Katy Keene is the fantastical New York TV rom-com you need to watch immediately.

I am not a person who normally watches a TV show for comfort or even for fun.

It’s my job to watch, review and then move on, zeroing in on interesting hooks and angles and because I barely have time to tackle the pile of preview screeners waiting in my email, every TV-watching moment is utilised with military precision.

And yet, when it first came out, I watched the first episode of Katy Keene four times in one week.

Katy Keene is part of the Archie Comics universe and while it is an official spin-off of the hit TV series Riverdale, it’s also devoid of angsty teens, small-town murders and weird organ harvesting cults.

Instead, the series centres on twenty-something New York native Katy Keene (Lucy Hale), an aspiring fashion designer who currently works as a personal shopper in the fancy Manhatten department store, Lacy’s.

The reason you might find Katy Keene so soothing, despite the fact the plot contains no real stakes and it has the tendency to veer into cartoonish territory, is that it is basically a fantasy story of young millennials achieving their dreams in New York City.

All while wearing fabulous clothes and falling in and out of sexy love affairs.

Lucy Hale as aspiring fashion designer Katy Keene. Source: Foxtel.

It's a show that offers all the escapism of Sex and the City without the examination of social politics or real heartbreak, although it's still a series based on friendship.

Katy's childhood best friend Jorge Lopez (Jonny Beauchamp) lives with her in their cramped but kitsch apartment situated over his parents' bodega. Jorge is an aspiring Broadway star who spends his nights performing as his alter-ego, Ginger Lopez, a fact he has yet to tell his supportive parents.


The first episode of Katy Keene sees Riverdale character Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) move to New York to chase her dreams of being a famous singer-songwriter and takes up residence on Katy and Jorge's fold-out living room couch, ensuring the living situation of these characters remain the only realistic part of the show.

Rounding out the quad of characters is Pepper Smith (Julia Chan), a New York socialite who dabbles in everything from documentary filmmaking to event planning and gossip column writing, all while attempting to open her own artist's salon.

Pepper calls a swanky New York hotel home and appears to have a little black book of celebrity contacts, yet the real source of her income slowly unfolds over time.

What can get a little grating about the world of Katy Keene is that there are a lot of 'movie of the week' type scenarios woven throughout the storyline that are sometimes just a little too naff or convenient to enjoy as part of the storyline.

For example, on Josie's first full day in New York City, she sings along with a busker in a park and a record executive hears her and says she's just the type of talent he has been looking for and wants to make her a star.

In a later episode, she's in desperate need of a songwriter to help her on a new project, and one just walks into the store she's working at with a load of talent and nothing but free time on his hands to help her out.

But once you look past these little annoyances, however, the frothy world of Katy Keene is the perfect place to sink into if you're having a hard day.

For more pop culture, TV and celebrity news, listen to Mamamia's daily entertainment podcats The Spill. 

There's something soothing about watching Katy whip around a fantasy version of New York in a pair of sparkly heels, attempting to please her tyrant boss Gloria Grandbilt (Katherine LaNasa), the legendary head personal shopper at Lacy's, and working through a complicated relationship with her longtime boyfriend, boxer KO Kelly (Zane Holtz).

So even though Katy Keene features entire scenes where the characters break out into Glee-style song and dance numbers, and seemingly every pressing world issue can be solved by Katy whipping up a couture outfit on her retro sewing machine overnight, it's still worth a watch in these troubled times.

At the end of the day, it's a show best consumed with a glass of wine and a non-judgemental heart.

You can watch Katy Keene now on Foxtel, new episodes drop weekly. 

This story originally appeared in Laura Brodnik's weekly newsletter. You can get more stories like it by subscribing to her weekly TV and Movies newsletter, here. You can also follow Laura on Instagram, here. Facebook, here.