As these episodes are released weekly on AppleTV, do be aware of spoilers within each recap!
Episode 6 of Little Voice is where the proverbial brick wall comes tumbling down and all the foundational work is undone by some really questionable characterisation. Ethan and Bess spend lots of time together and it’s clear we’ve skipped forward in time and they’re now together.
The music video is now complete too but it turns out Ethan hasn’t told Laila the truth and is hiding their relationship from her. Bess pushes him away in the wake of this, stubborn in her pursuit of breaking the duo up and unhappy that Ethan hasn’t done so yet. Despite him trying to explain how precarious the situation is, she refuses to listen.
Back home, Louie and Bess come to blows over their Mother leaving them to fend for themselves. Because of what’s happened with Ethan, Bess struggle to focus at the bar and takes a call while working. After drinking alcohol on the job and ignoring her patrons she’s supposed to be serving, her boss steps in just in time and tells her to take a break.
Bess phones Prisha but given she’s with Sundeep at a comedy show, she hangs the phone up and doesn’t press further. Instead she watches the music video Ethan took of her but inadvertently drops the phone in the toilet.
That evening a self-loathing Bess gets up on stage and starts singing but not before talking about her woes. After she and Samuel finish the song, she starts drowning her sorrows in alcohol while drinking with Jeremy. Despite his best intentions of looking after her, Bess pushes Samuel away again.
In the morning Bess continues this destructive road, forgetting about Louie’s birthday and confronting Prisha about her lack of conviction in telling her parents about her sexuality. Continuing to be insensitive, Bess asks for her shirt back and arrives late at the studio. Unfortunately things go from bad to worse there as Jeremy inappropriately throws innuendos her way. Having heard enough, Samuel sticks up for her but Bess lashes out at him instead.
On the way out, she hears about her Father getting in trouble at the record store (a catalyst for Bess not being there for Louie when she’s supposed to) and shouts at Samuel when he pays for Louie’s cake for her. Louie’s birthday doesn’t go to plan but she and her Father wind up singing together in a bid to try and salvage what they can. On the way home, Bess accidentally leaves her notebook of song lyrics on the train, which is where the episode ends.
How do you make your protagonist the most unlikable you can? Well, this episode does a pretty good job of doing just that. Bess pushes everyone away, ruins Louie’s birthday and treats Samuel like dirt all because Ethan won’t break up with his long-time girlfriend for her and has second thoughts about what he’s doing. While I do understand she may be frustrated about this, seeing Bess act so rashly and knock down everyone around her really isn’t a great look.
It’s actually quite surprising that all of her friends continue to rally around her but hopefully this little blip is a one time thing and the show can get back on track next episode. For now though, Little Voice delivers a pretty poor slice of drama.