Tragedy brings major changes in ‘My Life with the Walter Boys’

Jan. 18, 2024

By Rina Tishuk
Staff Writer

Despite some cringe-worthy moments, “My Life with the Walter Boys” is worth binge-watching because of its engaging plot.

The show, which was released on Dec. 7, is based on Ali Novak’s 2014 novel with the same title. The 10-episode series follows 15-year-old Jackie Howard (Nikki Rodriguez) who, after losing her parents and sister in a car accident, must leave her privileged life in Manhattan behind.

Jackie then moves to the small, fictional town of Silver Falls, Colorado to live with her mother’s best friend Katherine Walter (Sarah Rafferty), Katherine’s husband George Walter (Marc Blucas) and their large family. 

Years ago, Jackie’s mother deemed Katherine to be Jackie’s guardian in the event of a tragedy because Jackie’s uncle Richard (Alex Quijano) often traveled for work. However, the recently matured Richard now wants to gain custody of her.

Meanwhile, Jackie is determined to stay focused on her education so she can get into her dream school, Princeton University. Jackie’s guidance counselor and uncle are concerned she is using Princeton as an unhealthy coping mechanism to keep herself busy and push away her sorrow.

A love triangle forms when Jackie develops feelings for Alex (Ashby Gentry), the smart younger brother, and Cole (Noah LaLonde), the popular and mysterious older brother.

Alex and Jackie connect because they are both reserved and value academic excellence. Alex consistently stands up for Jackie, particularly when she faces pranks from the brothers  in her new home, which strengthens their bond.

Although initially portrayed as arrogant, Cole and Jackie develop a connection as they both go through unexpected shifts in their lives. Cole was the quarterback of the football team and was relying on his skills to get a college scholarship, but he sustains a leg injury that makes him feel hopeless.

While Alex is nice, he can be desperate and clingy. In contrast, Cole has a big ego and is known for being a playboy. Additionally, Cole has an on-and-off girlfriend, Erin (Alisha Newton). Although both brothers have flaws, Cole is the better option because he has stronger chemistry with Jackie. 

Jackie’s guidance counselor and uncle are concerned she is using Princeton as an unhealthy coping mechanism to keep herself busy and push away her sorrow.

Fans of “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” which can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video, will enjoy this show because of a similar love triangle involving two brothers. However, compared to “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” this show is not as exciting or suspenseful, and the connections between the characters are rushed. It also lacks scenes of Jackie addressing her grief. This makes the show less realistic and relatable. 

 Unsurprisingly, the most unlikable character is Jackie’s rival, Erin. She is the mean girl who immediately targets Jackie. Viewers may gain sympathy for her in later episodes, but it does not excuse her rude behavior.

 The most endearing character is Katherine. She tries her best to be there for all the kids and welcomes Jackie without hesitation. Despite her family’s financial challenges, Katherine, who works as a veterinarian, extends her services to struggling families without charging them. Katherine gives Jackie space because she understands Jackie has been through a lot but grounds her when needed.

“My Life with the Walter Boys” has its flaws, but if you like the teen romance genre, it is worth streaming. With interesting characters and gripping conflicts, it transports viewers into a world they will not soon forget.  

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