Like many old weekly soaps, such as Dynasty and Dallas, Make It Or Break It has succeeded in generating interest via unbelievable story lines and unscrupulous characters.
I wrote an unflattering review of Make It Or Break It before it came out last fall, and then watched about half of the episodes before giving up. I expected all the gymnastics cliches, which came in abundance. But I suppose the infamous gas-station scene — where Kaylie and friends did cartwheel flip-flops to ward off their would-be assailants — told me I should have been doing something more important, like disinfecting the kitchen trash can or expressing the anal glands of our Basset hound (don't ask).
Even though I fully understand I am not among the target audience for this show, I decided to tune in again last night, just to see what I had missed and why people love to hate it — and hate to love it. Afterward, my only regret was that I'll never get that hour back again.
Here are 10 observations from MIOBI:
1. Including actual gymnastics in a show supposedly set in a gymnastics club has become too much of a hassle for the producers. Last night's gymnastics scenes totaled about 20 seconds. Apparently, the interior of the Rock is about as boring as, well, the inside of any gym. And the daily grind of workouts is even drier. Instead, why not jet (privately!) to L.A. for a party or two? And Payson can get another doctor's opinion while there. Now that's creative, if not convenient, script writing. Is it just me, or does the plot have a "Make It Up As We Go Along or Break It" feel?
2. The sequence of Emily tucking after a pirouette and then slinging a double flyaway was certainly interesting, considering the stunt double was obviously about to jump off. It reminded me of American Anthem, when Mitch Gaylord's high bar dismount at the big meet somehow hovered over the ground forever as the camera panned the emotions of every other cast member. He probably did a quintuple-twisting octuple by the time they showed him land.
3. Lauren is the best tumbler on the team; she flip-flopped on BFF Kaylie last night, just like she does with every other character, for that matter. But you already knew that.
4. Payson looked really confident strolling the red carpet, despite the back brace. Maybe it was the experience she gained earlier in the season when her team put on its own fashion show.
5. The line "Goodnight, Butterfly" made my two teenaged kids laugh and roll their eyes.
6. Emily and her boyfriend seem to speak in text.
7. It was odd to see a promo for Secret Life of an American Teenager, plugging an appearance by Shawn Johnson. (BTW, happy 18th, Shawn.) My daughter said, "Shouldn't she be on MIOBI?"
8. I wonder if, say, Bridget Sloan, works part-time at a pizza joint. "Marta, is it OK if I miss the first two days of training camp? I couldn't get anyone to cover my shifts — not even my mother."
9. The music is the best part of this show.
10. The music is the best part of this show. (Sorry, but out of complete indifference, I could only come up with nine observations.)
Feel free to add a 10th to the list.