'Dash & Lily' Stars on Why Their "Nostalgic" Netflix Series Is a Holiday Escape

The cast also opened up about how their show is a "great model of more representation."

Why settle for a Christmas movie, when you can have a whole holiday series? Netflix's new eight-episode seasonal series Dash & Lily stars Austin Abrams and Midori Francis as two New York City teens who spark a romance while passing a notebook back and forth at locations all across the City That Never Sleeps during the heart of the holiday season.

The stars opened up about why viewers will love the Christmas show based on Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, as well as what made them want to be a part of it.

"Well, for me it was my character," said Francis of what drew her to the project. "Lily was so smart and so verbose. Honestly, she had a lot of who I was at that age in her and I was like, 'I have to give this a go.'"

"I felt like there was a good story there," said Abrams. "I also really like the producers, like Shawn Levy, 21 Laps [Entertainment]. I felt like Dash was a very interesting person, like had a lot of internal struggles going on there."

While the series is a Christmas story, it also has a seasonless message about fitting in and staying true to yourself.

"I would say that fitting in is a useless, silly thing to try and do, but everyone figures that out in their own time," said Francis of the show's message. "But to all the young people who will be watching our show, I hope that you take from this that there are more important things than fitting in including being true to yourself."

The cast shot the show at the peak of the holiday season last year, according to producer Nick Jonas on Twitter, "not knowing what 2020 had in store for us." The actors also opened up how this show delivers a dose of nostalgia for Christmases of years past.

"The holidays are not going to be the same this year, unfortunately," said Troy Iwata, who plays Lily's brother Langston. "Obviously, we had no idea that a global pandemic was going to happen and that our show even set now still has this nostalgic feeling of New York during the holidays, and I think that that's going to be really a lovely escape for a lot of people."

The series features a diverse cast, one Iwata says he's "really excited" for viewers to see.

"I think that our show is a really great model of more representation," said Iwata. "I don't think that any movie or TV show can depict every kind of individual, but I do think that our show is a great step forward toward more representation."

The shows also spotlights a LGBTQ+ relationship, as Iwata and Diego Guevara play a gay couple.

"We have an interracial, queer relationship and the most important thing is that it's not questioned by themselves or their friends or family," said Iwata. "It's just in existence and everyone just accepts that and celebrates it. And I think that that's a really important message of hope so that people can follow by example and understand that it's not negative in any way."

In the series, Dash cannot stand the holiday season, but it's Lily's favorite time of the year. While Francis says she's definitely like her character Lily in real life, Abrams claims he's a "healthy mix of both of those extremes."

Dante Brown, who plays Dash's best friend Boomer, also says he's like Lily when it comes to the holidays, while Iwata claims, "I'm like Dash on the outside, but Lily on the inside."

Watch the video above for more. Dash & Lily is now streaming on Netflix.