We all know The Cutting Edge is perfect, but what if I told you there is a Netflix show that is basically just The Cutting Edge but for the Peak TV era? That means it’s The Cutting Edge, but with more explicit sex, plus drugs and INNER DARKNESS. That show exists and it is called Spinning Out, and it stars Kaya Scodelario and January Jones as a washed-up figure skater and her stage mom, respectively. Don’t be fooled by the INNER DARKNESS, though, because Spinning Out is just The Cutting Edge stretched out to be a TV series. Look at this trailer, tell me this isn’t The Cutting Edge all fancified for Peak TV.
This happened a few years ago with Center Stage, when it was given the Peak TV treatment and re-emerged as Flesh and Bone, a mini-series about miserable ballerinas. (Ethan Stiefel, star of Center Stage, was even a consultant and choreographer on Flesh and Bone.) It’s not that the idea is bad – figure skating, like ballet and gymnastics, is a strict discipline that requires enormous sacrifice to excel at the highest levels. (My figure skating career ended when a coach asked if I was excited to get up every morning and skate before school, and I, already not a morning person, said no. I definitely did not have the discipline.) There is naturally going to be a lot of drama in that world, where the stakes and emotions are high, and heartbreak and success are close neighbors. But not every champion athlete is miserable. One thing I like about The Cutting Edge is that while yes, Doug and Kate have rather dramatic personal lives—they’re living lives, after all—they aren’t miserable. Skating doesn’t make them miserable. Skating is fun! It’s exciting!
“Fun” and “exciting” are not words I would use to describe this Spinning Out trailer. Which, I get it, they’re not aiming to be a rom-com. But being a drama doesn’t preclude the thrill of good figure skating. There is an Australian surfing movie called Breath which has serious themes but never loses sight of the thrill and awesome power of big wave surfing, and the surf scenes feed the tone of the narrative. I hope Spinning Out can do something like Breath, where the majesty of the sport enhances the story. The trailer is not really convincing me, but maybe the series can do more than just be a blatant Cutting Edge rip-off. Although I doubt the fake skaters have the guts to try the Pamchenko Twist.