Tuesday, November 16, 2021

TV Tuesday: The Big Leap

Together, my husband and I watch a lot of TV shows, including many action/thriller types, medical dramas, sci fi, legal dramas, and a few select comedies. But, on the rare occasions when I have some TV time to myself, I most enjoy watching dramas and especially anything that includes singing and/or dancing. So, while my husband was golfing last month, I tried a new show, The Big Leap, a fictional drama about a reality dance show. I was hooked! I have been loving this show, both for its drama and for the wonderful dance scenes in each episode.

Reality TV director Nick Blackburn, played by Scott Foley, has a new show to focus on, and he is determined to make it a hit. It's a dance competition with open auditions, with the ultimate goal of doing a production of Swan Lake with the disparate group of amateur dancers (of all kinds) that are chosen. Former ballerina Monica, played by Mallory Jansen, and dancer/fashion icon Wayne, played by Kevin Daniels, will act as judges and directors of the final production. The contestants who make it onto the show (this is still first episode stuff) are a varied group, from diverse backgrounds and with very different dance styles. Simon and Brittney, played by Adam Kaplan and Anna Grace Barlow, are ballroom dance partners who have won many awards (and have an interesting backstory). Julia, played by Teri Polo, is a married mother of two daughters who feels stuck in her current life and long ago had a dream of being a professional dancer, with some training in classical ballet. Many of the other contestants have less structured dance backgrounds. Paula, played by Piper Perabo, is a breast cancer survivor with some good moves on the dance floor. Mike, played by Jon Rudnitsky, is down on his luck: laid off from his job, recently divorced and still pining for his ex-wife, and drinking way too much. His dancing has mostly been confined to dive bars while drunk. Gabby, played by Simone Recasner, and Justin, played by Raymond Cham, Jr., were best friends in high school, where Gabby was on the school dance team and Justin was known for his breakdancing moves. They both gave up their dreams, though, and Gabby is struggling to raise and support her son on her own, while Justin works at a bowling alley. Other contestants are into hip hop and other contemporary dance styles and from very different backgrounds. To boost ratings, Nick adds a final contestant, NFL player Reggie, played by Ser'Darius Blaine, who is athletic but has no dance experience and recently ruined his career (he was "cancelled"), providing him with good incentive to show his old coach that he's pulled himself together. Together, along with other dancers, these contestants go through various trials and tribulations each week, in both their personal lives and on camera (and sometimes the two collide), while Nick tries to boost ratings with as much drama as possible.

I am just loving this show, in part for the same reasons I have loved shows like Glee and Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist: I've come to care about the characters and root for them, plus the music and dancing in every episode lift my spirits! The dance aspect alone caught my eye when I saw trailers for the show (check out the one below--it still gives me chills). I also spotted Teri Polo in the cast, whom I absolutely loved in The Fosters, another old favorite show. After watching 8 episodes so far, I have come to enjoy all of the cast members, together forming a wonderful ensemble. The writing is clever, with humor woven in, as well as drama. And, of course, there are the dance scenes! Though they are working on Swan Lake, there are plenty of opportunities for each of the characters to indulge in his or her own special form of dance, which is just fun and uplifting to watch. I'm loving this show and looking forward to the next episode ... my husband is golfing tomorrow afternoon!

The Big Leap is a FOX network show, so it is available On Demand, as well as streaming on Hulu.

This trailer leaves me smiling every time!


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