Despite the fact that the book’s author worked as a co-executive producer on the Netflix series, readers couldn’t help but notice certain differences between the two mediums. Because the TV show ended before the events of the novel on which it is based, it’s probable that some changes were made on purpose to make the show last longer. While certain significant events and characters were added to the story to add drama, others were completely removed.
Tully Hart (Katherine Heigl) and Kate Mularkey (Sarah Chalke) had been friends since they were teenagers, and their relationship is documented in both the novel and the television series. Even though season 2 has yet to be announced, it’s fun to speculate on what might happen based on the book’s and Netflix show’s differences so far.
The timeline of the Firefly Lane TV show isn’t sequential.
One of the most notable differences between the novel and the television series is that, while the novel is told chronologically, the television series jumps around in time, showing Tully and Kate from the 1970s to the early 2000s. The two friends meet in eighth grade in 1974, but each episode jumps back and forth between decades and settings as needed to explain or reveal crucial events in their lives. For example, one episode illustrates numerous holidays over the years, while another concentrates on the various weddings they’ve attended.
While this format helps viewers to learn more about the characters, it makes it impossible to combine smaller plots from the novel alongside major life events such as marriages, births, and deaths. However, it does save book content for future episodes. The good news is that author Kristin Hannah recently released Fly Away, a follow-up to Firefly Lane that should provide enough material for a second season if picked up.
In one episode, Sean, Kate’s brother, appears.
Sean Mularkey is Kate’s younger brother, who is played on the program by Quinn Lord as a teen and Jason McKinnon as an adult. Sean is a minor character in the novel who is only mentioned a few times and is known to have several girlfriends, as fans of the book are well aware. He was also a member of the family, being Kate’s younger brother. In the Netflix adaptation, Sean is recast as Kate’s elder brother, and he develops into a more complex supporting character.
Early on in the television show, Sean is shown to be a gay adolescent. Tully keeps his secret to herself, even from her best friend Kate, until she witnesses him kissing his friend Robbie. As a result of this, Tully and Sean develop a strong friendship. Sean joins the military as a young man and has a live-in companion named Richard, who is only mentioned but never seen. Richard died soon after, and his cause of death was presumed to be AIDS.
Tully tries to persuade Sean that if he marries his pregnant fiancée Julia, he isn’t being fair to himself or Julia. Sean expresses his wish for a family and alludes to a “plague” that is taking gay men’s lives. Sean eventually confesses his sexuality to his sister and then his wife, who throws him out.
Johnny and Kate never divorce in the book.
Kate’s familial situation is different in both the book and the TV show. Kate has three children with her husband, Johnny, in the novel: twin sons and a daughter. Despite their marital problems, the couple never divorces and remains committed to each other throughout the novel’s events. Johnny and Kate are divorced in the Netflix series, and they only have one daughter, Marrah.
In both instances, Johnny is a foreign war correspondent, and it is he who employs Tully and Kate as their first reporters. He keeps working as a producer on Tully’s show, The Girlfriend Hour until he and Kate have a falling out. While Johnny has feelings for Tully, they are never acknowledged, and this causes Kate to be envious throughout the narrative.
Since season 1 of the TV series ends on a cliffhanger with Tully doing something Kate promises she would never forgive her for, some people have speculated that Johnny and Tully are having an affair. Heigl, on the other hand, told ET that such betrayal would never be able to break the two women’s connection. “After they’ve married, Tully won’t be able to sleep with Johnny,” she said. “I don’t believe any friendship will develop as a result.”
Tully doesn’t marry or have a miscarriage in the Firefly Lane books.
Tully is a career-driven woman in both the book and the television series, but she has a number of personal relationships in the novel but never marries because she is too focused on her job as a journalist. Max (Jon-Michael Ecker) is a made-up character not seen in the source material. In the program, Max is an EMT who meets Tully at a pub and becomes one of her many love interests. While he deeply loves her, she is too afraid to respond, and the relationship is ended.
Max proposes to Tully when she finds out she’s pregnant, but she says no. Tully changes her mind and proposes to him, and the odd couple elopes, with Kate and Johnny overseeing the ceremony. Tully hates the marriage and is relieved that she miscarried after a miscarriage, but their marriage is annulled despite her best efforts.
Kate had an unusual relationship with her parents on the show.
Kate’s parents, Margie and Bud, have a far more strained relationship on the program than they do in the novel. Margie was a loving wife in the novel, but she has an affair in the Netflix adaptation. Cloud, Tully’s mother, admits to seeing Margie with another man at a holiday gathering in the 1970s, which Margie denies. Other flashbacks show Margie gradually becoming more open about her affair, with her husband in the same room, presumably talking on the phone to her lover and inviting the other man into her home.