Cast: Nikki Rodriguez, Noah LaLonde, Ashby Gendry, Johnny Link, Zöe Soul, Jaylan Evans
Creator: Melania Halsall
Director: Jerry Ciccoritti
Streaming On: Netflix
Runtime: 10 Episodes, Around 45 minutes each.
My Life with the Walter Boys Season 1 Review: What’s It About:
The romance genre is one of the most popular ones in any medium. Millions of romance novels are sold every single year, and dozens of TV shows are being produced and released in the same amount of time. My Life with the Walter Boys is an adaptation of the novel of the same name, written by Ali Novak. In this story, a young girl named Jackie suffers the worst of tragedies. Through a convoluted succession of events, Jackie ends up being taken under the protection of the Walter family. There, she will meet the love of her life.
My Life with the Walter Boys Season 1 Review: Script Analysis:
My Life with the Walter Boys began as a Wattpad project, and when you watch the show, it totally feels like it. So, we can say that this is an adaptation that clearly captures the essence of the source material. This is not to say that what is here is bad—not at all, but something should be clear. You won’t find amazing storytelling or fantastic cinematic features in a show like My Life with the Walter Boys. However, what the show lacks in sophistication, it has in its heart. This is one of those very simple but entertaining stories that make for a good binge show.
Why does the series lack sophistication? Well, as the series progresses, it becomes clear that the source material and the adaptation all go for the most popular tropes in the genre. There is nothing bad with tropes; they are very useful tools that you can use when trying to build a story. However, My Life with the Walter Boys just uses them and does very little to try to create meaning around them. What the tropes do in this case is just create the perfect situation for the perfect teen romance dream, where Jackie has to share the house with a ton of handsome boys.
From there, the series becomes comfortable telling the same story we have seen many times before, using the same archetypes for its characters. We have Jackie, the fish-out-of-water protagonist, coming from the big city and feeling out of place in the countryside. We have the handsome main love interest who acts like a jerk, but he is in reality a man with a golden heart. And also, of course, a bunch of secondary love interests that never really have a chance with the protagonists.
Each of the main characters is some version of these archetypes, and they are played straight and simple. As it is, there is little depth when it comes to characters and plot within My Life with the Walter Boys, but the heart of the show is big, and these clichés are clichés in the first place because they work, and so you end up being dragged into the situation. And just like Jackie finds a perfect gay friend and a female friend who thinks she is awesome, you also become a part of the crew, and you cannot do anything but watch.
My Life with the Walter Boys Season 1 Review: Star Performance:
The cast of My Life with the Walter Boys is mostly composed of brand-new talent. This is great. Leaving the overall quality of the show to the side, it is great that shows like this allow brand-new actors to have their break. We are possibly looking at some movie stars in the making right here. To be specific, the breakthrough role is, without a doubt, Nikki Rodriguez. She has the weight of the show on her shoulders. If she doesn’t make herself likable and fun to watch, the show will break apart. Thankfully, she achieves that goal.
However, we cannot let go of Alisha Newton’s work. Her role is a lot smaller than Rodriguez’s, but in some ways her character is a lot more interesting, so Newton can shine brighter in many places. Her role would make her a target in other shows, but here she manages to become sympathetic.
My Life with the Walter Boys Season 1 Review: Direction & Music:
When it comes to production values, the show has Netflix‘s look. You know, the one that definitely tells us that we are watching a very cheap production. Of course, the series never reaches the point of being unwatchable; far from it. However, it is clear that Netflix is not spending a lot of money here. The scenarios and the sets look cheap but solid, so at least the entire visual palette makes the series look exactly right for what it is.
Formulas in storytelling are there for a reason. Can they become the first step into creating something a lot more meaningful and deep? Yes, sure, but something bare-bones is enough; you don’t always want a full meal. Of course, My Life with the Walter Boys is directed at a very particular type of audience. That audience will devour it. For those audience members who are not in that target group, you could still find some fun watching the show. It won’t ask a lot from you, so if you want to just sit and relax, My Life with the Walter Boys gets the job done.
My Life with the Walter Boys Season 1 Review: Last Words:
My Life with the Walter Boys is directed to an audience that truly enjoys the most romantic of stories. The harem-type storytelling is very similar to tons of anime series that get released every single year. So, if you like that, you will like this series as well. The cast is filled with new talents, which makes it exciting, but the story doesn’t really reach its fullest potential. We will surely see more from the author of the source material and the cast in the future, and just for that, it is worth it.