Netflix dropped its figure skating drama series, Spinning Out, on the first day of 2020. The series consisted of ten episodes that revolved around an Olympic hopeful and her struggles with balancing her love of skating and her tumultuous everyday life. The series was primarily well-received by both critics and the general audience, and it looked like Netflix had birthed their next successful drama series.
However, any hopes of seeing Spinning Out blossom into a full-length series were dashed only a month after the series first aired, when Netflix abruptly canceled the fledgling show. Despite being well-liked by most viewers, Spinning Out did have its share of inconsistencies, nonsensical storylines, and a lack of continuity that probably contributed to its premature cancellation. Let’s take a look at 10 of the series most glaring issues.
9 Kat & Serena’s Relationship
Kat and Serena were shown to have a complicated relationship from the beginning. While Kat often seemed concerned for her little sister’s safety and well-being, the sisters also fought constantly. This occurred primarily in the first few episodes of Spinning Out, and that’s what makes it confusing.
Serena was shown to rely on Kat heavily when their mother was struggling with her mental health. But at the same time, the young figure skater would turn on her older sister for no apparent reason. The show couldn’t seem to make up its mind regarding what kind of relationship it wanted the main sisters to have.
8 Jenn’s Feelings For Justin
Another notable aspect of this series is the core friendship between Kat and Jenn. The dynamic was introduced in the very first episode, and what was conveyed was a bond between two best friends that appeared to be unbreakable. However, this friendship was put to the test when Kat started dating her skating partner, Justin.
Somewhere along the line, Jenn had suddenly developed feelings for Justin. When Kat started dating him, this presented a significant rift between the two best friends and nearly heralded the end of their bond.
7 Johnny Weir’s Character
For years, Johnny Weir has been a significant icon in figure skating. His career in skating took off in 1996. He has competed twice at the Winter Olympics, is a 2008 World bronze medallist, and a 2001 World Junior champion. The retired figure skater has also appeared in several different TV programs, such as Skating With The Stars and The Masked Singer. In 2010, he coined a short-lived but well-received reality show.
There’s no doubt that the career and life of Johnny Weir have been illustrious and iconic, but what’s odd about his appearance on Spinning Out, is that he portrays a character who skates in pairs. Weir only ever skated and competed in men’s singles. Additionally, his character on the series appears to be portrayed as a young, twenty-something-year-old, while Weir is actually thirty-five.
6 The Impact Of Justin’s Mother’s Death
Mid-way through Spinning Out, it’s revealed that Justin’s issues and emotional trauma stem from the death of his mother, which happened when he was a teenager. Justin was devastated by this, obviously, and the wound cut especially deep since his mother was his biggest supporter.
However, Justin is not the only Davis child. His younger twin brothers, Drew and Reid, also lost their mother that day. What’s odd is that the series seemed to gloss over that fact, portraying the twins as rather nonchalant on the subject, while Justin remained affected for years.
5 Mitch & Serena’s Everchanging Dynamic
In the first few episodes of Spinning Out, a deeply disturbing dynamic was introduced between teenager Serena and her adult skating coach, Mitch. Kat became increasingly concerned that the relationship between her sister and the coach was quickly becoming inappropriate, and for a while, it seemed that Kat’s worry was valid.
That is, until Spinning Out quickly changed its tune in the way that it portrayed the aforementioned dynamic. Suddenly, Mitch started dating Serena’s mom, Carol and quickly became Serena’s surrogate father figure, rather than someone preying on her.
4 Serena’s Abuse
A large portion of Spinning Out delves into mental illness and abuse. It deals with this mainly through the portrayal of Carol Baker, the Baker family matriarch, who struggles with bipolar disorder and bitterness regarding the end of her skating career, which happened when she got pregnant with Kat as a young woman.
While it is acknowledged that Carol emotionally and sometimes physically abuses Kat, what is often glossed over in the series is her abuse toward her youngest daughter, Serena. Since Carol was so focused on Serena’s skating, she constantly belittles and emotionally abuses her young daughter, however, the show never addresses this issue explicitly.
3 Kat’s Relationship With Dave
In Spinning Out, Kat is portrayed as being emotionally unstable and closed off. It’s addressed that one of her biggest issues is shutting people out and being unwilling to open up long enough to have a longterm, deep relationship with anybody. This is obviously an understandable fact about Kat’s character, as she has suffered extreme abuse at the hands of her mother, and her father isn’t even in the picture.
However, in this case, Spinning Out contradicts itself. At the beginning of the series, Kat is in a serious relationship with her boyfriend, Dave. She even almost moves to London with him, before she makes the decision to become a pairs skater. This relationship simply never needed to exist, as it counters the point that Kat has never opened up enough to get into a relationship.
2 Kat’s Complicated Feelings For Justin
Kat and Justin’s relationship was one of the most significant focal points of the series. Spinning Out primarily revolved around their journey as skating partners, and how their personal relationship with each other affected their professional careers.
At the beginning of the series, Kat is shown to detest Justin, his womanizing ways, and his careless attitude when it comes to his skating career. The two get under each other’s skin often, and what makes the dynamic all the more complicated is when it becomes romantic. This is a twist in the story that really seemed unnecessary, especially since the show had started to build up a romance between Kat and her coworker, Marcus.
1 Mitch’s Departure
The final episode of Spinning Out was a tumultuous, dramatic rollercoaster ride. Carol and Kat discovered Serena’s secret “relationship” with Dr. Parker, Jenn and Kat hit another rock in their bond, Justin and Kat reconciled, and the Nationals were in full swing.
Another dramatic point in the episode was that Carol’s secret affair was accidentally revealed to Mitch by Kat. This prompted Mitch to storm out of the arena – while Serena was skating her long program. It was completely wrong and uncalled for when Mitch just abandoned his young student on the ice, and it seems completely out of character.
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Savannah Di Leo