Tiny Pretty Things

Stars: 2.5/5

Have you ever watched a show that progressively becomes worse to see how it plays out?

Netflix decided to blend “Dance Academy,” “Elite,” “13 Reasons Why,” “Pretty Little Liars” and a pinch of “Riverdale” into one show. Did it work out? No.

I have never stumbled upon something so disappointing in my life.

The show's overly dramatic and self-righteous narration is the first thing you are slapped in the face with. It’s basically Hannah Baker’s snarky narration from “13 Reasons Why” but replaced with your high school’s main mean girl aka Cassie (Anna Maiche). 

The first episode pulls you in, but after that it feels like the writers gave up. The staff wrote down every single trope, Gen-Z interest and issue out there in the world and picked random spaces to put them. The dialogue is nothing like what a teenager or anyone would say. Every relationship is rushed and lacks chemistry.

Every character is a walking flavorless character trope, especially the people of color. Our main character, Neveah (Kylie Jefferson), is another rendition of the “hood Black girl” trope who does not like anyone or anything. Then, she has every stereotype about a Black character crammed into her storyline. Neveah also was the least developed character. 

I want a Black main character that is not a walking stereotype in at least one new show. 

As a matter of fact, almost every single character is horrible. It is nice to have good unlikable characters and anti-heroes, but most of the ensemble is despicable and has no redeemable qualities.

Bette (Casimere Jollete) gets the mean girl character trope when star dancer Cassie falls. Even though I hated Bette in every episode, she ended up being one of the most compelling characters. You will still hate her for her microaggressions toward Neveah and her ruthlessness to be on top, but her family is even worse. She has some development, unlike her classmates. 

Even though June (Daniela Norman) has more polarizing storylines, they fall short despite the potential. Her character is lost among the drama that surrounds her. The final episode boils over when her overbearing mother reveals who June's father is, yet it seems like the writers pulled this one to give us one more insufferable plot twist that does not make any sense.

The male characters also have inconsistent storylines, especially Shane (Brennan Clost). The plotline between Oren (Barton Cowperthwaite) and him is intense and it was uncomfortable how the writers handled it. Unfortunately, Oren's eating disorder is barely addressed. Caleb’s Southern accent is atrocious, alongside his Islamophobia against Nabil (Michael Hsu Rosen), his roommate. Finally, Nabil wastes his time waiting for Cassie to wake up.

I never thought a show could make me say, “there is too much drama in each episode.” I love drama, drama is not a problem for me, but somehow “Tiny Pretty Things” pushed me to my limit.

The biggest issue I have with “Tiny Pretty Things” is how the show handles student-teacher relationships or simply pedophilia. Most of the students were taken advantage of or groomed by their teachers or by a faculty member. There was a teacher who made fun of a student for being a virgin and not dancing provocatively.  

The show tries to tackle so many issues within 1-2 episodes. “Tiny Pretty Things” sprinkled every single issue in the world within 10 episodes without giving us a plot. 

The soundtrack honestly outdoes the whole show itself. Hozier’s “Nina Cried Power” saved an entire episode, alongside Harry Styles' “Watermelon Sugar.” The dancing is one of the better parts of the show, however, the choreography has a few low moments.

Final bone: Netflix, quit trying to recreate “Elite.” Excuse my bias, but “Elite” deserved the hype for its first two seasons. Netflix has this fixation on making another “Elite” so badly, and it seeps through with the marketing and writing of their new shows.

Unlike “Elite,” “Tiny Pretty Things” does not make you sit at the edge of your seat or entertain you. It is exhausting with its 50-minute episodes. A show can be dramatic and wild if the plotlines are fleshed out and developed.

“Tiny Pretty Things” is a beautiful, drawn-out disaster. The books are better. I will be waiting for its second season to see if a show could get any more unbearable.

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