It’s a time-honored Hollywood tradition: The fastest way to turn a hottie into a nottie is by saddling them with a clunky pair of spectacles. And while the cliché has fallen out of favor in recent years (instances of satire notwithstanding), the “Nerd Glasses” TV trope makes a roaring comeback in Netflix’s Firefly Lane.
The 10-episode soap — which debuted on Wednesday — centers on Tully (Grey’s Anatomy vet Katherine Heigl) and Kate (onetime Scrubs doc Sarah Chalke), lifelong BFFs whose bond was deemed unlikely because the former is the “brash and bold girl you can’t ignore” and the latter is the “mousy, shy girl you never notice.” This contrast is sledgehammered into viewers’ consciousness minutes into the premiere when the teen version of Chalke’s Kate, played by drop-dead-gorgeous Roan Curtis (The Magicians), shows up with a pair of glasses so big, it looks like two giant see-through frisbees landed on her face. The actress and the character otherwise look like they stepped right off the cover of CosmoGirl (R.I.P.).
Rising star Curtis then spends much of the subsequent 10 hours trying mightily to keep the specs from falling off of her face. In one episode alone (the third), there were 16 (!!) instances in which Young Kate was forced to prevent her glasses from making a clean getaway. On three other occasions, Curtis’ co-stars saw the monstrous monocles making a run for the floor and intervened on their colleague’s behalf.
It’s all very distracting but mostly confusing because… why wouldn’t Kate just get a pair of glasses that fit? And why would producers burden a cast member with a prop that doesn’t work for not one episode but all 10? There’s also the continuity issue: Given the myriad takes each scene requires, the position of the glasses rarely matches from shot to shot.
Think we’re exaggerating? Check out the Jason Averett-edited video below and judge for yourself!