I binge-watched Tiny Beautiful Things and I have no regrets
Hulu premiered a new miniseries, Tiny Beautiful Things, earlier this month. The past few weeks have been crazy busy for me. Lots of hiking (hopefully lots of content coming soon), work has been really busy, and I’ve been focusing a lot on eating better and working out, so I haven’t had much time to watch TV. I’ve got my regulars I watch while I clean or work out or during my lunch break occasionally, but I had no interest in adding anything new to my rotation. I just didn’t have the time.
But I kept seeing the trailer for this show, over and over again. It’s like Hulu was telling me I needed to watch it. (Yes I realize that’s the point of ads, but that’s the point right now).
“How did I get so far from the person I wanted to be?”
“What would I tell my 22-year-old self?”
Those clips kept echoing in my head. And Wednesday night I decided, “What the heck, I have control. If it’s bad I’m fine. If it’s good I can reward myself at night.”
24 hours later I was sobbing on my couch, devastated there were no more episodes, and ordering the book on Amazon.
So what is Tiny Beautiful Things and why did this silly little series touch me so deeply?
Let’s make things easy on myself (since this post is me breaking an unintentional month-long hiatus that was supposed to be broken with a hiking blog post, but was derailed by this show) by sharing with you the summary Hulu has –
“Based on the best-selling collection by Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things is about a woman – Clare (KATHRYN HAHN) – who becomes a revered advice columnist when her own life is falling apart. When we first meet Clare, her marriage to her husband Danny is on its last leg. Her daughter, Rae, will barely talk to her. And her once-promising writing career is non-existent. So when an old writing friend suggests she take over as the advice columnist Dear Sugar, she thinks she’s the last person for the job. But after reluctantly agreeing, she realizes that she might just be completely qualified. As the letter writers force Clare to revisit her most pivotal moments – the death of her mother, the fallout with her brother, even some awful sex in the back office of a funeral home – she excavates the beauty, struggle and humor in her own life to show us that we are not beyond rescue, that it’s our stories that can ultimately save us. And maybe even bring us back home.”
Tiny Little Things is about life, love, death, losing your way, following your dreams, and the messiness of it all.
So why did this show touch me so deeply and why did I feel compelled to share this experience with all of you?
Well, let me see if I can do this without any spoilers.
A part of me sees myself in Clare, minus all the sex and drugs. Although I wasn’t raised by my dad alone (I was lucky to grow up with both my parents), my dad was my best friend and I watched him die in a very similar way. The scenes with Clare and her mother in the hospital, I felt that, not just “Oh I can relate to that” felt that, but my body took me right back to sitting by my dad’s bed. I didn’t just relate to that experience I lived it.
And although not in the same way, I didn’t know what to do with myself once my dad was gone. Like Clare my life kind of fell apart. I no longer really knew who I was or what I was doing, I was just surviving and going through the motions. While Clare’s life kind of went off the rails, my life became an existence on a track I was no longer driving. I was just along for the ride and, like Clare (although thankfully much much sooner in my life) at some point I looked around and realized I had lost who I was and what I wanted and it took (is still taking) a lot of work to find my way back and get things back on track.
While Clare was lost for nearly 20 years and I was luckily only fully lost for 5 or 10 years, I could still relate.
There are several other big scenes that really touched me, but I don’t necessarily know how to talk about them without giving anything away.
All I can say though is that if you had a tumultuous 20s, have ever lost someone super close to you, have a rocky relationship with family members, or have ever looked around and your life and asked yourself, “What happened?” you need to watch this show!
Cover Image from Ground Reason