Here is what I picked for this month, including short reviews:
Flesh and Bone
created by Moira Walley-Beckett, feat. Sarah Hay, Ben Daniels, and Emily Tyra
“This gripping coming-of-age drama follows a young ballet dancer, Claire, who has a distinctly troubled past as she joins a prestigious ballet company in New York. Claire is a beautiful, soulful, and deeply emotionally wounded young woman who possesses an innate innocence and fragility while at the same time harboring self-destructive tendencies and a vaulting ambition. She is a transcendent ballerina, capable of reaching the sublime, but her inner torment and aspirations drive her in compelling.”
I have made it well known throughout my staff picks that I tend to enjoy dark and intense movies or shows. Flesh and Bone, no doubt, is dark and intense. But that is not to say it is hauntingly beautiful and moving in every sense of the word. Sarah Hay is simply stunning in her debut role as Claire Robbins– a talented, but emotionally troubled dancer who fights her way through the cutthroat professional ballet world of New York City. I connected very deeply with Claire in many ways, and with other characters as well. Although I would imagine the depiction of professional ballet is extremely dramatized in the show, I would still argue that the show perfectly and realistically captures a person’s inner darkness, and the fight to escape it. What is even more fascinating about Flesh and Bone is its structure. Many viewers may miss it, due to being wrapped up in the melodramatic intensity of it all, but the miniseries is structured like an actual ballet, specifically drawing from Gothic horror. I’m a little sad, and do I dare say disappointed, that it was not picked up for a second season, and thus it is considered only as a miniseries. I hope the main actress, Sarah Hay, goes onto to do other work, as her debut role was simply astonishing and I feel as though she captures the attention of every viewer.
Here is a link to a fascinating Vulture article, which explains, in more detail, about the structure of Flesh and Bone. (The article contains spoilers!)
If You Leave
I first heard Daughter while watching the British show, Skins (which I also highly recommend). I was moved by the beautiful and emotionally haunting lyrics. I have many favorite bands, but Daughter, without a doubt, stands at the very top of the list. Although I staff picked their newest album Not to Disappear back in February, I’m still listening to their premiere album, If You Leave. I have their entire discography on repeat in preparation, but more out of excitement, for the November show in Philly. It will be my first time seeing them live and I simply cannot wait! My favorite tracks off of If You Leave are “Smother,” “Youth,”and “Still.”
Images and summaries taken from catalog.ccls.org
Wilkinson, Alyssa. “Flesh and Bone Is a TV Show Structured Like an Actual Ballet.” Vulture, 16 Nov. 2015. Web.