Quintessa Swindell, Brianna Hildebrand, Kiana Madeira in a scene from 'Trinkets'. (Allyson Riggs/Netflix)
Quintessa Swindell, Brianna Hildebrand, Kiana Madeira in a scene from 'Trinkets'. (Allyson Riggs/Netflix)


A grieving teen finds an unexpected connection with two classmates at her new high school after they all lands in the same Shoplifters Anonymous group. 


Trinkets ticks all the right boxes on paper – its diverse and LGBTQ inclusive; it’s got comedy and drama; its ten 30-minute episodes make it totally binge-worthy, and it falls perfectly into the ‘coming of age’ category of series trending right now.

But the new Netflix show has flaws that led to minor disappointments throughout, making it a series that like its knick-knack shoplifting subject matter appears to be important at first but, at the same time, wasn’t needed and won’t be remembered.

Three very different teens – made up of a very predictable sad girl, moody girl and rich girl - who go to the same school but mingle in different social circles, are brought together by attending a Shoplifters Anonymous group for their petty crimes.

Elodie (Brianna Hildebrand) is a queer introvert, who is new in town and dealing with her mother’s death while having moved in with her father and his new family. Moe (Kiana Madeira) is a punk-styled rebel, who lives with her mom and ‘secretly’ cares about everyone around her and her future. She is also dealing with her estranged, or non-existent rather, relationship with her deadbeat dad. Tabitha (Quintessa Swindell) is your typical model/social media influencer whose wealthy parents are in an unhappy marriage and who is dealing with her emotionally (and physically) abusive boyfriend.

After realising they’re not so different after all, the trio bond over not only using shoplifting as an escape from reality or an adrenaline kick but navigating through their own personal problems, together, while benefiting from the lack of consequences for their actions.

Makes for a pretty watchable series, and don’t get me wrong it is – the performances by the cast are great, the music is top level, the way sexuality is addressed (whatever the orientation) is respectful and inclusive and the cinematography appropriately enriches what seems to be the aim of a show, which are scenes that roll along smoothly from one thing to the next without too much concern about juggling too many plot points at the same time.

But the problem is that Trinkets merely scratches the surface of each and every arc it introduces and glamorises the bigger issues these teens face, including shoplifting and abuse.

I very quickly realised that individual events are introduced but never elaborated on or even integrated into the rest of the show. Without spoilers, one example I can give is when Moe’s crush, Noah (Odiseas Georgiadis), who is an avid soccer player and is depending on his skills to get him a scholarship, hurts his arm and is immensely concerned about how this will affect his chances in an upcoming and very important game. A sizable amount of time of the 30-minute episode was spent on this, only to be forgotten about in the next - Did he play? Was a scout there? How did it go? These are questions that will never be answered.

The biggest elephant in the room, however, was the poor effort that was put into the main plotline. At the start of the show, I was given the impression that these girls were receiving help for what they use as a coping mechanism for their issues, shoplifting, in order to stop. But by the end of the show, the issue had not properly been dealt with. I found this problematic, especially when considering how impressionable viewers are at present.

While not comparing the two in any way, I feel it is important to mention how viewers may relate to the overall subject matter.

Earlier this year, Variety reported that a new study had found that there was an increase in suicide rates among US boys age 10-17 in April 2017, the month immediately following the release of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why – a show which depicts a teenage girl’s suicide following the recovery of a box of cassette tapes she left behind detailing the 13 reasons why she decided to kill herself.

According to the report – which was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and funded by the National Institute of health – while the study does not claim an underlying relationship between watching the show and committing suicide thereafter, it does point out the show’s association with a surge in teen suicide.

The National Association of School Psychologists issued a warning statement, cautioning “vulnerable youth, especially those who have any degree of suicidal ideation,” to refrain from watching the series.

This begs the question of how Trinkets depicts shoplifting, the deeper issues it may solicit and the consequences (or lack thereof).

Trinkets is entertaining, inclusive and relevant to a trending genre in TV shows right now but fall short in a lot of avenues and could have taken more care in the way in which underlying issues were dealt with. A second season will be the do or die of the future of this show.