Right when you thought it was safe to ignore summer reality shows, one of TV’s juggernauts is back and it promises to be more, um, not sure what it wants to be than ever. Dancing With The Stars has officially announced its stars and the show returns to our airwaves September 19th.
By the way – if you think September the 19th will be one of those evenings loaded with buzzworthy/potentially controversial TV, you’re quite right. For one thing it kicks off the week when many of the new fall shows premiere but more specifically, it’s 1) DWTS, it’s 2) Two and a Half Men, and it’s 3) Charlie Sheen’s Comedy Central roast. I predict that Two and A Half Men will have an extremely popular premiere and zillions will tune in, while the Roast will barely make it to the table.
So back to the dancing. And the stars. Because this time we get Chaz Bono, Nancy Grace, Ricki Lake, Rob Kardashian, David Arquette, Ron Artest, Kristin Cavallari, J.R.Martinez, Hope Solo, Elizabetta Canalis, Chynna Phillips, and Carson Kressley.
Wow. Call me less than impressed but where’s the Ralph Macchio? And the Kirstie Alley? I’d even settle for a Kate Gosselin. But here, we seem to have a few genuinely likable actor/singers (Lake, Arquette & Phillips) and then we have actual pundits (Kressley) and oh wait, the ever divisive & polarizing Nancy Grace is in the Kate Gosselin poll position. And then some lesser (but good-looking) knowns in the middle with a few hotshot athletes to round out the curious mix. The only one who looks intriguing is J.R. Martinez, who not only stars on All My Children but was actually an Iraq war veteran who sustained horrific burn injuries – resulting in 32 surgeries. He’s got a pretty amazing story of survival to tell, so I’ll tune in for him. Chaz Bono is brave and quite a remarkable icon for the GLBT community – but again, didn’t he just have his own reality show? Same with Rob Kardashian…well, perhaps this’ll be his time to shine. But I’m not incredibly optimistic.
I recently polled some friends about the show (once I found a few who watched it) and they all said the same thing: part of the appeal of Kirstie and Ralph (and certainly Jennifer Grey) is the teen idol/guilty pleasure element. That is to say, for many viewers in their 30s and 40s, these were stars who elicited massive crushes and fan worship on account of their ubiquity in the 1980s. No such luck in this lineup. What we do have are at least 4 people who wouldn’t have had jobs had reality TV not existed.
What do you think? It’s probably going to be one of those shows where suddenly “stars” who seemed vaguely uninteresting to me come to immediate and brilliant life over the season. But it’s not looking too sizzling right now. Tell us what you think of the new DWTS crew and whether you’ll tune in.
1) Dancing With The Stars premiere
2) Two and a Half Men premiere
3) Comedy Central’s Charlie Sheen Roast