Binge and Repeat: Netflix’s ‘Tiny Pretty Things’ loses plot in petty squabbles

Dance is a precise artform that takes a toll on the body. It's a competitive field and like any sport, injury can easily end a career in a blink of an eye. With that in mind, the concept of “Tiny Pretty Things,” a drama about a Chicago ballet school where a dancer fell off a roof, sounded like it would be a compelling series.

Regrettably it was not.

The Netflix series couldn’t find its footing, despite having a promising start, it flails and flounders in the petty quibbles of relationships and scandals instead of focusing on the puzzle that the trailer promised.

When star ballerina Cassie falls off a rooftop and lands in a coma, a prestigious dance school has an opening and plucks Neveah from her small dance program in L.A. to give her a chance at a promising dance career. As a newcomer to the Archer, Neveah finds it difficult to fit in with her peers and finds herself quickly thrusted into the cutthroat community at the school.

Tiny Pretty Things

Seasons: One

Episodes: 10

Episode length: 1 hour

TV rating: TV-Ma

Language: English

Similar series: The Wilds

As the dancers work to sabotage one another in the hopes of earning that lead roles for themselves they also spend a considerable amount of time blaming others for Cassie’s accident or having sex. “Tiny Pretty Things” feels like an odd mash up of “Gossip Girl” and “Game of Thrones” considering the excessive sex scenes and juvenile sniping taking place in the show.

There’s too many characters spinning about the storyline to keep all of them straight and far too many subplots to really allow audiences to connect with the dancers’ and their plight to claim the spotlight and that’s just the teenagers. When you add in the plot lines that incorporate the adults involved in the school and the investigation, some viewers will find themselves needing a spreadsheet to keep them straight.

“Tiny Pretty Things” is an adaptation of Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra’s book and it seems that the show might have been so invested in ensuring that all of the book’s storylines were included that it fails to give viewers a chance to connect with the drama unfolding on screen before jumping into the next one.

In addition to a murderous level of competitive spirit, “Tiny Pretty Things” includes storylines about eating disorders, prejudice, sexual assault and abuse. In general the series comes across as being pretty toxic...and messy.

“Tiny Pretty Things” has one season available on Netflix and is rated TV-MA. Viewers looking for a more compelling teen drama might enjoy the survivalist drama “The Wilds” on Amazon.