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April 7, 2008 |

By Miscellaneous | TV | April 7, 2008 |

Holy hell in a handbasket, let’s talk “Step It Up and Dance,” shall we?

I am head over heels, foaming at the mouth obsessed with “So You Think You Can Dance” which I will forever refer to as “So You Think You Can Dance Dance Revolution” or The Revolution, for short. As much as I adore the show and can endlessly wax philosophical on it, it is, after all, a reality television program on Fox, produced by the demons that spawned the hellmouth that is “American Idol.” But a dance competition program produced by the same folks that brought us “Project Runway” and “Top Chef,” the least nefarious and insidious of all reality television fare? My hopes were high. Simple math suggests that “Step It Up and Dance” would be everything I could want from a reality show.

Yeah, not so much with that. It fucking sucks. Chrome off a tail pipe level suckage. Offensively bad. I should have suspected this, what with the failures that were “Top Design” and “Make Me A Super Model.” The Elf has most definitely run out of magic. Even those two bummer excuses for top shelf reality fare had an interest in showing the many sides of the worlds they inhabited, taking into account the sliding scale of art and commerce. High fashion Holly and catalog boy Ronnie. The crazy designer who did that teenage girl’s room that looked like Basquiat threw up in it and, well, everyone else on the show. Jillian, refined yet wearable next to Christian, the artiste. Hung, the work horse with masterful technique and the dudes who like fancy foam and shit. This dynamic is apparent in the judges chosen as well. Michael Kors and that French couture chick. Tony Bourdain and the French guy from CIA (I think? I’m being lazy and not looking shit up). I had expectations that “Step It Up…” would take a similar approach. We’d get a Susan Stroman episode and maybe a little Mark Morris too. But yeah, again, not so much (though I won’t be surprised if Susan shows up at some point).

What we do get is a parade of commercial and Broadway hacks. Case and point, this week’s guest choreographer was the dude who choreographed the Spice Girls World Tour. Shuh-eeesh. Now, I’d have no problem with this if the shit he set on the contestants was, you know, interesting or even plain old entertaining. But it’s run-of-the-mill, snorific, seen it five thousand times, cruise ship review, milquetoast choreography. No, you know what? It’s not even that. It’s just bad. How bad? I’d rather watch “Chaotic” with Britney and Kevin every night until I die than sit through his bullshit “Spice Up Your Life” number one more time. And seriously, Spice Up Your Fucking Life!?!? They couldn’t get clearance on a tune from this century? Someone somewhere should be ashamed.

Jerry Mitchell as the Tim Gunn character is the least offensive of all the regulars. Though not a ground breaker, he’s a respectable, talented Broadway choreographer. But judge Nancy O’Meara? Who is this chick? I don’t claim to know everyone who’s anyone in the dance world but I’ve never heard of her and a quick Google search turned up passing references to Scientology and High School Musical Two. Not at all surprising then that her comments to the dancers swung from offensive to irrelevant.

And let’s talk about the dancers. With the exception of the two bestie gay boys who’s names I’ve forgotten — they’re a bunch of back up dancers and chorus girls. Totally valid as a profession, most of them are competent and professional (save the freak who ran off the stage and the ballet chick who’s fouettes made my eyes bleed), but they’re not impressively talented nor do they make for interesting television. So what’s the point?

What a massive disappointment. I was so looking forward to this show. Though natch, I’ll keep watching, if only for Elizabeth Berkeley. By far and away the best moment of the premiere came when ‘Lizbeth entered the “studio” and most of the dancers busted out their Nomi Malone “Showgirl” jazz hands. Though I was a tad sad no one rocked the Jessie Spanow “I’m so excited” No-Doze dance. I think it’s important that reality show hosting gigs (preferably dance related) are found for all former cast members of “Saved By the Bell.” This is obviously an area in which they excel. Mario was a delight on “Randy Jackson Presents Ratings Prove America Likes Dancing Shows So The Dawg Had To Put His Twist On It.” And who wouldn’t love “Clogging with the Stars,” hosted by Dustin Diamond?

Is it time for the Revolution yet?

‘Beckylooo Who’ is an aspiring television writer, aka an assistant. She has a deep understanding of the importance of a pleasant phone manner and a well-stocked fridge. Further rantings and ravings can be found at If A TV Falls in the Woods.

So, You Think You Can Dance? Think Again.

"Step It Up and Dance" / Beckylooo Who

TV | April 7, 2008 |

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