When Netflix premiered Tiny Little Things in late 2020, they hoped to deliver audiences a new hit show after Tiger King and Queen’s Gambitdominated the cultural discussion throughout the year. While the show is a massive hit as far as viewers go, the reviews are in. Unlike the other two series, fans are less on board with the show as a form of entertainment and more on board with the perceived trainwreck that it eventually becomes.
What is Tiny Pretty Things?
Tiny Pretty Things is the brainchild of Michael MacLennan, a writer and playwright whose work on Queer as Folk helped bring him to the television masses, according to IMDb. The show follows Shane McRae, an openly gay ballet dancer played by Brennan Clost, who is caught up in a love affair with one of his roommates, Oren. The show follows a working dancer’s struggles and how his drama bleeds out onto the dance floor.
While many of Netflix’s biggest hits stem from relatively obscure origins, Tiny Little Things doesn’t have the cast or the talent behind the camera to bank on brand loyalty. Furthermore, unlike Stranger Things, the show does not tap into a genre that’s had recent success in any form. That hasn’t stopped the fans from flocking in, however.
Despite its relative obscurity, the show developed a massive following during its initial run; While people were quick to point out all of the show’s flaws, it scratched an itch on their need for melodrama. However, when people are done watching the show, many took the opportunity to brush off their keyboards and let the vitriol fly in their reviews.
A rotten tomato
The show received lukewarm reviews at best at Rotten Tomatoes. While some critics, such as Salon’s Ashlie D. Stevens, did like the show, stating that, “It was refreshing to see a media depiction of eating disorders that didn’t center a white woman; this series focuses on the struggles of a male dancer,” others saw it as disposable entertainment. Tom Long of Detroit News minced no words, claiming that the show is “consistently inconsistent, purposely tacky, and piles cliche upon cliche. It is trash TV.”
Other negative reviews, such as Autostraddle’s Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, saw the negative aspects as added entertainment. “I feel like I might both love and hate Tiny Pretty Things, which makes me feel a lot like its characters, who destroy their best friends one minute and then hold them close the next,” she wrote, weighing the good with the bad.”
The show holds just a 53% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but its harshest critics may have been over at IMDb.
Everyone’s a critic
One look at the show’s IMDb page shows a running theme of open disgust or praise of the show’s audacity. One reviewer left their entire 10/10 review in the title. “Christ: this show is so unintentionally hilarious,” they said, ending it with a crying laughing emoji.
Other viewers saw potential in the subject matter but failed to see a single redeeming feature in the show, which they said follows a “cringe, bark and repeat” formula. Whether this is the case of a Sharknado type fame of a “so bad that it’s good” movie becoming a strange, ironic hit, or a case of a divide between the fans and detractors, Netflix got people talking with their new dancing drama.
The show was a hit on Netflix’s charts, meaning that a sequel season could soon be on the way. Whatever happens, fans did not hold back when dissecting all the flaws with their latest attempt at giving us a new hit. Now, they can either lean into the ironic love that many have or try to fix it and make it a genuinely beloved project.