Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My take on DANCING WITH THE STARS


This is going to be a rather bizarre recap of DANCING WITH THE STARS because it’s only the first time I’ve managed to sit through the whole two hours. But I know the show is insanely popular so felt it was time I saw for myself what all the hoopla was about.

First of all, I didn’t know half the “stars”. My first impulse was to feel really old and out of it but then I checked the bios. Kyle Massey? He’s on some Disney Channel show. Audrina Patridge? She’s appeared on THE HILLS and is listed as a “TV personality”. Okay. So it’s not like Angelina Jolie is on the show and I’ve never heard of her. Audrina Patridge. I’m sorry, change the name to DANCING WITH THE QUASI CELEBRITIES.

I am familiar with the host, Tom Bergeron. How could I not be? He emcees every show that Ryan Seacrest doesn’t. But Ryan at least knows he’s not funny. Tom has this look on his face like “I’m so clever I even amaze myself” then delivers one clam after another.

Not being a dance aficionado, I don’t know the judges. Carrie Ann Whoever offered balanced constructive critiques. Although, to superstar Audrina Patridge she did say, “you lack energy at your ankle”. Huh??? Len Whoever was the token Brit (one is mandatory for all shows) who portrayed the proper English gentleman sprinkled with pixie dust. Bruno Whoever was just a sketch. Jerry Colonna meets Jerry Lewis. I don’t know what their credentials are but his must be entertainment director for Carnival cruise lines.

Once the contestants finished their dance they were interviewed backstage by Brooke Burke who is so stunningly gorgeous she even looked fabulous on the 11 PM news trying to explain that she and her live-in boyfriend didn’t knowingly buy stolen goods to swindle a high-end design store. Her mug shot will be more beautiful than any picture Bristol Palin will ever take.

Bristol Palin (Sarah’s daughter) was just a Clydesdale. On the show they billed her as “Teen Activist”. What the fuck is that? Why not just “Teen Excuse for Getting Her Mother Even More Publicity”? (Sarah was in the audience as was Jamie Lee Curtis who must be taking a break from grieving.)

I wouldn’t mind so much Bristol being a contestant if only she could dance. But clearly she can’t.

This was Tango/Rumba night or something. (One team did their routine to a Tango version of Jefferson Airplanes' "Somebody to Love".  Even on LSD that was wrong.)  Bristol’s dance began with her lying on the floor while her partner spun around and danced. When he finally pulled her up and they began dancing together it looked like a fireman pulling someone out of a burning building. Even Bruno LePew thought she was terrible. To distract the audience, her partner whipped off his shirt during the number. Len was ready to crown him the champion right there.

Almost as bad was the Situation. I guess they never taught dance in any of those tanning salons he frequents.

God bless Florence Henderson. She’s a good sport. But please, Flo, let us just remember you fondly as Mom Brady. You should be spending your time suing your plastic surgeon. But trying to do a sexy seductive dance? You’re 76. That was creepier than when Betty Draper found Glen in the backyard playhouse.

Former Laker Rick Fox was worried that the stage was too small and that he would throw his partner into the audience. That didn’t happen. I’m especially glad she didn’t wind up in Jamie Lee Curtis’ lap. When someone is sitting Shiva it’s best not to disturb them.

By far the best dancer of the night was Jennifer Grey. She was amazing! “Baby’s” still got it, even at 50.

There were nine dances in two hours so that meant a lottttt of paddddddding. We saw snippets of rehearsal filled with angst designed to build up the suspense. “Oh, I’ll never get it!” “Oh, my foot hurts.” “What’s a Rumba?”

And then there were those backstage interviews with Brooke Burke. The question I wish she asked all of them was, “Who are you again?” Or maybe, “Let’s say you bought a lot of designer furniture for $70,000 when it was normally much higher and paid the sales girl directly. You wouldn’t think there was anything shady about that, would you?” Instead it was the usual, “so how do you feel?” softballs. Zzzzz.

But it was fun watching these people clomp around trying to salvage their careers.  And the dresses for all the women under 75 (except Bristol Palin's) were very hot. 

Tonight someone gets voted off. I say vote them all off and just give Jennifer Grey her own show.

Next week is Rock Week.  Big deal.  But the week after is Pyrotechnics Week.   That I gotta see.  Bristol Palin shooting red, white, and blue sparklers out of her breasts.  I'm voting for her that week.

34 comments:

willieb said...

Speaking of "Dancing"...the guy at the AV Club likes "Dancin' Homer"
http://www.avclub.com/articles/dancin-homer,46164/

The Milner Coupe said...

Congratulations on making it through an entire episode. I've never been able to do it. Just reeks of desperation. Quasi-celebrity? That's funny. And true.

Aloha

januaryfire said...

Can't tell if it was meant to be funny, but it's Tom BERGERON.

Tom Berenger is the actor, most recently in Inception.

benson said...

He's been the same since AFV. Ken's assessment is correct.

The Shiva line reminded me of the Frasier episode where he goes to one to find out why a contemporary had died so young.

"you're not Jewish, are you?"

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Grey sort of had her own show "It's Like, You Know" (sort of Seinfeld knock-off but in LA) where she played herself and the ongoing gag was that no one recognized her because she'd had a nose job. The show was kind of funny.

amyp3 said...

I’m waiting to watch when Tina Fey’s daughter competes.

Is Bristol going to quit half way through?

And while we’re discussing her - can you imagine if Chelsea Clinton or the Obama girls had a kid out of wedlock while still in high school? Faux News would have to create whole new shows just to discuss the immorality of Democrats.

I’ve watched DWTS some other seasons, especially when certain athletes (Kristi Yamaguchi) competed. I’m a big fan of ballroom dancing - even have a script that revolves partly around amateur Latin dance competitors.

But I’m boycotting the show this time around with Palin as the topmost reason, followed by the “reality stars” and another conserva-hole, Warner.

Michael Zand said...

DWTS, my mom's favorite show. She's 84. That says it all. It's unwatchable -- a true celebration of mediocrity.

There's only one dance competition/reality show worth watching and that's "So You Think You Can Dance." Amazing contestants and great judges. Plus they constantly tweak and improve their format. That show has done more for dance than anything in the last thirty years.

lucidkim said...

I watch it on and off (my kids like it when someone like Kyle is on, if he gets booted, they won't want to watch anyone else because they don't know who they are). I switched last night when Lie to Me came on.

Some seasons are better than others. The choice of Bristol was odd and she doesn't seem comfortable there - I figure her mom is paying people to phone in for her each week.

I like Tom Bergeron - he's affable. Never offensive - but not in a I-have-a-stick-up-my-ass way, just keeping all the old folks and conservatives happy. Seems like a nice guy (if in a milquetoast kind of way).

kim

Jeffrey Leonard said...

Kudos to amyp3. You stated my sentiments exactly about Bristol Palin. You said it all...

VP81955 said...

Jennifer Grey sort of had her own show "It's Like, You Know" (sort of Seinfeld knock-off but in LA) where she played herself and the ongoing gag was that no one recognized her because she'd had a nose job. The show was kind of funny.

The show was created by "Seinfeld" writer Peter Mehlman, a University of Maryland classmate of mine (we both wrote for the campus paper, the Diamondback). It indeed was a pretty good show, though it essentially was to "Seinfeld" what "Fridays" was to "Saturday Night Live." (And of course, "Fridays" gave a big career boost to Michael Richards.)

RCP said...

I actually laid through a season or two while in a coma, when I was powerless to switch the channel. No, actually, I have watched on occasion and it can be somewhat entertaining depending on who's doing the dancing. Once they signed up "Star" Tom DeLay, however, I stopped watching altogether. Your description is hilarious.

D. McEwan said...

Funny description. I too, have never watched an entire episode. In fact, all I've ever seen of it were the last 30 seconds during the seasons when it was followed by a show I watched, and the clips from it that run on THE SOUP.

For a while, I'd been calling it DANCING WITH THE HAS-BEENS, but when Tom Delay went on, it became DANCING WITH THE REPUBLICANS, and with the Palin brat on this year, that moniker sticks. I would never watch a show that finds the Palins anything but revolting.

So You Think You Can Dance remains the only quality dance competition TV show.

BigTed said...

I really enjoyed "It's Like... You Know" too. I think it was defeated by the fact that no one really cares about L.A. (No one really cares about New York either, but for some reason they think they should.)

bevo said...

I would have more respect for Bristol if she came out and said, "Teens! Listen to me. Have lots and lots of sex because that's the only way you will get good at it."

BTW, how does a single, stay at home mom work in parenting duties with a television gig? That's some family values.

-bee said...

My theory is that this show gets such good ratings because Nielsen has found a way to put boxes in the graves of deceased Lawrence Welk Show fans.

te said...

I really enjoyed "It's Like... You Know" too. I think it was defeated by the fact that no one really cares about L.A. (No one really cares about New York either, but for some reason they think they should.)

Call me when a network's headquartered in L.A.

I liked the show a lot; wish it'd show up on DVD.

Somersby Creek said...

You may be right about the mediocrity of DWTS, but your unkind swipes at Tom Bergeron, Jamie Lee Curtis and Bristol Palin were uncalled for and undeserved.

Bergeron is simply calling the game, so to speak. He's competent, not great. You should be able to relate.

Who are you, or me, or anyone else to say how Jamie Lee should grieve? It's not our business. Period. Even if you don't think she's showing grace, there's no reason why you shouldn't.

And calling Britol a Clydesdale? Hm. Sure, it was a comment on her dancing, but still. You have a daughter. How would you like someone saying the same about her in a widely-read blog?

I enjoy your writing. Except when you focus your humor on belittling people. It's beneath you.

Anonymous said...

The show has had some funny moments, such as when Jerry Springer and Cloris Leachman were on it. It does tend to have celebrities on it that are has-beens, who are attempting to regenerate or rehabilitate their images or careers. The judges, despite being occasionally obnoxious, do have backgrounds as dancers, dance instructors and judges in other dance competitions.

Anonymous said...

Another show this could sort of be compared with is the old "Circus of the Stars," in which "B" and "C" list celebrities did stunts for the same reason; to keep in the public eye.

benson said...

While were at it, let's not forget "Murder She Wrote" and The Lovvvvvve Boat".

Phillip B said...

The secret of DWTS' popularity is simple - it looks great on a new 52 inch screen in HD.

That and the revealing costumes on those actually doing the dancing with the quasi-stars....

Erika @ Health and Happiness in LA said...

So funny. I've never watched it and you really haven't inspired me to try.

Congrats on the LA Times shout-out today!

Blaze said...

We've always called it "Dancing with Which One is the Star Again?"

I've never seen "So You Think You Can Dance", but I caught my first episode of "Battle of the Blades" the other night. I'm pretty indifferent to figure skating, but had no problem sitting with my wife while she watched it.

Dave said...

Your contempt was beneath you, Ken, especially as you've seen all of one show. Please see Entertainment Tonight's PopWatch for funnier and more astute coverage (by Annie Barrett) -- along with Michael Slezak's coverage of all things Idol, it's among the wittiest writing about television anywhere.

MattA said...

"Former Laker Rick Fox?" Are you sure it wasn't former Fox Ricky Lake?

Dr. Leo Marvin said...

Ken,

I'm afraid you may in fact be losing touch with the great unwashed. Anyone who suffers the indignity of TIVOless commercial television knows Audrina Partridge as the unbearably hot bikini girl in the Carl's Jr. hamburgers ads. That alone qualifies her as "A" list in my book.

But even Audrina isn't enough to make me watch Dancing With the Stars. When the time comes to account for my life, never having seen that show may be the only commendable thing I have to report.

And Jennifer Grey starred in Dirty Dancing. Doesn't that make her a ringer?

Anonymous said...

The saddest part for me...this stuff gets recreated all over europe as well...as does so much "reality" dreck.
The thing is, we're inundated. Honestly, in Norway, they have Dance with the Stars, also a show about celebrities with tatoos...explaining them, deciding which ones to get rid of. Also celebrity Maestros...take a celeb (no kidding, this is for real!) don't even bother teaching them how to do it, give them a baton and put them in front of an orchestra. They also have a dumber version of "punked".
Just on the dancing, how pissed would you be if you were a pro, a real dancer, and everyone only wants to watch folk that couldn't hold your tutu for you, doing that which they barely (or not) can even do, and there you are...either as the "real" ballroom dancer saddled with the ameteurs, or out of work while "celebs" get the limelight again.
You can't turn on the TV anymore without celebs, who seem to get enough attention as is, now try to do something they can't, oh what fun, so we get to see them even more...and by golly...they're human and look foolish, what fun!!

Tom Quigley said...

One of the daily infotainment shows (ET/Insider/Access Hollywood, can't remember which) did a segment on Florence Henderson getting fitted for one of her gowns and she revealed how high the slit went up to reveal her leg... Omigod, the varicose veins! Florence, Sweetie, we loved you as Carol Brady... But these days, your thigh looks like a GoogleEarth view of New Jersey... I think I spotted Atlantic City just above your kneecap...

kingvermin said...

Bristol barely moved in that number. It was hideous. She barely moved other than stomping around the stage, with her partner doing most of the twisting and twirling, and feeling her up.

Of course, the poster child for abstinence...MIGHT BE PREGNANT again.

VP81955 said...

Listen, DWTS can be used as a springboard for a celeb who's fading out of the public eye to get some sort of cable series. (Hey, it worked for Melissa Joan Hart.)

Au revoir, Situation.

Mike Barer said...

Actually there are more well known stars than ever before. There is always one football player. Emmitt Thomas actually won it. Some of the dancers are niche stars, famous in a certain aspect of entertainment. Because there are enough universally known superstars to fill the ticket. Wanna take a shot, Ken?

Tom Quigley said...

I've heard that Bristol Palin's dance partner is really getting tired of Bristol's mother coming to rehearsals with her. Every time the guy tries to teach her a new step, all Bristol is willing to do with Mama Grizzly there watching is move to the right....

D. McEwan said...

@Somersby Creek,

You are absolutely right. Comparing Bristol Palin to a Clydesdale was a hurtful and unfeeling thing to say about Clydesdales. Why insult the poor horses?

foo said...

This is such a boring post. A waste of time and talent. Please get back to your radio days, behind the scenes stories and excerpts from your future book.

While I'm at it, I also skip over your headline posts and just anything in general where you try to be clever and cutting and mocking. I mean, you watched DWTS just for that purpose, right? It's not like you just happened upon it, thought it looked interesting, and decided to watch. You sought it out for the specific purpose of making a joke about it, which makes this post all the more lame. It doesn't ring true. It just feels very forced.

Alas, I guess it's all in the name of web-traffic.