The reviews are in after Starz premiered its standalone series Flesh and Bone, which is packaged as a show that explores the cutthroat world of professional ballet dancing. And while there were a few critics who said the pilot episode fell short of showcasing the dancing part of the series, there was another aspect of the series that drew the most attention from the viewers incest and sexual abuse.
In an interview with show creator Moira Walley-Beckett, who was one of the driving forces behind AMC’s hit shows Breaking Bad, the Emmy winning writer shared that the show decided to incorporate the taboo subject of incest into the series because they wanted to explore the subject and shed light on its complexity.
“Incest is a very different situation because you know and love the perpetrator. I was really interested in shining light and giving it a thorough exploration, and also wondering how these things can happen,” she said.
The premiere episode showed lead star Sarah Hay who plays talented dancer Claire Robbins, as she flees home to chase her dreams in New York City, where she lands in a ballet company and catches the eye of the director Paul (Ben Daniels) because of her skills.
In the premiere, the show started building on the expected jealousy among her fellow dancers because Claire got in relatively easily and stood poised to become the lead dancer to replace an aging prima ballerina.
While the general plot held promise, a review by Lauren Levine of Refinery 29 indicated that the depiction of the ballet world in the premiere seemed too terrifying and grim which brought down the general happiness and hopefulness quotient of the show.
The Wrap’s Amber Dowling, while still holding out hope that the show would further develop as it moves forward, expressed disappointment over the lack of character buildup, which hurt the pilot episode.
“Unfortunately the end result is a cast of supporting characters that fall flat without the proper development, and a lead that never quite opens up to the audience. Sure, they’re all stripped right down to the “Flesh and Bone,” but they’re never quite built back up, and that’s where the real tragedy lies,” she said.