Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Schedule conflict: Champions Online and SYTYCD

Oh dear. I have just realized that my only summer TV show, So You Think You Can Dance, has its performance episodes on Wednesdays 8-10pm, smack dab in the middle of my Champions Online Beta play tests! Oh no! Two precious hours of my twice weekly play test lost to a TV show I can't miss. I can probably find all the SYTYCD clips from the show online, but it's annoying and not the same as watching the entire episode while it airs. I don't think they like to put SYTYCD conveniently on Hulu, unfortunately. Silly Fox. DVR, I have never wanted you as much as I do now!

Still, I am excited about watching SYTYCD. I don't like almost all reality TV shows and competitions, but I love to watch dancing and this show has some great dancing. It's like the dance version of American Idol, except that I find the talent pool more consistent and the judges more helpful and less gimmicky (OK, so Mary likes to scream and put people on the "hot tamale train" if they're really good, but I don't mind it as much as some other people seem to). The show actually started a few weeks ago, but I haven't been watching because I don't enjoy the audition episodes as much. Like American Idol, it seems that for every amazing person they find at auditions, there's some truly awful contestant who is just hopeless. And I have yet to acquire a taste for watching people's dreams get dashed on national TV.

But tonight is the Top 20 episode. This is when the real spectacle starts, with lighting, staging, costumes--the works. One of the greatest things that SYTYCD has going for it is its phenomenal team of choreographers from all sorts of different disciplines: contemporary, jazz, hip hop, salsa, foxtrot, disco, jive, swing, waltzes, etc. Some of my favorites have been Wade Robson's jazz, Mia Michaels' contemporary, and Tabitha and Napoleon's lyrical hip hop, but last year there was also an amazing Bollywood style dance, and there are too many other great dances to name. And starting tonight, the top 20 contestants are paired up (10 girl-boy pairs) and each pair is given a different style of dance to perform, choreographed by one of the superb choreographers. This is where the growth really starts. Dancers specializing in one discipline may be stuck performing a completely different style, and they are forced over a grueling week to learn to adapt. And the result is more often than not remarkable. The dances as well as this growth are thoroughly entertaining to watch.

Well I can't wait for the show, but for now, Champions Online awaits!


Sebastian said...

I hope we get that dance variant over here some time -- we're still stuck with the c-rate-celebrity-with-dancing-expert formula. Which is OK, but a bit boring now, 5 seasons in...

I think you could justify using a torrent for just one show a week, if it's so that you can continue doing your job, as a gamer-in-good-standing, of beta testing an MMO.

Anonymous said...

I've seen some of that and MAN those people really CAN dance, it's hot to watch....but it makes me jealous (as someone who couldn't dance like that to save my life!)

I prefer the singing least I can sit there and say 'even I'm better than that'

Eleni said...

Yes, occasionally the thought will cross my mind and I'll get a bit depressed knowing that I was never nearly that good at dancing as the people in the show. But it's so fun to watch that I get over it. Last night was remarkably good for being the first show with the partners. Two or three were merely good, but there were at least four that fell into the category of AMAZING.

We got that professional-dancer-paired-with-a-celebrity show here too. It's not as good as SYTYCD, because by the nature of the show they don't care much if the celebrity is actually good at dancing, they just try to find the most interesting selection of famous people they can convince to do the show. Plus, they don't have the same diversity. I mean, they'll never have something as quirky and artful and cool as this (my favorite dance from last night).