Finding your voice is difficult enough, but doing so in the city that never sleeps is considerably more difficult.
Little Voice, the latest offering from Apple TV+, tells the tale of Bess King, a young woman who is struggling to find her voice.
While that may not sound like a great pitch for a TV series, the series will immediately grab your attention, and won’t let go. It’s an immersive experience from start to finish.
Created by Jessie Nelson, who is famous for writing the Broadway musical adaptation of Waitress, the story plays out like a New York fairytale, in a similar vein to The CW’s one-and-done Katy Keene.
Waitress was such a success on Broadway because of the writing, directing, acting, and, of course, the music. Nelson reunites with Sara Bareilles on this series, and the pair continue to make the magic happen.
From the first scene, it’s clear that music will be just as pivotal in Little Voice, which makes sense since Bess is a budding musician.
Casting Brittany O’Grady as the lead was a stroke of genius. O’Grady is coming off a three-season run on Star, and while she was given a lot to work with on that series, the show never really used her to her full potential.
There was never a question about her star quality, and she shines brightly throughout the entirety of Little Voice, with the actress delivering a striking performance as a young woman working multiple jobs, who is simultaneously trying to find her voice and make her dreams come true.
New York being an expensive city to live in is often overlooked on the small screen, but Bess is working multiple jobs, and sharing a tiny apartment with her friend.
With the series being billed as a “romantic comedy-drama,” it makes sense that some hurdles would be thrown in along the way, but what I appreciated the most is the execution of it all.
There’s a perfect balance between Bess trying to find her voice, the music, and everything else that goes on in her day to day life.
We pick up with Bess at a pivotal point in her life and follow her as she is on the cusp of discovering who she is, and more importantly, who she wants to be.
Her world is filled with people who know she has the ability to be propelled to stardom if the opportunity presents itself, and all of the other characters are needed to help keep the story moving along nicely.
Sean Teale is introduced early on as Ethan, an attractive Brit, who knows good music when he hears it. There’s immediate chemistry between him and Bess.
Their first meeting is a bit of a chance encounter, and they appear to be naturally drawn to each other. Chemistry works in some mysterious ways, you guys.
Colton Ryan is also on board as Samuel, the polar opposite of Ethan, and while love triangles are the bane of my life when it comes to TV shows, it’s clear Bess shares chemistry with both men.
The creatives behind the show have clearly taken a less is more approach, and it compliments the cheerful tone of the rest of the world created in the first season.
You would think Bess would be busy enough with her multiple jobs, finding her voice, and finding herself growing close to two distinctly different men, but there’s also her family life thrown in for good measure.
Kevin Valdez plays the younger brother of Bess, who has been relocated to a transitional home. He’s obsessed with Broadway and finds himself in some wild scenarios as a result.
Valdez is another solid addition to the cast. His performance is nuanced, and all of his scenes are moving.
Bess shares a lot in common with her brother, and sometimes she feels like she’s putting everything in her life on hold to make sure he is safe in his new surroundings.
When all is said and done, Apple TV+ has cooked up one of the most hopeful shows of the year. With everything going on in the world, Little Voice serves as a great distraction.
TV shows in this vein tend to not stand the test of time, regularly being cut short before their time is up. Recent examples are Katy Keene and the Baker and the Beauty.
The world needs more positive and uplifting TV shows, and Little Voice should be able to excel on Apple TV+.
The best thing to do is to sit back and let the show take you on a ride through a young woman’s life as she tries to find herself in a city that boasts a population of over 8 million people.
Little Voice debuts with the first three episodes Friday, July 10, and new episodes will stream every Friday through its first season finale.
Will you be giving Little Voice a shot?
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.