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Monday, April 9, 2012

Make It or Break It is the best teen soap ever set in the cutthroat world of gymnastics.

Confession time.

I LOVE Make It or Break It.

I also don't want to admit that I love boxed macaroni or Kris Kross or approximately six teaspoons of sugar in my coffee, but I might as well come clean for all that too.

When it first came out I watched an episode, and I felt exactly the same way that Dwight Normile of International Gymnast did: "aimless," implausible," "cliche," "unbelievable," and finally, "simply too bad to be true." (Chuckle at the full review here.)

But last summer when I had a rare spate of time to myself, I turned on Netflix for a little background noise while sewing. I rolled my eyes. I laughed out loud. The melodramatic competitions! The corny teen romance! The obvious stunt double editing! The ridiculous inaccuracies!

Over the course of the next few weeks, I watched all forty episodes. Like you do with a really bad show.

Or a really AWESOME show.

So it asks you to suspend reality a little. But doesn't all TV programming ask you to suspend reality? (Heck, even reality shows aren't realistic.) There's probably not a doctor or attorney out there who will tell you that they've seen an accurate medical or legal show.

Frankly, I think MIOBI strove for a bit of realism in the beginning, and now it's just embracing the campiness of it all. Compare it to Glee, which started out campy (and was good); then it started taking itself very seriously, and now it pretty much sucks. Intentionally campy shows are often pretty fabulous--Ugly Betty comes to mind--as long as you can keep them a little interesting. Toward the end of its run, Ugly Betty got a little stale, so it remains to be seen whether MIOBI can endure much longer. That the Fug Girls heartily endorse the show gives me hope.

So now I embrace it for what it is, a campy soap opera set in a gym, and as a gymnastics enthusiast, I'm just happy for ANY gymnastics to be on TV. And if that involves rebellious pregnant gymnasts working at pizza joints, backstabbing world champions with cruel stage mothers, 6" wide balance beams, DJ Tanner, this dude, and confused bisexual teens with eating disorders--because teen soaps have to include AWARENESS--then I'm there.

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