My Life With the Walter Boys' is Netflix's latest hit. Why TikTok is obsessed with its love triangle

My Life With the Walter Boys' is Netflix's latest hit. Why TikTok is obsessed with its love triangle
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My Life With the Walter Boys' is Netflix's latest hit. Why TikTok is obsessed with its love triangle

More than 20 million viewers have immersed themselves in the young adult romance series "My Life With the Walter Boys" on Netflix since its premiere on Dec. 7. The show, based on Ali Novak's 2014 novel, has already secured a second season, and the central love triangle has become a TikTok sensation with over 1 billion views.

The Plot: An Orphan's Journey

The storyline follows orphaned teenager Jackie, who leaves her Manhattan life behind to join her godmother and her 10 children, known as the "Walter Boys," on a farm in rural Colorado. Jackie finds herself torn between the bookish Alex and the charming yet angst-ridden Cole, both of whom she now shares a home with.

TikTok Frenzy: Team Alex vs. Team Cole

TikTokers have passionately taken sides in the love triangle, creating video tributes and fan edits. These posts showcase clips from the show, portraying their favorite character positively, set to moody music. Comments sections become forums for users to discuss why they support one love interest over the other.

The Impact of Fan Edits

Understanding Viewer Loyalty

One popular TikTok, with 12.3 million views, highlights a scene where Alex makes coffee for Jackie, only to discover she's left with Cole. Fans express their feelings of betrayal or triumph, solidifying their allegiance. The comments section becomes a space for users to debate and defend their chosen character.

Love Triangles: A Favored Trope

Love triangles, a timeless storytelling trope, offer viewers a vicarious experience of complex emotions like jealousy, betrayal, and forbidden love. Psychologist Monica Vermani notes that this narrative device allows people to explore messy situations without real-life consequences.

Youthful Fandom and Online Expression

Shows targeting young adults, such as "My Life With the Walter Boys," often feature love triangles. This may be because the young adult demographic is more likely to create online content about their favorite shows. Expressing fandom online helps build empathy and fosters connections within the community.

Parallels and Comparisons

Some TikTokers playfully compare "Walter Boys" to "The Summer I Turned Pretty," another series with a prominent love triangle. Scenes from both shows are edited together to draw parallels, emphasizing similarities between the brothers vying for the protagonist's affections.

"My Life With the Walter Boys" is available for streaming on Netflix.

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