Netflix’s new show Tiny Pretty Things has underwhelmed fans and disappointed critics.
The young adult drama – which debuted on the streaming platform yesterday (14 December) – is an adaptation of a novel of the same name by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton.
Tiny Pretty Things follows Neveah (Kylie Jefferson) 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. The show has been described as “Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars”.
According to Marie Claire, almost every cast member playing a student is a classically trained dancer. Speaking to Dance Spirit, the show’s head choreographer, Jennifer Nichols, said that finding dancers who were equally skilled at acting was like “trying to find unicorns”.
Although the show’s release was met with initial excitement, viewers have since taken to social media to voice their disappointment with the adaptation.
“Tiny Pretty Things was a bit of a let down for sure,” wrote one user, while another added: “The shift in excitement to disappointment has been a sight to see today.”
Many viewers called out the series for its “unnecessary” number of sex scenes. One user wrote: “The amount of sex scenes in Tiny Pretty Things is obscenely unnecessary.”
Another tweeted: “Tiny Pretty Things focused more on the sex scenes than the dialogue and acting in front of us.”
“Tiny Pretty Things added so many a** shots and sex scenes to compensate for the lack of a consistent good plot,” wrote one user.
Some viewers slated the show, stating: “I want my time back.” A second wrote: “It seems like the writers randomly shuffled through the book, plucked out a sex scene, islamophobic comment, or dance routine and said yep that’s the episode.”
However, the series was commended by a number of Twitter users for featuring a Black female lead. One wrote: “Tiny Pretty Things has a Black female lead, multiple LGBTQ+ characters, a muslim character, 2 asian characters and focuses on sociopolitical issues.”
Critics, however, appeared to share similar qualms about the series.
A review for Decider advised its readers to “skip it”, calling out the show’s “clichéd characters and the clunky dialogue”.
Others have criticised the show for having too many storylines that steal focus from the main plot.
“[The] series seems to prioritise sex appeal above all else, including strong character development, authentic emotion and a cohesive executive of multiple plotlines,” read the AV Club’s review.
The show fared better among a few other reviews, including The Guardian’s three-star assessment. “Overall, it’s fun. A comic-book story with a grim modern edge if about right for our current headspace.
“You can fast-forward through the dance bits or the narrative bits as taste dictates and probably improve your viewing experience.”