It has heart, lovely visuals, a compelling lead in Brittany O'Grady, and beautifully catchy songs, but this sweet drama is stuffed with too many subplots and cringey dialogue. Question: When does Bess sleep? Because it appears as if she walks dogs in the middle of the night, teaches students all day, and then tends bar every night. It's definitely believable that a young woman living in an (improbably) large NYC apartment would have to work multiple jobs to support her (not very) rock 'n' roll lifestyle, but it's hard to escape the thought that the creators are more invested in coding its heroine as a plucky striving type than in presenting a well-thought-out portrait of a realistic life.
Then, in the moments that Bess isn't working her day (and night) jobs, she's rushing around to be with her dad and brother. That's not really a negative in the latter case, as Valdez, an actor with autism, is one of highlights of the show; he's quirky, and hilarious. If Little Voice had stopped right there, that would have been enough on the plot front, and would have given us more scenes with Valdez. But Bess also has to fit in dreams of stardom and a love triangle. She must be exhausted, and we feel a bit that way, watching. Still, Grady is lovely and luminous, and the Bareilles-penned songs that pepper the soundtrack are lovely too. If A Star Is Born-type drama or Bareilles' music are to your taste, Little Voice might also be.