For the uninitiated, that stands for Dancing With the Stars. In my family, we just call it “Dancing”. “Did you watch Dancing yet? Can’t wait for Dancing tonight.” It is a cheesy reality show where B list (and I am being generous there) stars dance with professional ballroom dancers to win a trophy. No cash for their favorite charity, just a really ugly trophy shaped like a mirror ball.
I am obsessed with the show. Completely obsessed. My husband hates it because it consumes my Monday and Tuesday nights to the point of lunacy.
Why do I like it? After much soul searching, I have my theories…
First and foremost, it is complete escapism. There is no underlying moral theme. There is no political agenda. People dance.
Also, it is one of the few reality shows where you actually root FOR contestants. No matter who your favorite is, you want everyone to do well. You just hope your dancer does better. Let’s face it, Marly Matlin may not have been your favorite…but how do you not root for a woman who can’t even HEAR the music she is dancing to. Then there are the football players. Despite their enormous size they almost always make it to the finals. Warren Sapp had a smile that could charm the devil. Sweet Lance Bass, who was almost kicked out of N*Sync because he was such a bad dancer. Christian de la Fuente danced with an arm that couldn’t pick up a cup of coffee. I wasn’t rooting for any of these guys to win (though I really loved Lance and Lacey), but I loved watching them. Everyone was smiling and having fun. Everyone was doing their best, even when their best wasn’t all that great.
They do it for the publicity, but nothing else. I can’t say that Dancing has ever really helped anyone’s career, so even that motivation is dubious. They do it to challenge themselves. To do something they never thought they could do. Every other show people are trying to win money. Always money. This is competition for competition’s sake. It is, to say the least, refreshing.
Lastly, I think that what makes this better than Top Chef or Survivor, is that I know when someone dances well or not. I can’t taste the food someone prepared, and other than what the producers show me, I can’t know how people are doing in a deserted locale. But when someone dances, I can tell if they have done well or not.
I cannot vouch for my own dancing talent…I took one lesson with my friend, Young. And I once went to a dance in college with a guy who could DANCE. We barely left the floor, and I had the time of my life. Nothing better then a man who knows how to lead. You’ll have to talk to Karen about whether or not we were any good…
So the two hour premier is Monday night, and I can hardly wait (along with my mother, my sister, my friends…) Once again I will be swept away into a world of slutty sequined dresses and spray on tans. And I will probably take most of you on the journey with me, since I am sure to blog about it almost as religiously as I watch it.
So, it back, grab a soda, and spend some time in the next few month watching people have fun. I know I will.