Thursday, June 19, 2008

So You Think You Can Decide For Yourself? The producers of SYTYCD aren't so sure.

The vertigo has got me all but sidelined lately, so blogging may be a little light for a few days. When the world stops spinning at warp speed and I can release my death-grip on the ground, I'll be back. But until I can climb off this ride I did not choose to get on in the first place, let's talk about something for a second....

(Note: I swear this is not a SYTYCD blog...the same way I swear that this is not a hockey blog during hockey season! LOL!)

Did anyone watch last night's SYTYCD? Did you catch the Jean-Marc Genereaux piece dedicated to his disabled daughter? Anyone feel manipulated again? No idea what I'm talking about? Allow me to explain...

Movies like Forrest Gump were done the way they were to completely manipulate the audience's emotions such that, whether you liked it or not, you were rooting for Forrest by mid-movie. We're only human , after all. But then, if you actually thought about the movie as a whole after the fact, you realized that Hollywood played you. Like an expertly played guitar. Those douchebags that made Forrest Gump told you *exactly* how you should feel while watching their silly little movie, and even worse, you felt it (or at least I did)! For that reason alone, I hate Forrest Gump. People that talk about what a wonderful story it is and how they felt uplifted at the end make me laugh.

Now, enter Mia Michaels's piece from last year's SYTYCD that she choreographed for her recently deceased father (Actually, the piece was supposed to be what meeting her father in heaven would be like). At the time, I found the whole thing very moving. But the next day, I found it to be contrived. Like the producers *knew* that whoever performed Mia's piece, be it two dancing bums from the street or Lacey and Neil, would receive a tremendous amount of votes and remain in the competition. And as for Mia, good intentions...poor execution. I think she chose the wrong stage to present her vision to the world, that's all. I felt manipulated and damn near compelled to pick up the phone and vote. I'm sure I'm not alone.

Last night, Jean-Marc took a swing at this idea with his piece for Kherington and Twitch. His daughter is severely disabled and finds joy in watching others move. The story alone broke my heart. But it didn't take me long to realize that Jean-Marc's piece was different. Unlike Mia's number, Jean-Marc's actually contained a fair amount of dancing. On it's own merits, story or not, I thought it was beautiful. I'd enjoy watching it again and again. I can't say I felt the same way about Mia's dance. But I did feel the same amount of manipulation initially and that sucks.

I don't want SYTYCD to turn into my personal Forrest Gump. I don't want to hate it. But when the judges and choreographers are all but cramming their opinions on how you should feel and who you should vote for down your throats, it's hard to remain objective. They know who they want to win. And they're very clever about making sure you know it, too.

4 comments:

djc said...

I was slightly surprised that Kherington and Twitch got the special treatment by being selected to perform the piece which had a deeper meaning to the people who choreographed it. I agree with you and feel it certainly does guarantee that they will get plenty of votes for their performance.

Perhaps later in the competition we will see other contestants the opportunity to perform another piece which has deeper meaning and history.

If not however, they shouldn't have told everyone about the meaning of the piece before it was performed. If they would've informed the TV/studio audience of the dance's extra deeper meaning a week or two afterwards, it would've kept the playing field level and fair.

Ted said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't care for Forrest Gump. I thought there was something wrong with me.

I actually like Jean Marc quite a bit, but the Daddy Dance syndrome needs to end now.

Amisk8er said...

With regard to Shameful Yokel Television You Could Ditch, I would have said "I told you so", but really, a more empowering comment would be: "Watcher beware"... that is all ;-)

The Enforcer said...

Wow, Lex...what's it like to know better than everyone? I can imagine that kind of superior judgment would really come in handy...

The reason I'm upset is because SYTYCD *used* to be all about dancing. Shocking, I know. But lately, with all the political messages and choreographers dedicating tear-jerker pieces to family members, I'm not sure if I'm watching a reality competition show or a soap opera.

Bring back dance. Leave the causes at home.