The news that Tiny Pretty Things, the 2016 YA novel about ballet students by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton, is being made into a 10-episode Netflix series sent me into a free-association reverie.
“Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars.” – Amazon. The sequel (2017) is titled Shiny Broken Pieces.
I was already having trouble distinguishing Pretty Little Liars—the teen series (2010-2017, originally on ABC Family) based on the book of the same name—from Big Little Lies, the HBO series that recently wrapped up its second season and which is based on another by-the-same-name novel.
Never watched this show; can’t tell you anything about it besides the title.
Watched Season 1, found it insufferable. No longer have HBO so can’t report on the sufferability of Season 2.
Then I discovered a women’s clothing brand called Pretty Little Thing …
… which reminded me of the 2002 British thriller Dirty Pretty Things, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor (in one of his earliest roles) and Audrey Tautou (in a major departure from her manic pixie dreamgirl turn in Amelie).
It’s been a while, but I remember it being (dirty) pretty good. I can say without qualification that it’s the best movie about illegal kidney trafficking that I’ve ever seen.
UPDATE, September 20: I just discovered Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult (2016). “Soon to be a major motion picture,” or so they say.
Update #2, December 2, 2019: And how could I have overlooked Cheryl Strayed’s 2012 advice collection, Tiny Beautiful Things? It was adapted for the stage in 2016 by Nia Vardalos, who starred in the production at New York’s Public Theater; the play will be revived by San Francisco Playhouse in January 2020.
It’s one of the stranger trends I’ve observed (you can see other trends here, here, and here). I have no explanation (coincidence? Not likely) other than something about imitation and flattery. But I like to think that all of the three-part big-little-noun titles were inspired by Mr. Dudley “Big Tiny” Little (1930–2010), who was a fixture on The Lawrence Welk Show in the 1950s.
By 2019 standards, Little wasn’t all that big. My, how we’ve grown.
Take it away, Big Tiny!