The New Starz Series ‘Flesh and Bone’ Cuts Deep

I am not a review writer.

Review writing is an art. A talent. It’s a talent I learned I didn’t have when I was in college and tasked with writing a review for ‘Snakes on a Plane.’ It was trash. So trash that my editor had another colleague write the review. It was a good decision.

But now I’m at it again because I simply couldn’t not write about Starz’ limited series “Flesh and Bone.” There’s something about ballet dramas that I can’t turn away from. From the ballet/hip hop drama “Save The Last Dance” to Natalie Portman’s Oscar winning performance in “Black Swan“, ballet movies and television shows make damn good dramas.

Flesh and Bone” stars Sarah Hay as Claire Robbins, a talented but troubled dancer who flees  Pittsburgh for New York City in hopes of becoming a ballet dancer at a prestigious dance company. She finds herself in the gritty, ruthless world of ballet and that isn’t even where the craziness begins.

Screenshot via

Screenshot via

By the end of the first episode you’ll understand why Claire decided to runaway and you’ll be shocked and disgusted.

The show doesn’t sugarcoat the hardships of professional dancing. From bloodied feet to diet pills and drug use, it’s as bare bones as it gets. There is a moment when a big toenail completely comes off and I literally had to turn away.

What makes ‘Flesh and Bone‘ so authentic is the formula: It isn’t a show where actors become dancers for the role but it’s dancers that are acting. It adds an authenticity to the show that would be missing if creator Moira Walley-Beckett didn’t specifically search for those dancers.

The supporting cast of Emily Tyra, Ben Daniels, Raychel Diane Weiner, Irina Dvorovenko and more are phenomenal at bringing the seedy side of the professional ballet world to light.

I did have a few gripes about the show: The homeless, mentally disabled guy that lives in the building is very unrealistic. It’s 2015. I’m almost certain there aren’t any landlords offering free housing for carrying tenants groceries and mattresses upstairs in the SoHo/East Village neighborhood Claire lives in. (If there are, please let me know.) I understand that it’s television but that was WAY too unbelievable for me.

There are a few holes in Claire’s family story that I think need to be addressed. What really happened to her mother? How did her relationship with her brother become so dysfunctional? Answers that ideally would be answered in season two.

But it looks like there isn’t going to be a second season.

Sadly, Vanity Fair reported that Starz C.E.O Chris Albrecht said the show’s production is ‘not sustainable on a seasonable basis.”

Creator Moira Walley-Beckett has said that she is fine the show as a limited series.

” I kind of feel like it is what it is. This was it’s moment, and I’m really happy with how complete the story is for better or worse.”


I’m not accepting any of this. This show is TOO GOOD to not go on. Can you imagine if “The Walking Dead” only had 1 season? Or ” Breaking Bad?” We would’ve have missed out on so much good TV.

Catch “Flesh and Bone” on Starz Sunday nights at 8/7 CST. Or you can binge watch the entire season on Starz Play and On Demand.