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A raunchy routine

The Big Leap has a promising premise but lots of cringeworthy moments


Scott Foley in a scene from The Big Leap. Fox

A raunchy routine

In theory, The Big Leap, a new Monday night Fox comedy inspired by a British reality series, sounds fun and inspiring: A production company is looking for men and women wanting a second shot at success to join its cast of former dancers and wannabe stars to produce a beautiful, trendy rendition of Swan Lake.

Who doesn’t love underdogs and second chances? Initially, the judges choose 40 potential dancers, then whittle to 10 pairs.

We soon learn the director (Scott Foley) wants this production to be about the dancers, not the dancing. He loves each dancer’s backstory and plans to manipulate each one to squeeze out every ounce of histrionics. And soon rude, crude, and seamy content undermines the would-be feel-good story.

Characters include an exercise instructor whose wife left him because he’s not fun anymore, a gay man who never went to college after his dad booted him out of the house, a woman whose husband spends his days watching porn and whose kids insult her, a strip club dancer and adult film actress, a football player who lost his endorsements because he ran around naked on the football field, and another woman, Gabby (Simone Recasner), who’s a loving single mom working a dead-end job.

The crass portrayals are supposed to be funny but are short on creativity. The show’s main message: Life is about getting what you want.

What the show does get right is the dancing—lots of great moves and energetic music. And we empathize with the characters. Gabby utters a few memorable lines, including, “Life is about coming back from the punch.” And her mom tells her, “Your depression is a liar,” encouraging her to persevere.

But three episodes in, it’s impossible to ignore the raunchy content’s flinch factor.


Sharon Dierberger

Sharon is a correspondent and reviewer for WORLD. She is a World Journalism Institute and Northwestern University graduate. She has served as a university teacher, clinical exercise physiologist, homeschooling mom, businesswoman, and Division 1 athlete. She resides in Stillwater, Minn., with her husband, Bill.

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