Tween sitcom Alexa & Katie to get second series on Netflix
Alexa & Katie, Netflix's first 'tween' sitcom, launched on 23 March but has already been commissioned for a second series.
The show follows best friends Alexa (Paris Berelc) and Katie (newcomer Isabel May) at the start of their freshman year of high school (they're fourteen-year-olds, in other words).
Giving the show a thread of pathos, Alexa is undergoing cancer treatment - but her outgoing personality and enthusiasm for life never falter. She and Katie, her loyal and awkwardly adorable best friend, are often left feeling like outsiders, during a period when what seems to matter most is fitting in.
The theme of the series is probably best summed up by Alexa's concerns before starting high school: "Everybody is going to know me as the sick girl. And I am so much more than that."
Also starring is Tiffani Thiessen of White Collar and Saved By The Bell as Lori, Alexa's determined and protective mother.
While season 1 focussed on Alexa's diagnosis, illness and treatment, the follow-up series is expected to go on to examine her recovery and the feelings of isolation Alexa feels as life moves on.
Teen drama success for Netflix
Alexa & Katie was created by Heather Wordham, whose credentials in teen drama could hardly be bettered: she co-produced Disney's massively successful Hannah Montana.
Wordham says she was inspired by her own experiences trying to support her mother and sister, both of whom battled with cancer, and interviewed social workers, doctors and patients at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center as part of her research.
Teen drama has formed quite a success for Netflix over the last year or so, most notably with 13 Reasons Why, which examined the causes of a young woman's suicide. The company's clearly decided that young women-plus-angst is a winning formula.
Cult science fiction-horror series Stranger Things has also attracted a huge teen audience, as have On My Block and The End of the ____ing World. However, Netflix is ruthless with shows that fail to make the grade, recently cancelling teen LGBT comedy Everything Sucks!.
There's no word on when Alexa & Katie will hit the screen, but it's likely to appear some time early next year. It's exclusive to Netflix, so if you (or your teenage daughter) want to see it, you'll have to sign up - taking advantage, of course, of a 30-day free trial. There's a basic package costing £5.99 a month, but which allows only one screen to be used at a time.
For two quid more, the standard package includes HD streaming and the ability to watch on two screens at the same time, while the premium package, which includes Ultra HD and the ability to have four people watching at once, costs £9.99 a month.
You can watch Netflix on an internet-enabled TV, or on a laptop, tablet or phone.
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