I felt like I was going to hate this show. Or more like I wanted to hate the show. When I did my prediction, I said this:
The Big Leap on CBS is a show about making a dance reality show where they select contestants to star in Swan Lake. I know, I wasn’t looking for a fictional reality show either. But it’s basically Glee, or maybe Fame, for adults. I am curious enough to see an episode or two, mostly because I like the woman playing the main character (a large black woman who thinks she’s too big to be the star), but it also has some others like Piper Perabo who I like. I am not a giant fan of Scott Foley, and as they up the angst factor, everything I hate about reality shows is likely to turn me off. Teri Polo plays a housewife who drinks too much and has no support from her family for her interest in being part of the show, and well, that’s the cringe factor for me. So yes to Ep 1, but I’m predicting no renewal if only as there is no place for it to go without dumping all the characters you love and recasting next year. I know, I know, it doesn’t stop reality shows from thriving. But I’m still saying 1 season and done.
Then I watched EP1, and a lot of the “cringe” factor went away. As predicted, the lead woman, Simone Recasner, had really good presence. Yes, she can dance, but more importantly, she has some range for acting too. Sweet.
Scott Foley is playing almost a caricature of a producer who will feel bad, but not too bad, at exploiting everyone because they need to in order to make the show work. Some good lines and not too cheesy except when he’s supposed to be.
Piper Perabo has one big dance scene with another character, and not over the top. Sweet.
Did I mention it all comes across as sweet? Because the drunk wife wasn’t a cringe factor, it was almost funny seeing her go to the Genius Bar to have them restore her husband’s laptop so she could see what porn sites he’s visiting. There’s mild cringe in it all, but mostly she’s feeling uplifted with the new area of her life.
There’s some other stuff going on that is relatively stupid for a premise. One of the characters is a dancing meter maid/traffic cop? Another is a porn star / stripper. Another is a friend of the main star, was her boyfriend in high school, and she apparently needs him to have the confidence to go and do the audition. Which then leads to him making it to the next round, but other than having good moves, having no real purpose in the story.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The show is generally crap. There’s almost no redeeming value anywhere in it, and I can’t even guarantee it will make it to the end of the season, let alone season 2. But I am going to watch anyway.
God help me.