Tiny Pretty Things





Emily Clark

TV Series Review

Professional ballet is a demanding industry. Dancers spend years developing their gifts, repeating routines over and over until they become muscle memory, stretching their bodies to limits most average folk can only dream of, hoping to get cast as a principal dancer for a prestigious ballet company.

Students at the Archer School of Ballet are no different. These teens spend more time dancing than they do in math and history. Each of them is talented, hardworking and determined.

But what really sets apart the pupils of ASB isn’t their gifts or gumption, but their willingness to do whatever it takes to land their dream roles, whether that be vomiting up meals to lose weight, sleeping with the headmistress, or even murdering the competition.

Tragic Swan (Lake) Song

Nobody is quite sure who pushed Cassie Shore off Archer’s roof, least of all newcomer Neveah Stroyer. And it’s pretty safe to say nobody’s willing to talk.

ASB has a lot of rules for its students—no breaking curfew, no drugs or alcohol, no flunking classes, no eating disorders, no sex with boys or girls. Break any one of these and you’re out. But as Neveah gets to know her fellow ballet students, she realizes they’re all hiding at least one of these sins. And if they were to tell the truth about what happened the night Cassie fell, their other secrets might come forward as well.

Heels and Woe

It’s all quite scandalous. We see a lot of debauchery play out on screen—sex between couples (including same-sex pairings), nudity, statutory rape, violence (remember, a girl was pushed off a roof), drug use, underage drinking, bulimia and lots of foul language (including the f-word). There’s also a scene where a girl takes the “morning after pill” after admitting that she was raped.

And if you’re still wondering whether the show is worth viewing, The New York Post reports that viewers went to Twitter, slamming it for “obscenely unnecessary sex” and pointing out how much more uncomfortable it was when you consider these characters are supposed to be in high school. If only they had waited for the Plugged In review. Alas, I’m here now to say that Tiny Pretty Things has a lot of big ugly things that make it a hard pass.

Episode Reviews

Dec. 14, 2020: “Corps”

After a student is pushed off the roof, Archer School of Ballet tries to counteract the bad press by offering a full-ride scholarship to talented newcomer Nevaeh.

A boy and girl have sex (we see a lot of skin and their naked backsides). Later, two boys have sex as well (with the same skin concerns). A man touches a woman’s chest and pelvic area before kissing her (and someone who sees eggs them on). Several students skinny dip in a pool. Pictures of naked women hang on the walls of a house. Students of both genders wear form-fitting leotards and undergarments. A girl becomes uncomfortable during a physical exam when the doctor touches her bare thighs. A girl is told to remove her baggy shorts (she is wearing a leotard underneath) since they cover what the instructor “needs to see.” A picture of a girl and man indicates that they were a couple even though she’s a minor.

A girl is pushed off a roof and falls four stories. A police officer performs CPR on her, and we later see blood on the ground where her head hit. We later see her in a coma in the hospital. In a dream sequence, Nevaeh sees a girl purposely crushing all the bones in her foot with a contraption. A girl pulls one of her toenails off. A boy drops his dance partner, almost hurting her. A woman lays flowers at her wife’s grave, and a flashback shows she tried to save her life with CPR. A woman receives a cortisone shot and complains the needle hit the bone.

People (including teens) drink alcohol at a party. A bulimic boy forces himself to vomit. A woman criticizes her daughter for being too thin and for choosing ballet over a more stable career. A dance instructor is rude to his students about their skills and their bodies.

It becomes clear that Nevaeh was given a scholarship because she is black and the school needed her diversity to make itself look good. A girl blames her classmates for her failure. People lie and blackmail. A Muslim boy prays. We hear several uses of the f-word and s-word. We also hear “h—,” “d–n,” “a–,” “b–ch” and “bloody.” God’s name is misused as well.

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Emily Clark
Emily Clark

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and indulging in her “nerdom,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything she loves, such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

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