Kat Baker a figure skater was an Olympic hopeful but an accident leaves her struggling to get back on the ice doing jumps. She must try and balance her life, love, family and mental health as she transitions to pair skating.
Number of Episodes – 10
Over ten episodes Netflix manages to engross the viewer into the what will be a crazy competitive world of ice skating, with many different vices and issues to come from it. Creating an engaging series which in all honesty I was not expecting to get instantly hooked on, although I do love watching dramas about different sports.
Our leading character is Kat Baker and the majority of sub-plots link into her and how she takes it. The series address mental health and in particular bipolar disorder which two characters are attempting to live with. A very interesting approach really when linked to sport and how ice skating is based a lot on perception and close control.
Kat suffers from this but it is kept hidden to prevent any bias towards her when competing. Her mother Carol also has this and the episodes can be very bad for Kat and her younger sister Serena who is also a skater. Something they were pushed into by Carol being a former skater herself, so very much keeping it in the family. While the majority of the stories take place away from the ice it does all tie together for the next competitions and how mental toughness is a massive part in sport. Especially with ice skating when you are either on your own or as a pair. We do get a little bit about a skiing team as well, but that is not explored very often (which was a bit of a shame really).
Justin Davis has always been very popular and absolutely loves skating, even though at times it looks as though he is more interested in drinking and sex. He has a lot of background history as well which seems to be a very common theme across all characters each and everyone of them has something difficult in the past. I guess that is quite a good thing to try and highlight really as you will never truly know what those around you have been through. It is obvious from the start when Kat begins training with him that they are going to have a romantic relationship as well.
The main issue with the series is that not many of the characters are actually likeable, yet the whole crazy bitchy world I became engrossed in wondering what was going to happen next. Jenn Yu was probably my favourite character and her story of still skating and competing with a very serious injury was eye opening, because this has to be something that happens across all sports when you are obsessed with it. Another Olympic hopeful who feels she will let her whole family down if she does not skate, and hides the truth. I feel that would have made a much better key story rather than a sub-plot. Another character I really liked was Dasha Fedorova a former Olympian who is now a coach from Russia, her sub-plot was absolutely lovely and raised some very interesting points about “how things were” years ago. I really liked that, although at times I did worry about her!
Kat was not likeable in all honesty which probably seems like a very strange thing to say considering I watched all ten episodes and loved this crazy ice skating world. The way her mental health was handled and put across was probably good to show that medication really can make a difference and help people who struggle. Serena was not really likeable either, but I guess we were supposed to feel sorry for them both as Carol was not the best mother in the world. That wasn’t really possible with the attitude she gave out to be brutally honest. Mitch Saunders the new coach was put across as creepy in the first few episodes but then became the nicest guy around which was odd character development.
That all being said though I did strangely find it all enjoyable and it does look at so many different issues, mental health, sexuality, abuse of power, family, friendships and high level sport. Mixing that together made for a very watchable series, the ending was horrific because I want season two to watch right now!