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

4 thoughts on “Fake It or Break It

  1. Megan ·

    I understand the reasons why older actresses are being cast to play younger roles, but personally I would be more forgiving if this was about college gymnasts.

    New layout!!! yay!

  2. jesse ·

    I agree. It always just looks so tacky to me when older actors or actresses play younger characters, even though I know the reasoning behind it. But, as you say, why not just make a show about college-aged gymnasts played by (gasp!) college-aged gymnasts? Hmm?

    Yes, new layout, not-so-new blue and pink colors. LOL The simpler, more insanely minimal the design, the more I can make my $100/year server perform like a $1,000/year server. ;)

    (BTW, please e-mail me if you’re having trouble posting comments, as I’ve not quite gotten the bugs out of the comment system just yet.)

  3. Megan ·

    Or else a show with 16-year-olds in it that’s not about the same exact thing as every other teen show!!! Oh, and comments are working just fine for me, cant you tell? :-)

  4. jesse ·

    Sweet. I was sure I’d bungled the comments system with my last upgrade. One less thing to worry about. LOL

    A show with teens in it that’s not about what people “expect” it to be about would be a hard sell. You see them every so often, but the majority of what’s on TV is safe in terms of viewer expectation. ABC’s new show will no doubt follow the formula.

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