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Netflix series Tiny Pretty Things slammed over ‘obscene’ sex scenes with teens

Netflix‘s new ballet drama Tiny Little Things is facing backlash over its ‘explicit’ and ‘obscenely unnecessary’ sex scenes featuring teenage characters following the show’s premiere this week.

The teen series follows elite ballerina Neveah Stroyer (Kylie Jefferson) as she navigates the cutthroat competition at the fictional Archer School of Ballet in Chicago after replacing the academy’s star student — who was pushed to her death from a rooftop. 

The show is based on the young adult novel Tiny Pretty Things and its sequel Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton, but many fans of the books have been asking the same question adaptation: Why are there so many sex scenes?

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Close yours eyes: Netflix’s new ballet drama Tiny Little Things is getting called out for its ‘obscenely unnecessary’ and ‘explicit’ sex scenes

Plot: The teen drama follows elite ballerina Neveah Stroyer, played by Kylie Jefferson (left), as she navigates the cutthroat competition at the Archer School of Ballet in Chicago

Plot: The teen drama follows elite ballerina Neveah Stroyer, played by Kylie Jefferson (left), as she navigates the cutthroat competition at the Archer School of Ballet in Chicago

The books have been described as ‘Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars,’ and while there are numerous differences between them and the new series, none seem to be as apparent as the addition of racy hookups, nudity, and sexual assault — all of which critics have found to be gratuitous. 

People have been taking to Twitter to call out the show for its risqué scenes, with many agreeing the constant sex is particularly disturbing because the show is about teenage dancers.  

‘Maybe it’s me, but there is no need for Tiny Pretty Things to literally be softcore porn,’ one person tweeted. ‘There is no need for these actors/actresses to be naked all the time or for all the explicit sex [scenes], especially while portraying teenagers.’

‘Watching Tiny Pretty Things on Netflix as a study break and some of the scenes make me uncomfortable as a twenty-something-year-old. Why are there explicit sex scenes of the main characters? Aren’t they supposed to be teenagers? Am I the only one that thinks this?’ someone else asked. 

Hard to focus: The mysterious murder of the academy's star student is the crux of the show, but many critics were admittedly distracted by all the gratuitous sex scenes

Hard to focus: The mysterious murder of the academy’s star student is the crux of the show, but many critics were admittedly distracted by all the gratuitous sex scenes

Critics: Since its premiere on Monday, people have been taking to Twitter to call out the series for its nudity and sex scenes featuring teenage characters

Critics: Since its premiere on Monday, people have been taking to Twitter to call out the series for its nudity and sex scenes featuring teenage characters

‘Why are there so many sex scenes in tiny pretty things … like aren’t they 16,’ another griped. ‘This s**t is worse than Riverdale.’

Even fans of Tiny Little Things were taken aback by the amount of sex and nudity in the 10-episode series.  

‘So I’ve been enjoying Tiny Pretty Things overall, but the constant nudity and explicit sex scenes featuring underage characters has made me super uncomfortable, as has teacher/student sex,’ one Twitter user explained. ‘The ep I just watched had on-screen sexual assault and it’s left me ill. 

‘I’m [watching] Tiny Pretty Things & THEY R DOING SEX EVERY ONE MINUTE.. but I loved this show idk,’ another shared, while someone else commented: ‘Tiny pretty things is a really good show recommend 10/10 but why is there sex in like every episode???’  

Adaptation: The show is based on the young adult novel Tiny Pretty Things and its sequel Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

Adaptation: The show is based on the young adult novel Tiny Pretty Things and its sequel Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

Too much: Even fans of Tiny Little Things were taken aback by the amount of sex and nudity in the 10-episode series

Too much: Even fans of Tiny Little Things were taken aback by the amount of sex and nudity in the 10-episode series

‘I haven’t been that offended by the amount of gratuitous sex and nudity in Tiny Pretty Things yet but at the very least this show needs a massive dubcon warning,’ one fan pointed out.  

The show has earned comparisons to the HBO drama Euphoria, which features graphic depictions of sex, sexual violence, and drug abuse among a group of high schoolers. 

‘Now how old are the characters in Tiny Pretty Things on Netflix supposed to be? Because all this unnecessary nudity is making Euphoria look like a church special,’ one person tweeted. 

Someone else commented: ‘So some of the same adults who effusively praised Euphoria’s “realistic” depictions of teens are clutching their pearls over sex scenes. in Tiny Pretty Things…?’

Opinions: Tiny Little Things has been getting mixed reviews from critics as well

Opinions: Tiny Little Things has been getting mixed reviews from critics as well 

Similar? The show has earned comparisons to the HBO drama Euphoria (pictured), which features graphic depictions sex, sexual violence, and drug abuse among high schoolers

Similar? The show has earned comparisons to the HBO drama Euphoria (pictured), which features graphic depictions sex, sexual violence, and drug abuse among high schoolers 

Differences: Euphoria was deemed a critical success despite receiving similar backlash

Differences: Euphoria was deemed a critical success despite receiving similar backlash 

However, while Euphoria received a lot of the same backlash that Tiny Little Things did when it first premiered, it was deemed a critical success.

Netflix’s new ballet drama has been getting mixed reviews, with Decider telling readers to ‘skip it’ due to the show’s ‘cliched characters’ and ‘clunky dialogue.’ 

The A.V. Club agreed, saying the ‘series seems to prioritize sex appeal above all else, including strong character development, authentic emotion, and a cohesive execution of multiple plot lines.’

However, The Guardian was a bit kinder, giving the show three out of five stars.  

‘Overall, it’s fun. A comic-book story with a grim modern edge if about right for our current headspace,’ wrote critic Lucy Mangan. 

‘You can fast-forward through the dance bits or the narrative bits as taste dictates and probably improve your viewing experience.’


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