Netflix’s ‘Tiny Pretty Things’ is a bingeable ballet drama-thriller


Tiny Pretty Things | Netflix Media Center

Amanda Salazar, Editor-in-Chief

Netflix is infamous for creating a bunch of new shows at once, airing them, meticulously tracking the ratings and then canceling a vast majority, leaving fans of the axed series sadly watching reruns — the equivalent of throwing it all at the wall and seeing what sticks.

The streaming platform’s “Tiny Pretty Things” is one of those situations. Having aired its first season in 2020, the sexy-murder-mystery-meets-ballet drama has not been greenlit for a second season yet, meaning that approval will likely never come.

Despite the show’s cringey and strange name, it actually is a fast-paced and fun ride that follows a Black ballerina from Inglewood, California, Neveah Stroyer. The show begins as she starts mid-year at the renowned Archer School of Ballet in Chicago, Illinois.

Neveah is admitted after the school’s star student, Cassie Shore, suffers a critical injury when she slips off — or was pushed off — the school’s roof one night and falls into a coma.

The show follows Neveah as she adjusts to the school and its students, who are a mix of friendly, indifferent and cruel. While she moves her way up in the school, Neveah and her classmates deal with issues of racism, Islamophobia, homophobia and eating disorders.

In addition those issues and the ever-present role ofballet in the show is the almost-murder mystery element.

Cassie narrates the show while dedicated cop Isabel Cruz and her former classmates do what they can to figure out what — and who — led her to go over the edge of the roof that night. Despite being in a coma throughout most of the series, the narration and recurring appearance from the police officer make Cassie a very dynamic character.

Ballet is as much a character of the show as the students themselves. The art form is present in every scene; it’s behind every fight that the characters have and it had a crucial place in Cassie’s accident.

“Tiny Pretty Things” is a great show for people who love to binge teen drama shows. It has all the elements of one: fights between friends and lovers, secret relationships, lies being revealed, friends stabbing each other in the back and parents not being able to relate to their children or understand where they’re coming from.

However, the show is also suitable for those who enjoy mystery series. Thequestion of what happened to Cassie hangs over the Archer School like a storm cloud, and when it finally rains, it pours.

It’s revealed that there are more dark secrets connected to the school than just Cassie’s fall. In many cases, the students take it upon themselves to fix the problems since the adults in these situations refuse to do the right thing.

The show’s also good for anyone who likes to watch things about ballet or dance. While it’s not exactly “Dance Moms,” the series features dozens of beautiful dances interspersed with the drama.

Once again, while the show deserves a better name than the silly, melodramatic one it was given, it’s a fun watch and it’s a shame that “Tiny Pretty Things” won’t be back for a second season — especially with the cliffhanger ending.