Monthly Archives: May 2009

Fake It or Break It

An interesting comment on ABC’s new show, Make It or Break It:

Initially, I laughed at it too, as there’s not a shred of muscle on these girls that resembles an elite gymnast. And I even thought, considering all the thousands of wannabe-starlets in Hollywood, surely some of those actresses are athletic, and surely a small portion of them are small enough that they could plausibly be gymnasts, and surely all of them can act well enough to say these lines.

But then I remembered we’re talking about a TV teen drama, and not a show competing for Emmy awards. So what is most important to these producers? Accuracy, or viewership?

Easy answer, as the poster outlines in their comment. You can’t reach a teen-girl TV viewership without the boys, dating, and sex formula, and you can’t have a circa-2008 Shawn Johnson enacting that formula in the backseat of her boyfriend’s Mazda. Sex sells, and anything in prime time needs a little of it (either that or some violence). So, rather than cast a group of actual elite gymnasts who could bring a layer of credibility to Make It or Break It, the producers are using sexuality and assumed stereotypes regarding girls and sports. Kind of sad that they think the only way a show like this will survive is if it’s got some Bring It On or Stick It in the mix. But if it does, at the very least, it will mean career boosts for the actors and actresses involved, as well as publicity for a sport that is usually only noticed every four years.

I took a gamble when I wrote Heroes’ Day and decided to focus on social issues and exaggerated Olympic trends rather than making Monica old enough to flirt / blackmail her way to the top. I’d love to see Heroes’ Day as a movie, and I’d love to see it cast with a team of actual 13–14-year-olds because I know there’s an audience out there for a movie with strong female protagonists not relegated to relying on their boobs for attention. Not necessarily a Mighty Ducks thing, but something that doesn’t bombard you with shampoo and tampon commercials while you watch it. :D