Make It or Break It

Gymnasts are an ideal subject for a television show, as anyone currently enamored with Gabby Douglas, et. al., might attest. The sport provides the perfect convergence of teenage angst, body image pressure, and fame. (Alyssa Rosenberg at Slate recently wrote a thought-provoking article about evolving views of and pressures on gymnasts and other young female athletes.)

The creators of Make It or Break It, which has aired for three seasons on ABC Family, saw the opportunity to fill the 3-year-and-50-week gap between Olympics. They imagined a group of aspiring elite gymnasts all training together as teammates and frenemies, with a healthy dose of parental strife for the older audiences. Continue reading

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Bunheads

Ballet does not get a lot of pop culture recognition, and I love ballet. Like love it. Doing it, watching it, teaching it. So I wanted Bunheads, a show about dancers coming to ABC Family, to be more than Make It Or Break It with tights. It takes about 30 seconds worth of the pilot to see it’s got its own thing going on — though it does share some traits with the network’s gymnastics dramedy.

This new show from Amy Sherman-Palladino, beloved as the creator of Gilmore Girls, forgotten as creator of The Return of Jezebel James, premieres June 11, but a sneak peek of episode 1.1 was briefly available online. Continue reading