Little Voice is an American romantic comedy-drama television series produced for Apple TV+. The series premiered on July 10, 2020. Little Voice explores “the universal journey of finding your authentic voice in your early 20s. It is described as a fresh, intensely romantic tale of the search to find your true voice…and then the courage to use it.”
Budding songwriter Bess, who is bi-racial, is brimming over with musical talent and feelings that she can only truly express in song. In between scribbling lyrics on whatever scrap of paper she can get, she’s too busy running around the city tending to the needs of others, including her former musician father (Chuck Cooper) who struggles with alcoholism, a on the spectrum older Broadway obsessive brother (Kevin Valdez) and handful of scattered odd jobs. (While “Little Voice,” like most shows set in New York City, seems to take place in a perpetual summer, its most realistic and singular take on the city might be Bess’ reliance on the gig economy.) Bess is kind and anxious, a combination that often results in her taking on too many of everyone else’s problems.
One of the back stories is that her mom walked out of the family leaving the then girl to be the caregiver to her two very needy male family members. But when she sings, it’s entirely her own story, and breathtaking.
That Bess is genuinely talented takes a huge burden of proof off the show. O’Grady brings an eminent warmth, not to mention a singing voice reminiscent of Carol King that fills every inch of the screen, to the role. So much of “Little Voice” depends on people falling for Bess (at least three men do over the course of the first season), or at the very least, believing in her so much that they drop just about everything to help her achieve her dreams.
Two of those, Bess’ musical collaborator Samuel (Colton Ryan) and de facto manager Benny (Phillip Johnson Richardson), don’t have much in the way of their own lives outside Bess, so get necessary boosts from Ryan and Richardson’s eager performances. In the role of Bess’ best friend and roommate, Prisha, she makes the most of her character’s journey to self-acceptance that, while unresolved by season’s end, has more than enough pathos in it to hold over to a we can only hope for second season.
Prisha is an Indian American woman whose parents are wanting to make an arranged marriage for her with an Indian man. This cultural piece is so well done especially if you watched the new Netflix show “Indian Matchmaker” which I also recommend especially for anyone with an overbearing parent.
With nine episodes running a half-hour each, the show is generally smart about how much it leans into its sentimentality, which ultimately befits its unabashedly enthusiastic characters. Sometimes it’s subtle; often it’s not; mostly, it’s heartfelt.
The subject of addiction beyond her dad’s alcoholism is not openly addressed but for any viewer with a working knowledge of sex and love addiction it is easy to spot. Family of origin issues conflate with the main characters here and now. As it says in the sex and love addicts Basic text “we could never lastingly outrun our disease”. The addiction part is as it is so often culturally camouflaged.
The show is good clean COVID-19 fun, time to kill, user friendly and in the end I think it will lead to self-reflection and leave you feeling good and we could all use a little more of feeling good here in month seven of this pandemic.
NO MORE SECRETS IS STILL GOING STRONG!
IF YOUR HAVING ISSUES IN THIS AREA OF YOUR LIFE YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SUFFER IN SILENCE OR DROWN IN YOUR OWN SHAME.
REACH OUT, YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND REMEMBER MISERY IS OPTIONAL.