Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The Big Leap - I Want You Back

As I avoid reality-TV like the plague, the idea The Big Leap wasn't an easy sell. However, with a number of likable stars in Piper Perabo, Teri Polo, and Scott Foley, I decided to give the series' opening episode a chance. And I'm glad I did. Built around a new reality-TV series about giving dancers a second chance, the drama introduces us to a handful of the key players including Foley as the showrunner Nick Blackburn, Polo as an aging social media influencer, Jon Rudnitsky struggling with depression after being laid of and seeing his marriage fall apart, and Simone Recasner as a talented dancer whose life was derailed by teenage pregnancy and being the last to discover that her high school boyfriend (Raymond Cham Jr.) was gay.

Recasner gets the largest role in the episode, given her backstory and having to earn a spot on the show twice after literally falling on her face during her first audition. As Blackburn notes in the episode's closing moments, here his show has found its star (even if Perabo and Rudnitsky steal a few moments together). While getting glimpses into the lives of the various would-be contestants, the auditions are viewed through the lens of Foley's character who is casting a television show more than a dance competition (to the dismay of judges/hosts Mallory Jansen and Kevin Daniels). Despite the Blackburn's cynical view, there's something quite hopeful about the first episode of the series and I'm curious to see more of these characters get fleshed-out in the coming weeks.

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