Make it Or Break It, Season 1 On DVD
by Laura Tucker
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Just in time to catch up with Winter Olympics fever, we get the first season of Make It Or Break It, a family drama, being released on DVD. The show follows a fictionalized group of girls preparing for a run at making the Gymnastics team for the Olympics. I didn’t expect to like this show as much as I did.
Truthfully, I figured this show would be all fluff and had never watched it before. But watching the DVD set, I found some great teenage drama involved, and another whole set of problems that these girls encounter trying to reach their dreams, as well as the same old problems that every teenager deals with such as money issues, boyfriend issues, parent issues, problems with jealousy, etc. I guess those things never change and are always the same.
A core group of teenage girls, Kaylie, Payson, and Lauren, have been training together through much of their gymnastics careers. They currently train at the Rocky Mountain gym together, and refer to it as The Rock. Their dream is to hit the Nationals next, qualify first through third, then qualify there for the Olympics. All of them have parents who are very involved and have the money to help them keep training.
Emily joins The Rock on a scholarship, and is ostracized right away by the other girls. She has a single mom who can’t afford much, has to maintain a job at the local pizza place to help out the family, and hasn’t been training nearly as long as the others, but just has a natural gift. And it’s the day before qualifying for the Nationals. The others don’t want her to qualify, thinking she’s undeserving having only been there such a short time.
I won’t ruin it by telling you who makes the qualifying and who doesn’t, but the drama that unfolds includes both that as well as the normal drama all kids go through. One of the girls doesn’t take possibly not qualifying very well and does something to nearly put her on par with Tanya Harding. There are parents that pull their weight with their money to get things laid out the way they want them for their daughter to make it to Nationals. There are girls breaking the rules about dating, and there’s even one who loses her virginity to another of the girls’ boyfriends.
The adults don’t fare much better, as one coach leaves only to be replaced by a well-known gymnast who is tough as nails on the gymnasts at The Rock. When they break the rules, he makes them climb ropes and scrub the mats. One of the fathers starts dating his younger secretary, something his daughter can never seem to get used to, no matter what. Other affairs between the adults come out as well.
While it may sound like a young version of Payton Place, it’s not portrayed that way at all. It’s all done very intelligently and gently enough for kids. I find this to be a great drama for my own teenagers to watch, as I want them to see other kids their age following their dreams, as well as the fact that no matter who they are, they will always suffer through that teenage angst. Despite Candace Cameron Bure being part of the cast, it’s not handled like Full House with it all being wrapped up and solved by the end of the show. It’s like real life. It sometimes takes a little while to solve, but we all make it through.
Laura Tucker is the webmaster of Reality Shack and its accompanying Reality Shack Blog, provides reviews at Viewpoints, and provides entertainment news pieces at Gather. She is also an Associate Instructor and 2nd dan black belt in tae kwon do with South Elgin Martial Arts. Laura can be reached at LauraBelle@realityshack.com.
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