Tiny Beautiful Things Season 1 Review – Kathryn Hahn’s Emmy bid is coursing with human emotion

By Adam Lock
Published: April 5, 2023 (Last updated: March 3, 2024)
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An emotive and powerful drama, elevated by strong performances from Kathryn Hahn and Sarah Pidgeon. Tiny Beautiful Things is bursting with grit and warmth. This is an unabashed, serious awards contender.

We review the Hulu series Tiny Beautiful Things Season 1, which does not contain spoilers.

Kathryn Hahn has always been a consistent and reliable actress, but she’s definitely gone through a renaissance of sorts in recent years, making a name for herself as Agatha Harkness in WandaVision and Claire Debella in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

Well, the Hollywood star will be leading her very own spin-off series, Agatha: Coven of Chaos, later this year and is eyeing up some award recognition in Hulu original Tiny Beautiful Things.

Tiny Beautiful Things Season 1 Review and Plot Summary

Clare Pierce (Kathryn Hahn) is the last person who should be giving out advice in a professional manner. Her husband has kicked her out of her own home, she argues through every couples therapy session, and her daughter flat-out detests her.

Yet she has been gifted with the opportunity of a lifetime and is now the reluctant author of a successful, anonymous advice column called Dear Sugar.

As Clare is inundated with emails, posing all of life’s many quandaries, the writer starts to reflect on her own life and her own past mistakes. There’s plenty of room for self-reflection here, and via surprisingly effective flashbacks, we explore Clare’s childhood, adolescence, and college years.

These flashbacks focus on all of the tiny, meaningful moments from Clare’s past that she now regrets and wishes she could have changed. For instance, the time she upset her mother, Frankie (Merritt Wever), by rejecting one of her unfashionable Christmas presents, although only a few months later, her mother would be dead.

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Most of these regrets focus on her bitter-sweet relationship with Frankie and the major life choices that followed.

While in the present, Clare is making new mistakes, mainly in how she seems to be self-sabotaging her relationship with her daughter Rae (Tanzyn Crawford). She’s also struggling to reconnect with her husband, Danny (Quentin Plair), and is also messing up in awkwardly inventive ways at work.

Her life is literally falling apart, but she has her advice column to steady her, and by helping others, she can, in turn, help herself.

Is Tiny Beautiful Things season 1 good or bad?

Tiny Beautiful Things is a quality drama series featuring punchy humor and a stand-out performance from Kathryn Hahn. She was clearly born to play this role, delivering sarcastic wit, poetic monologues, and a whole kaleidoscope of emotions throughout this eight-episode run.

The series flits back and forth between timelines, making effective use of flashback sequences. This TV trope has been done to death in recent years, but creator Liz Tigelaar manages to bring relevance back to the motif. Interestingly, the cast members dip in and out of timelines, adding a profound and powerful edge to some already emotional scenes as Clare’s memories blur together.

Is Tiny Beautiful Things season 1 worth watching?

The show can be quite dark at times, exploring grief and self-destruction on a raw, visceral level. But there is plenty of comedy and many heart-warming moments to even out the darker tones. The acting is superb, especially from Kathryn Hahn and her flashback counterpart, played by Sarah Pidgeon.

Overall, it’s a very human story that all viewers will be able to relate to on some level.

What did you think of Tiny Beautiful Things Season 1? Comment below.

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