Monday, March 24, 2014

Ode to a Completed Show

I've been slowly watching "Breaking Pointe" a show I stumbled across channel flipping and then immediately added to my Hulu queue.  Short version - ballet reality show.  Longer version - Driven teens and twenty somethings who all work to hard and have almost no social life outside of work.  (Disclaimer 1: some of them probably do and just choose to keep this social life off camera.) It takes place at Ballet West, the Salt Lake City company  and in the two short seasons manages to cover things like contract time twice where folks are offered (or in some cases not) a chance to continue with the company, what happens when you need to find another job, getting moved into the company, getting promoted, getting - well - not promoted but the chance to stay there, and getting injured. 
There's also casting.  There's relationships, the forming, the clashing, the breaking, the realigning, and the state of the relationship talks. (Disclaimer 2: I think we agree that all reality TV is a little crafted.  You can practically seen the handprints on this one as people meet in a bar or restaurant that seems to contain only them and ask each other how things are going when it's clear that these are not the people they share things with.  Or that someone has suggested it would be helpful if they stood off to the side and updated each other on this.  Or someone just happens to be standing somewhere (like the middle of the street) long enough for them to film them on the street, from the window, and from the other side. Disclaimer 3:  Doesn't mean I don't love it.) 
I can only imagine if one is a teen or twenty something this feels very real.  As someone who is no longer that, I remembered how much, I, well, don't want to go back to that.  This isn't to say that being a teen or twenty something is horrible - it isn't, always.  But, things are very fraught for these folks.  Partly that's age, partly that's, as I said before, being in this world where you work crazy hours with people, and then, the show would have you believe, party only with those people, and well, it's pretty typical of any insular group - be it co-workers, college dorm buddies, or various other cliques. 
It also means sometimes you know just enough about what's going on with the others to stick your foot in it, or to make pronouncements you kind of know nothing about. 
I once read a formula for reality show success that included a world I know just enough about to be curious about it, and I think ballet falls into that.  I have seen ballet, I even took ballet way, way back in the day for a very short period of time, but mostly, this stuff is new to me.  And so I found these episodes a lovely snack.  I'm sorry they are over because I find myself ridiculously curious about the next round of choices these folks will make, but such is life.