Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What I watch now: Make It or Break It

I am the least graceful, least athletically gifted person I know (I did a massive faceplant while running this week...on the sidewalk two blocks from where I live), but I love movies that involve cheerleading, gymnastics, or beauty pageants. I pretty much have Miss Congeniality memorized and I know that the music during Haley's floor routine in Stick It is "Our Lawyer Made Us Change the Name of This Song So We Wouldn't Get Sued" by Fall Out Boy, from their album From Under the Cork Tree.

With no access to regular TV during the Columbia Publishing Course and a schedule that didn't exactly accommodate prime time schedules, I wanted a fluffy summer show that I could watch easily online. I thought the most interesting of the bunch, given my aforementioned affection for fiction involving gymnastics, was ABC Family's Make It or Break It.

Make It or Break It centers on four teenage girls with dreams of national, and perhaps Olympic, medals. Payson Keeler is clearly the best of the lot, the one with the greatest chance to get to the Olympics. She has a lot of determination and focus, but she is also kind and vulnerable where her loved ones are concerned. Lauren Tanner is the one everyone loves to hate. She's got two talents: balance beam and backstabbing. Kaylie Cruz is all heart, flow, and grace, but her coach wonders if she's got the fire to really make it to the top. The newcomer, Emily Kmetko, is mostly self-taught, making her her own worst enemy in the gym. The interaction between all of them is strong, maybe even strongest during Lauren's manipulative frenemy moments. Overall, it's Emily's show, so viewers want to see her come from her background of training on playgrounds to national champion. Question is: Will she be able to get over her inhibitions in time to retrain herself to get to Nationals? The secondary characters, save for their coach and Emily's mom, are not as interesting, but I get the feeling viewers aren't there as much for the parent characters.

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