Welcome to the first installment of Some like it Watched, the segment where we, the ScreenSnark staff, attempt to examine why a particular show is popular.
This week, Joel our Chief Editor, in his infinite cruelty assigned Dancing With The Stars as our focus of examination.
We will break this post down per contributor
I wish I could say I popped my DWTS cherry tonight, but alas, as a married man I have had many a previous night sitting stone-faced and sullen on the couch while my wife had control of the television remote.
Please don’t confuse anything I write here with enthusiasm. I am hoping to get this over with as quickly as possible. I anticipate losing the will to even proof read what I have written, so please pardon a participle left dangled or word misspelled. Thanks.
Okay here we go…
This, the seventeenth season of Dancing, is the one in which ABC promises us actual celebrities “who don’t need Googling.” Not so fast ABC, it took me a solid 20 minutes to sort out the professional dancers from half the “celebrities”. But then again maybe I am the guy living under a rock who doesn’t know my Corbin Bleues from my Brant Daughertys.
Oh crap, is this the Saved By the Bell reunion I have been waiting for? I see Jessie Spano and that bitchy girl who ran the volleyball courts at the summer resort. You know the one who grew up and married the King of Queens. Okay, I’ll stop pretending I don’t know who Leah Remini is (especially with my three KoQ rerun a day habit), but it is a little shocking to see her here spending her first days of Scientology freedom doing a dancing show. I thought she would still be glued in front of a computer screen digesting the last 10 years worth of current events she missed out on. We have a black president?
And much to my disappointment, Elizabeth Berkley didn’t do her first dance to “I’m So Excited.” Lame.
Okay, let’s devote this paragraph to the celebrities who need no further mentioning. I’ll just list them for efficiency: Corbin Bleu, Brant Daugherty, Christina Milian, and Amber Riley. I have no idea who any of you are, and life is too short to look it up.
Bill Nye. Bill Nye, we can only assume was cast to bring in the 30 year old Reddit crowd. If only the show had the pull to bring in Beakman as well, things might have been interesting. Bill, thanks for keeping me entertained throughout my childhood, I appreciate the effort here, but I’d rather spend a few hours reading out-of-date Encyclopedia Britannicas than watching you dance. No offense, I don’t like watching anyone dance, unless they have daddy issues and are paired up with a pole.
Jack Osbourne. Jack, I am sorry but your relevancy rivals the shits your dad’s dog kept taking on the floor while on that MTV show.
Oh look everyone, Snooki! Excuse me, Nicole, as she now wants to be referred. Snooki, please go away.
Keyshawn Johnson joins the cast this year. I am sure his presence has nothing to do with his employer’s (ESPN) desire for cross company synergy. Dude, you have to read your employment contracts more closely.
Valarie Harper? Didn’t she die? No, seriously. I read earlier this summer she only had a few months to live; yet here she is, not only alive but dancing on a reality TV show. One can only assume those death stories were pre-press to get her name back in the public so she could qualify as a celebrity for the purposes of this show. Though I guess that theory falls apart when considering they also cast Bill Engvall, who hasn’t been seen or heard from in… (yeah I trailed off here. I don’t have the energy to devote any more time or effort to Bill Engvall.)
So getting back to my purpose here, did I come any closer to figuring out why people watch this show? No. I am sorry Joel. I failed. For the life of me I cannot figure out why anyone would commit several hours of his or her life each week to watching this nonsense. I mean honestly, when was the last time anyone said, “I really can’t wait to watch a bunch of B and C-list celebrities dance to generic renditions of overplayed pop songs?” Speaking of which, ABC managed to get in two separate instances of “Blurred Lines” before even taking the first commercial break. The stage was set; I knew what I was in for. God this show is bad.
I hate you Joel. I’m going to go watch some football now.
I’m a virgin to Dancing With the Stars on ABC. It’s a big name show on network TV. It’s not about Walter White, demons, ghosts, hookers, serial killers or murderers. So I would usually never watch this. I’m going outside my comfort zone and changing it up (for tonight).
The show starts and all I see are very hot blond ladies dancing around with spray tanned perfect legs. They introduce the first couple”. What the hell is Pretty Little Liars? I know I know, its on ABC Family (which is weird because from what I’ve heard it can get not so family). And The guy from PLL has a partner named Peta/PITA? Now I’m Hungry. He barely moves his hips and she is really hot. I’d like to see more ass.
Ohhh Tom Bergeron! he is hosting. Now I’m craving America’s Funniest Home video! Nothing says ‘Murica like a cat singing The Star Spangled Banner.
Next up Leah Remini who I know from The “King of Queens” but also from “Living Dolls”. I wonder if she had to consult with L Ron Hubbard before doing this show? She looks so pretty , I love her dress except it has this sparkly dog collar neck brace thing to it. Leah looks like Angelina Jolie, if Angie would eat a damn sammich. There is some nutty asshat judge who keeps making inappropriate comments. BTW “twerking” was NOT invented by Miley Cyrus. Just an FYI for the youth of America.
Brooke Burke Charvet is also hosting and although she is pretty all I think of is Sketchers and Baywatch Queefs. (I say queef too much, but its a great word).
Cut to commercial. OMG Willem Dafoe. Sharp nails. A Mercedes Benz. SOLD!
Now a High School Musical Kid (whom I should know but my kids watch weirder shit than that) and his partner Vodka girl. These dancers have insane bodies. I mean crazy hot (at least the women). I want to be a Hot queefy dancer STAT. SWAN FUCKING LAKE here I come! I do wish they’d flash a nip slip or some more ass.
Next up Jack Osbourne. Cut to the shot of Pee Paw Ozzy looking lost and about to shit himself. You can’t write this stuff, folks. Cheryl Burke is his partner and I like her look, she’s a bit thicker than the teensy dancers. Her dress however is a nude allusion dress. it looks like control top pantyhose which smell like broccoli and pregnant lady feet. so all around = not sexy.
Audience shot of J Lo and her toddler boyfriend and momma Sharon Osbourne. She’s so proud. I haven’t a snarky thing to say bout her.
Amber Reilly up next. Oh I love her. I watched the first season of Glee and she knocks the pants off of Lea Michelle. She has lost some weight and looks great. For a plus sized girl she cuts an amazing rug! I enjoyed this dance a lot. But wait did her partner Derek rip his coat? Cue “Fat Guy in a little Coat” (RIP Chris Farley).
Elizabeth Berkley. Hells yeah Nomi Malone! Please oh please tell me her and her partner recreate the classic pool thrashing scene from “Showgirls”. I have a feeling I’m going to be disappointed. I am let down. no such scene. Also does her partner not know boundaries? He is straight up licking her ear after the performance.
Then its Bill Nye “The Science Guy” but ummmm I have no clue who this is? I’m a 3 2 1 contact or Mr Wizard kind of gal. Aww they play Weird Science for him. How cute. I feel like I’m watching Skinemax late night though with his partner (who is also insane hot). The Nutty Professor takes a whole new meaning. At the end of his “dance” he chugs a strange blue liquid. Jonestown anyone? No surprise they rank poorly.
Some football guy. I don’t follow football if it’s not a NE Patriot related deal. Ohhh his partner has tight gold pants! I miss Solid Gold, that was a show! She may want to freshen up with Summer’s Eve after this dance. those pants don’t breathe! Their chemistry is awful, I don’t see this pair progressing too much longer.
Christina Milian is now coming out to dance. Ummm no clue here? Did she sing something? Oh I love dry ice crawling sequences. That’s it they win. Dry ice and spastic movements woo me over any time. Her expression is that of constipation, so I guess that’s sexy.
Yayyyyyy my redneck, Bill Engvall. I think he may be the most “real” so far. His partner is so pretty in the magenta number. i want to wear that to date night at Applebee’s (remind me people). He waxes the floor with her, that’s pretty cool. His matching vest looks like he is in “Wedding Crashers” . They did pretty well dancing to “Hot-stuff”. Again I’d like to see more ass in this show. Like “Dancing with the Donks” or something.
Now Valerie Harper. Wow, what a classy lady. They really landed a star with her. Woman looks amazing for 73, and she is bringing dignity to this show. How can the judges be mean? I double dog dare them to be. He partner looks like one of those seat fillers at the Emmy’s. Here I am complaining about dirty dishes or laundry and Valerie Harper is battling cancer and dancing her ass off. I still hate fucking laundry though.
Thanks shit the last dance pair and star; Snooki. I REFUSE to call her Nicole. I am not a fan of hers or the Jersey Shore. I do think she is entirely too skinny. I prefer her more period and booze bloaty and plump. The work Snooki IS synonymous with Queef (google that). Having said that, I do like her hair and footwork. She seems the most agile and spry (like Hurley from LOST) of the bunch.
So all in all its what I expected it to be. No surprise twists or anything. I’m most likely NOT going to watch it again. 2 hours is a bigger commitment than I give to Breaking Bad, and BB is pizza, puppies, chicken wings and casual sex.
Now a show I could get into because I’m so morbid is “Dancing with SARS”. ABC Call me.
Hugs and sloppy kisses.
Our stalwart Editor-in-Chief has assigned the task of watching the season premiere of Dancing with the Stars to some of the Screensnark regulars who don’t watch this show. He’s hoping to get the fresh perspective of virgin viewers. Apparently, he wasn’t aware that the show ran opposite the East Coast broadcast of the Bengals-Steelers tilt.
It’s okay, Joel. I support your lifestyle.
In television taxonomy, Reality TV fits into two phyla—Competition-based and Confrontation-based. From my limited viewing, I believe the latter to consist largely of beautiful, vapid people saying mean things about one another from the safety of a confessional booth and scheming towards one-another’s demise. This does not command my attention in any way.
The former I find engaging, at least in concept. I love people who risk. Who do. Who recognize their limitations and work to defy them. I remember hearing an interview with Season Three Champion Emmitt Smith. Emmitt, a worn-out old tailback who is built like a fire hydrant, somehow managed to defeat the lithe and foppish Mario Lopez, who was by all accounts a ringer. Mario had every step on day one. Emmitt was a plodder. When asked to what he could attribute his victory over such a heavy favorite, Emmitt replied (paraphrasing), “I’m coachable. I approached this competition like every competition I’ve ever been in. I showed up every day and went to work. “
America voted Emmitt the winner not because of the finished product, but because of his growth throughout the competition. Adam Carolla has spoken frequently about his reasons for competing on the show. He says that he wanted to be scared. He wanted to put himself into a completely uncomfortable situation and see how he would react—see if he could work through it. Jazz hands and tedious judging segments aside, I think I can enjoy the competition of DWTS. And if I can stick with it, I imagine that the personal journeys will make for compelling story lines.
What I will need is a rooting interest.
The introduction moves pretty quickly. I recognize only Bill Nye, Keyshawn Johnson, Leah Remini, Elizabeth Berkley and the zaftig lass from Glee (later I learn her name is Amber Riley). Out of the box, I’m ruling out both Riley and Berkeley as potential rooting interests because they are ringers. Riley dances as part of her day job. And I’m more familiar with Berkeley as a dancer than I would admit to my mother, sister or wife. During the early interviews, I see that both Snooki and Jack Osborne are competing and rule them both out immediately. I’m not happy with DWTS serving as a recycling bin for Reality TV ‘stars’.
Keyshawn seems a likely choice, but is ruled out when he questions the instructions of his partner. Bill Engvall fits the mold, as well, but I can’t get past the in-dance facial expression. I’m left with Remini and Nye, both of whom I like. I think that I will be rooting for Nye. At least, for now. The scores from his premiere dance suggest that I will need to find a new favorite sooner rather than later.
Before I even watch this, in the spirit of the column, I’d feel remiss if I didn’t mention that there is a program on FOX called So You Think You Can Dance featuring amazingly beautiful and hungry dancers busting their ass every week. I mean, their routines are up against like, three other of their routines for choreographer Emmys every year, because the dancers on that show can be breathtaking. Yet it gets significantly lower ratings than Dancing With The Stars because America is clamoring to watch Keyshawn Johnson attempt the quickstep. It’s sad. Sigh. On with the shitshow…
-Well, that opening dance number was certainly ridiculous, but I do have to praise the cameraman who turned it into a Goodfellas steadycam shot.
-So…the Pretty Little Liars guy, couldn’t even tell you his name. What a “Star”. Apparently his partner wants to fuck him. That’s real nice family entertainment right out of the gate. Uggh, do I have do judge their dancing? He was okay, I guess. I’ve seen way fucking worse.
-Speaking of the judges, how incredibly flaming gay is the little guy? Holy shit, this night is going to be so damn long.
-I forgot Jack Osborne was on. Consider him my favorite. I like him a lot. Fuck multiple sclerosis.
-Leah Remini looks about as excited to be there as I am to watch her be there. Why is she always so angry looking? What’s her deal?
-Outside of a few haphazard kicks she just stood there and let her poor partner dance all around her. I don’t know what these judges are smoking, but I’d like some. No, seriously. I’d like some. I am not nearly in enough of an altered state for this to entertain me.
-haha, I’m pretty sure Valerie Harper called Tom “Todd”
–Corbin Bleu looked pretty good, but he was in High School Musical, for fuck’s sake. He’s a ringer! I also expect Christina Milian to do well. when you bring in “stars” with extensive choreography training, doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose of what you’re trying to do here? don’t get me wrong, I’d rather watch a nice little hot dance number than some dead Leah Remini out there, but shit. Quit throwing ringers in there.
-Love Jack Osborne. He’s awesome, but holy shit, that was the fruitiest thing I’ve seen yet tonight. Ozzy’s “where the fuck am I” face is wondrous, though.
-Amber Riley. Had no earthly idea who this was. Glee? Another ringer? But she’s a hefty girl, so she’s got that handicap. She was pretty energetic out there for a big girl. Good job. I am going to need to watch The Departed after this is over.
-Elisabeth Berkley looks so excited. She looks so…so scared. God damn, couldn’t help myself. I bet every single one of you made that joke, didn’t you?
-Damn, I ain’t even going to front. I thought Elizabeth Berkley looked pretty great out there. Although any time I hear “Imagine” and it isn’t John Lennon, I want to kick somebody’s ass.
-Bill Nye’s dance partner is hot as fuck. Way to go, old timer.
-Woof. Bill Nye sucked ass. But it was endearing how hard he tried and no matter how bad, I will NEVER hate a Weird Science reference, even if it’s a cha cha. 10!
-Looks like Keyshawn had a case of the Leah Reminis. His partner busted ass all around him while he looked like a doofus. Keyshawn Johnson, I’ve never liked you. I do not like you in a box. I do not like you with a fox. I do not like you in a trance while you watch your partner dance.
-Is Jennifer Lopez there of her own accord? Is she being paid? They cut to her every 21 seconds. As far as I know, she has no rooting interest in this. The Osbornes in the front row make a lot of sense, but what the fuck are you doing there, J-Lo? Which begs the question: How much does being a “dancing star” pay? Who gets the biggest payout? Are they equal? Who is the STAR star of this season? Fuck, I need to stop asking questions and finish this shit. I’ve got like four or five dancers left, god dammit.
-Christina Milian did well, as I predicted. fuckin ringers, man. Imagine how bad this show would be if they had “stars” out there like Honey Boo Boo’s thumb faced mom?
BA BA DA DA BA BA BAAAAAH BA BA DA DA DAHHHHHHH! That little ditty is going to haunt my dreams for weeks. I’ve only heard it 412 times tonight!
-Bill Engvall. Fox Trot. NOPE!
-Valerie Harper is so brave. And so courageous. am I the only one who openly sobbed? zzzzzzzzzzzzz.
-Isn’t Snooki like the 3rd Jersey Shore cast member to do this show? Did she seriously just ask her dance partner “What if I shit on the floor”? Oh, this delightfully retarded little trashbag whore.
-Snooki was alright, I guess. Is this fucking show over yet? I feel like I’ve gone 12 rounds with Mike Tyson tonight.
-I can say with pretty much confidence that I will never watch this show again. There’s better dance shows out there if I want to watch them. I don’t need to watch Bills Nye and Engvall fail all over the place. What the hell, America? This? Really?