XO, Kitty review: Adorable teen rom-com uses all the right genre tropes

XO, Kitty follows the story of Kitty Song Covey who moves to South Korea to be closer to her boyfriend and learn more about her mother’s past. The series is streaming on Netflix.


Kitty moves to Korea to be closer to her boyfriend Dae, and to learn more about her mother by attending the same school she did many years ago. She isn’t prepared for what’s to come as Dae appears to be dating her new classmate, Yuri.

She spends the semester in a convoluted web of romance as it is revealed that Yuri and Dae are in a fake relationship because Yuri is trying to hide the fact that she’s gay. Kitty gets back with Dae eventually but by then she begins falling for Yuri.

She also finds out that her mother kept a huge secret about her best friend, Principal Jina who is Yuri’s mother. The secret being that Jina had a child when she was 16 with fellow faculty member Professor Lee.

This mystery unravels much like Kitty’s love life as she scrapes through the semester and comes out a much more open individual who still has a lot of discover about herself and her mother.


Anna Cathcart is pitch perfect as the loud American in the middle of a more reserved Korean crowd, but also a teenager who is going through all the insecurities that a teen has to go through growing up.

Cathcart shows great talent in her performance by capturing the essence of what it’s like to be a teen going through all those emotions.

Choi Min-young plays Kitty’s sweet and earnest boyfriend Dae and Min-young is brilliant here. His humble and loving character is made all the more endearing thanks to Min-young’s efforts.

Anthony Keyvan and Sang Heon Lee star as Q and Min Ho and they are wonderful supporters of Kitty in different ways. While Keyvan is not a stereotypical gay best friend, Heon Lee traverses the dislike-to-like scale in a simple manner.

Gia Kim plays Yuri Han, a character with some of the more serious weight to her. Kim encapsulates the difficult journey of a gay teen who is forced to hide who they are because of a conservative culture.

There are many others who deserve credit for the roles they have played such as Peter Thurnwald, Yunjin Kim, Michael K. Lee, and Jocelyn Shelfo.


The show has all the hallmarks of a teenage romance dramedy with each genre represented in equal measure. They’ve also successfully fused the American rom-com with some of the best elements of K-Dramas to produce something quite entertaining.

The bilingual nature of the show and the general depiction of the clash of two cultures is admirably done. The variety of characters makes the show very engaging.

XO, Kitty moves at a comfortable pace with each episode running between 25-30 minutes long. Easily falling under the binge category, the show balances all of its sub-plots masterfully.

The few shots of the Korean landscape are magnificent, even if they weren’t relied on too heavily. Additionally, the soundtrack is filled with a catchy K-Pop track for each and every mood or setting.


The entangling of the romantic web within the show is possibly taken one step too far as by the end of it, you’re left trying to genuinely keep track of who is in love with whom.

The subject of homosexuality not being a widely accepted choice withing the country is touched upon but the writers weren’t bold enough to explore it more thoroughly and ultimately give Yuri an relatively easy journey to the resolution of her problem.


XO, Kitty succeeds in telling a story completely separate to the franchise it spun off from and that story involves many twists and turns with mostly happy endings. Of course, there are more seasons to come but this was a more than respectable start to a show that embraces the silliness and charm of rom-com with hints of drama for more effect.

XO, Kitty
XO, Kitty review: Adorable teen rom-com uses all the right genre tropes 1

Director: Jennifer Arnold, Jeff Chan, Pamela Romanowsky, Katina Medina Mora

Date Created: 2023-05-18 12:30

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: XO, Kitty summary and ending explained

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