The Big Leap was on my list of new shows I thought looked promising. I already have the series set to record on my DVR. I discovered yesterday that the first two episodes are availabe to stream now on Hulu. That cemented my plans for this afternoon.
A group of diverse, down-on-their-luck characters attempt to change their lives by participating in a potentially life-ruining reality dance show that builds to a live production of “Swan Lake.”
The story begins with a flashback to seven years ago. Gabby and Justin are a high school dance team couple about to head off to NYU to study dance. Things don’t go the way they planned. Seven years later, Gabby is a single mom working in an office. Justin is working at a bowling alley. Gabby sees an ad for auditions for a dance reality show and convinces Justin to try out with her. Other hopefuls include:
- Julia – a middle aged mom and social media influencer who is dealing with marital and work issues
- Mike – an out of work factory worker who sees the show as a grand gesture to win back his estranged wife
- Paula – a breast cancer survivor and former executive
- Simon and Brittney – twins who were raised to be in show business
- Reggie – a disgraced, former NFL player recruited to the show for star power
Scott Foley plays the producer brought in to make the show a success. His job is to make sure the cameras are always rolling to catch any drama and to dig up dirt on the cast to stir up more drama. Mallory Janson and Kevin Daniels round out the cast as the host and choreographer.
The first thing I will say is that I smiled through the entire first episode. It is the heartwarming, underdog story I didn’t know I needed. It’s heartwarming without being sappy. I loved the dance hopefuls from the start and will enjoy rooting for them to succeed.
Scott Foley is great as the producer who spends his time looking for drama, yellling at his staff, and giving Gabby pep talks to make her a star. Mallory Jansen is perfect as the strict, overbearing choreographer who, at one point, throws a metal chair at a dancer for not performing the proper dance move. Piper Pierbo and Jon Rudnitsky are cute as a potential couple with a connection of which they are unaware. Teri Polo is always good and is excellent as Julia struggling with getting older and dealing with marital issues.
The star is Simone Recasner as Gabby. Gabby is dealing with depression and body image issues. She lost her chance at a dance career when she became a mom instead of going to NYU. Recasner is perfect in portraying all of this, yet letting Gabby’s star potential shine through. Viewers will fall in love and Gabby will be the main reason people tune in each week.
No show is perfect, but these first two episodes are the closest to perfect I’ve seen lately.
This is an excellent start and I am looking forward to more.
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