So I have to admit it: lately I've been watching the Fox "reality" show "So You Think You Can Dance" with my wife. See, she was a dancer all through high school and college (musicals, not poles), and so anything that has the word "dance" in the title or is vaguely dancing related holds a deep-seated interest for her. That Richard Gere movie with Jennifer Lopez and a ballroom floor? Yep, had to see it. Anyome remember a pointless title called "Center Stage"? She owns it. I'm tellin' ya, if it involves the movement of the body to music in an attempt at genuine performance, she's usually there.
So we're watching this little attempt to find America's (or at least American adults watching televison ages 18-24's) favorite dancer. They've got all the key elements needed to draw in the soon-to-be-over-it American Idol crowd during the summer:
- British overly-honest guy on the judging panel? Check.
- Annoying moments of overdramaticism and unnecessary delays? Check.
- The "cover it up with glam" stage with a production budget higher than, but just as misused as the one for "Battlefield Earth"? Check.
- Awkward confluences of performers forced into styles completely not their own? (e.g. breakdancers doing the foxtrot, ballroomers doing hip-hop, and anyone on stage doing disco) Check, Check, and Check.
Then there's my favorite lady, she's one of the judges. Her name is Ms. Mary Murphy. This lady is the ballroom expert amongst the judging panel, and very proud of it. My favorite part, however, is her face. This lady has had SO much botox, that there is NOTHING that moves above her upper lip! Look at her, watch the show! There ain't a thing going on - it's all been paralyzed into insensitivity. Lady, you can move your feet, but when your eyebrows are just hanging on for the ride, it's not worth it.
But amonst the entire show, I love the audience the most. At the end of the competitors' dancing sequences, they turn around and stand to face the judges. As you can guess, they have to stand there whilst these erstwhile Evaluators of Groove pontificate in their opinions. What's great is the audience's reaction: the moment the judges say ANYTHING positive, it's "YAAAAAYYYY" and a rousing cheer from the Hillary Duff fans. Anything negative at all, and it's "BOOOOOOOO" from the same crowd. I've joked about this with the wife while watching, but I swear, these judges could sit up there and just say "I like chicken!" and get the biggest applause of their performing career. But, the moment you bring out some critique of the evening's performance, get ready to be less popular than Bill Buckner. Are the pre-teens and precocious adolescents of America so mired in corporate double-think that they have to accept whatever icon Our Corporate Sponsors can pay to put on a national stage? It's frightening to know that with enough money, you really CAN make ANYONE a pop star, at least for a moment.
"Taaaaaaaake onnnnn meeeeeee....."