Pilot Perception: Flesh and Bone

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: Flesh and Bone, Starz in the U.S. and Super Channel in Canada, Sundays at 9/8c

The Pedigree: Flesh and Bone was created by Moira Walley-Beckett (Breaking Bad), who wrote the first episode and executive produces with Lawrence Bender (Inglourious Basterds) and John P. Melfi (Sex and the City). David Michod (Enlightened) directed the first episode.

The Cast & How You Know Them: The show stars Sarah Hay (Black Swan) along with a large ensemble cast including Ben Daniels (Law & Order: UK), Emily Tyra (Boardwalk Empire), Irina Dvorovenko (Forever), Damon Herriman (Justified), Josh Helman (The Pacific), Sascha Radetsky (Center Stage), Tina Benko (Brotherhood), Clifton Duncan (Elementary), John Allee (Port Charles), and newcomers Raychel Diane Weiner and Karell Williams.

The Premise: A brilliant, troubled young ballerina moves to New York, gets a job with an elite dance company, and finds herself in a dark, cutthroat professional world.

A Taste:

 

What Works: This was just such a gorgeous episode that it left me wanting more. It’s beautifully shot, and I’m always a sucker for pretty credit sequences. I’m also fascinated by ballet in general and these darker aspects in particular, so this was right up my alley. I’m a fan of Ben Daniels from Law & Order: UK days and curious to see what he does with this role; I’m less familiar with the rest of the cast, but impressed so far with their blend of acting and dancing ability.

What Doesn’t: Some of the “country girl in the big city” and “innocent new girl at the dance company” stuff is pretty cliched; hopefully the show can grow past it. And this is definitely a show in which few if any of the characters are good people or people you would particularly want to spend time with. That doesn’t bother me if the show gives other reasons to watch, but I know it’s a (perfectly understandable!) dealbreaker for many viewers.

Our Favorite Line: “I bought it fresh yesterday but I was only planning on staring at it.”

You Might Like This if you like dark dramas about dance or the arts in general. Black Swan is the obvious comparison here.

If You’re Interested: The first episode is rerunning a bunch of times on both Starz and Super Channel, so check your local listings or watch on demand or online. Then set your DVR for Sunday!

(Photo courtesy of Starz.)

About Kate

Kate Linnea Welsh is a New Hampshire-based writer and taxonomist. (No, that doesn't involve dead animals.) She keeps us up to date on TV news in her weekly column "Caffeine." She writes about other TV shows, books, and more at her blog and her site Read the Screen. She'd love to talk to you on Twitter: @katelinnea