My Life with the Walter Boys, YA romance drama

Nikki Rodriguez in My Life with the Walter Boys

My Life with the Walter Boys is a young adult series devoted to love and romance using a love triangle to propel the story. The series definitely does not pass the Bechdel Test, because all the girls in this cliché and trope-ridden series could find to talk about was boys.

In My Life with the Walter Boys, 15 year old Jackie (Nikki Rodriguez), a New Yorker determined to get into Princeton, loses her entire family in a tragic accident. She’s sent to Colorado to live on a farm with the Walter family because Dr. Katherine Walter (Sarah Rafferty) was her mom’s best friend.

Katherine and George Walter (Marc Blucas) have a ton of kids – all boys. They also have temporary custody of several other kids, one is a young girl.

Ashby Gentry, Nikki Rodriguez, and Noah LaLonde on the poster for My Life with the Walter Boys

The minute Jackie walks into the Walter’s house, a love triangle is set in motion that drags on and on and on for 10 episodes. Alex (Ashby Gentry) is quick to fall in love but gets obsessive over girls. Cole (Noah LaLonde) is a bad boy, modeled after James Dean. He even has a James Dean poster in his bedroom. Cole gets all the girls without even trying – he’s that sexy.

There’s a long standing rivalry between Alex and Cole over just about everything, but especially about girls. Cole stole Alex’s first girlfriend.

Jackie likes them both and wavers continually between the two. There are so many shots of Jackie staring into the eyes of either Alex or Cole for long minutes it’s almost hilarious. With the main character being 15 years old, I don’t think calling this a coming of age story is correct. It’s more of a first crush story.

I know I sound like an old fogey here, and I probably am. The intended audience for this series will be enthralled by the constant tension over who will win the hand of Jackie. I’m sure there will be special chat groups set up to argue the merits of either TeamAlex or TeamCole.

Or maybe Jackie will end up at Princeton after all and it won’t matter. Jackie can’t get enough AP classes at her new school to guarantee her resume will look good enough so she joins several extracurricular activities. She’s a track star.

Cole’s sort-of-girlfriend Erin (Alisha Newton) takes an instant jealous dislike for Jackie, and Erin has influence at the school.

Not much time is spent developing character among the Walter brothers. Nathan (Corey Fogelmanis) is gay. That’s explored a bit. Danny (Connor Stanhope) wants to be an actor. That’s explored a little bit. The oldest Walter child, Will (Johnny Link), is engaged. He’s obsessed with creating a successful business – which gives his girlfriend a reason to talk about nothing but her relationship with Will to all her girlfriends.

I don’t know if a second season is in the works. The first season just fizzles out. The financial problems of the Walter family are unresolved. Jackie’s relationship status is a huge mess. Several other romances I haven’t mentioned are unsettled.

Two women had directing jobs in the series: Winnifred Jong and Nimisha Mukerji. The series is on Netflix, awaiting the arrival of romance-crazed tweens and teens.

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