critics’ score on the reviews site is one of the widest I’ve seen for a Netflix show debut in a while — though I’m sure that split will narrow, given that the terrible critics’ score is based on only seven professional reviews at this point.

In terms of what else there is to know about the series, which is currently outperforming other recent Netflix releases like Obliterated and The Great British Baking Show Holiday episodes, Halsall is not only the series creator, but she also executive produces along with Ed Glauser of Netflix’s The Kissing Booth trilogy.

About the feel-good, outdoorsy vibe, Halsall told Netflix’s Tudum site that she “wanted a show where we got young people outside and talking to each other.” Eagle-eyed older viewers, meanwhile, might also feel a bit of nostalgia as they watch and learn more about the show, thanks to its inclusion of YA veterans both on- and off-screen. Marc Blucas of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for example, plays patriarch George Walter, while Jason Priestley of Beverly Hills, 90210 directed the last two episodes of the show’s first season.

I suspect Virgin River fans, especially, will be drawn to the show — and to Nikki Rodriguez, who’s already being talked up as Netflix’s big YA star to watch. Check out a trailer for My Life with the Walter Boys below.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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