Tiny Pretty Things - Gary Fleder (2020)

Updated: Feb 1

Tiny Pretty Things follows Neveah as an elite ballerina who is offered a coveted opportunity to attend Chicago's ballet academy after its star pupil is pushed to her death from a rooftop. Each episode sees Neveah uncover dark secrets about her new school and fellow dancers.

Ballet, Murder, and sex (a lot of sex). Going in I didn’t know what to expect. Netflix can be very hit and miss; I mean we get great shows like ‘Stranger Things’, and some very shit shows, such as ‘iron fist’ (season 1). I have to say this show is hardly ground-breaking, but it is gripping. I binged it in 2 days and it left me wanting more.

Firstly, I have never read the original book. So, everything that I am saying here is based purely on what the show is showing me. Secondly, I am a big fan of all the late 2000s/ early 2010s teen dramas. And I would say that this show is in the same vein. It is not a show to be watched for its theatrical brilliance; it is simply there to be enjoyed. So, if you don't like those types of shows you will almost certainly not like this.

So, the queer characters in this show are limited. However, the writers do not shy away from them. The main queer character of the show is Shane. A gay young man from Colorado. I don’t want to spoil what happens, but Shane goes through a lot throughout the season. The show comments on important issues subtly, and it’s nice to have such an openly gay character in the show; where they easily could have not. Finally, I think that Shane, although being very feminine, he isn’t made to be a stereotype; this is very impressive from the writers. As in lots of shows, they just have a token gay character who is a walking stereotype. All in all, I think a positive and realistic representation of queer people; just what we need!

Looking at some more positives. The story is very good, it’s really hard to tell who pushed Cassie. I was constantly guessing who it was, and I never got it right. Even though the end reveal was very surprising and a little disappointing. when looking back I can see there was foreshadowing. The show also highlights important topics. Such as anorexia; sexuality; police brutality; race; rape; unplanned pregnancy, and more. I think one of the most compelling was Oren’s anorexia. This was laid out really nicely. It isn’t explicitly shown to us, but bread crumbs were thrown throughout the season. I feel that we never come to a solid conclusion here, but hopefully, we’ll see the story arc completed in season 2.

However, the show isn’t all good. The show is very fast-paced, this aids to the gripping nature of it. However, it does feel like they’re trying to get about 2 or 3 seasons of storyline into 1 season. Another complaint is that this is advertised as a dancing show, and although when they do dance it’s very beautiful and you're drawn in; they don’t dance very often. It varies from episode to episode, but there are usually 2 dancing scenes per episode, and sometimes they’re only thirty seconds long. When I'm watching a show about ballet; I want to see some more ballet! Finally, some of the acting was a little, um… shit. Sometimes it did take me out of the show a bit. But, they did improve throughout the season (mostly), and the dancing was outstanding. And in a show about ballet, I think I would prefer amazing dancing and some shitty acting.

All in all, I would definitely watch season 2 (although that might be due to the cliff-hanger ending). If they fix the pacing issues; put in some more dancing, and maybe give people some acting lessons. This show could be fabulous. Let’s hope if season two comes Netflix listens, and we get an even better season 2!

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