Once again Creativityishard/KK watches the shows other Outposters will fear to view. This time it’s The Big Leap, an American musical comedy-drama television series created by Liz Heldens, based on the British reality miniseries Big Ballet. First the Spice Girls, and now this. Thanks, Britain!
Here she is, taking one for the team.
The Big Leap showed up early on Hulu, so I decided to watch! The show premieres Monday night on Fox, but I saw the first two episodes early.
The premise is a show within a show. A reality television show about second chances invades a city and they create a dance troupe of average folks. The goal is to do a production of a famous ballet. This season it’s Swan Lake, maybe the second most famous ballet behind The Nutcracker.
So this show features the cast of average folks, plus the crew. With the public addicted to reality TV, this concept is a fun spin. It’s not the first show to try this spin. UnReal over on Lifetime did this same concept in 2015. That show was so fun.
Money. Dick. Power. Must be a powerful combo as I’ve read two books in the last six months with a plot set behind the scenes of a dating show.
I have a personal bias here towards this though, with the ballet. My mom’s best friend was a professional prima ballerina in Europe for years and has taught ballet for decades. I took years of different dance classes because I was extremely clumsy as a kid and they thought this would help. So I have an appreciation for ballet.
So if the plot has been done before, what does this show want to do to make itself different? To distinguish itself? The pilot tries to be uplifting and hopeful.
The pilot has a smorgasbord of “real people” trying to make their lives better. I recognized a lot of the faces. Kevin Daniels plays the lead judge on the show. He was so great in the underrated Sirens which everyone should find and watch.
Scott Foley, a teenage crush of mine, plays the producer who is a dick but trying to do some good. Speaking of teenage crushes of mine, Piper Perabo plays the breast cancer survivor. This is how most of us know Piper:
Teri Polo, who played queer cop foster mom on The Fosters, plays a boring suburban mom. Jon Rudnitsky from SNL plays, and I quote the show here, a down on his luck “disenfranchised white male.” Rudnitsky’s voice sounds like if one of the Jonas Brothers deep-throated Korg from the Thor movies for like 10 years. Like a super gravelly Jonas Brother. But he’s pretty and the Hollywood version of the average white dude.
The rest of the cast is a smattering of people. All super compelling folks, super Americana. These are supposed to be people from Detroit, yet the chubby meter maid is the butt of a lot of jokes.
A chunk of the pilot is devoted to a Detroit professional football player trying to redeem himself.
The pilot wants to be uplifting with a montage scene of folks practicing their dance moves while pretty violins play like an early 2000s rom-com. Those violins gave me some serious Nora Ephron redemption arc vibes.
My main complaint with The Big Leap is every time it wants to be uplifting and happy, which I think as a society we want at the moment, and we like to see underdogs win, the mean reality show aspects happen. It completely hurts the show. It’s not compelling in the second episode for Teri Polo’s character to bring up her husband’s porn addiction in front of her kids. The husband is played by the always fabulous Seth Morris. I really enjoy Morris but they do him so dirty in this show.
The show sucker punches you because the advertising is this upbeat fun show about normal people dancing. There are shows I don’t watch because I don’t want to watch shitty people doing shitty things to good people. This is advertised as an uplifting and inspiring show, and then it isn’t. It’s just like the shows I avoid. Misleading, but hey they get viewers!
Overall I liked the cast. I liked the premise. I liked people learning more about classical ballet. But in the second episode, I found myself getting annoyed with the show. Would the folks here at Last Movie Outpost like the show? No, probably not. But your wives would.
Do I recommend The Big Leap? Well, I want to see how this season ends.