Tiny Pretty Things: A Show About Lies, a Mystery, and Pointe Shoes

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Credit: Diario Vivo

The Netflix limited series “Tiny Pretty Things”, takes viewers through the twists and turns in the lives of Archer Ballet students as they explore who pushed Archer’s best student off of the roof.

Amelia Semple, Assistant Editor

There is one goal at the elite Archer Ballet School: be the best and only the best. In the Netflix limited series Tiny Pretty Things, new student Neveah is thrown into the captivating mystery of Cassie Shore, the prima ballerina at the school. The show takes viewers through the twists and turns in the lives of Archer students — who will do anything to get to the top — as they explore who pushed Archer’s best student off of the roof.

Based on a book duology of the same name, Tiny Pretty Things follows the lives of three students at Archer Ballet School. The first student, Neveah, (known as Gigi in the books), is a new student at Archer. Neveah has had a rough upbringing; her mother is in prison, and her and her brother moved homes frequently. But her background is what makes her strong and a good dancer; it’s satisfying to watch the smooth and controlled movement of her feet and her arms. Neveah is also a great friend. Although she is considered the competition, she serves as a rock for Shane, June, and — towards the end of the series — Bette. At times, Neveah’s concern that an emotional relationship will interfere with her dreams and her subsequent choice to avoid romantic entanglements is frustrating. At the beginning of the series, Neveah hastily ends a potential relationship with Nabil; while she slowly falls for Oren, she is reluctant to officially enter a relationship until the last two episodes of the series.

The series concurrently follows the second student, June Park. June has attended the Archer School of Ballet since she was a little girl, and her dancing is above average. June’s mother often tries to use this as an excuse to pull her out of the Academy and have her focus on something more productive. Throughout the series, June’s dancing and character improve proportionally. By the end of the series, June has changed from the sweet girl she was in the beginning to a bold woman prepared to stand up to her mother and face independence head-on. While June’s classmates easily manipulate her, she is able to push through traumatic experiences, stand up for herself, and open herself to Nabil at the end of the first season.

The one word that can accurately describe Bette, the third character, is lost. Bette is lost in the world of her family with her overachieving sister and her overbearing mother. She is lost in the world of romance when Oren ends their relationship and she becomes close with Matteo. Bette’s somewhat unhinged dancing reflects the nature of her life, which leads to her experimentation with drugs. Bette constantly thinks about Cassie’s accident; unfortunately, the circumstances in which she finds herself prevent others from truly understanding her.

While there are some minor issues with filming and plot, Tiny Little Things is immersive and makes one wonder who really pushed Cassie Shore. The limited series reaches a maturity similar to Pretty Little Liars, and often leaves the audience often on the edge of its seat, waiting for something to happen next. In the show, everyone — students and faculty alike — has a motive.