Dancing, like all art, requires skills, talent, and drive to succeed. It also helps when reality television comes calling.
So You Think You Can Dance has been on the air since 2005. A “real” version of The Big Leap, dancers from all genres compete in a reality competition show to become “America’s favorite dancer”. Once the participants are chosen, they perform both solo and group pieces that go beyond their dancing bubble. Judged by respected and well-known professional dancers, one contestant is eliminated every week until the winner is announced.
I can certainly appreciate the effort it takes to get to this level. This is not the type of activity that can be phoned in. But at the same time, it is a reality show. Once again I have to question if what we are watching is authentic or crafted to bring in as many eyeballs as possible.
Life does not always give us second chances. Sometimes, we make a decision and our path is set.
The Big Leap premiered last week on Fox. The show follows a group of underdogs who audition for a reality dance show. At the end of the season, the chosen cast will be performing a modern remake of Swan Lake. Nick Blackburn (Scott Foley) is the producer trying to repair his reputation after his previous show did not go over well. Among the contestants is Julia Perkins (Teri Polo), a middle aged former dancer who has once last chance of glory. Gabby Lewis’s (Simone Recasner) world in high school was dancing. Then she got pregnant and had to grow up. Paula Clark (Piper Perabo) spent years climbing the corporate ladder before realizing that she wanted to do more than push paper for the rest of her life.
As cliché as this program is, I liked the first couple of episodes. I like that is also exposes how far the creative team will go to get a story, even if it is not 100% accurate. But if there was one thing for me that clinched is that Gabby is not a size two. For all of us who believe that our clothing tags have to list a specific number, it is lovely and far too uncommon to see the average American woman represented on television.
My only question is, how long this show can last. If it lasts the full season and we get to the final performance, where does the narrative go? Is there enough story to proceed to further seasons?