It’s been a while since a good Hollywood post, and there’s no stopping it this week. The Emmys happened Sunday night. And from the moment Jimmy Fallon met up with the cast of Glee and opened the show with a musical number complete with matching costumes and dancing in silhouette, I turned to Michael and said, “I’m so happy.”
Do you know the line in Music and Lyrics when Drew Barrymore’s character has just inadvertently dissed Hugh Grant’s character with a reference to how a “Pop song isn’t likely to impress” her ex-boyfriend? And Hugh Grant says, sure, it’s not great literature maybe, but nothing “makes people feel as good as fast as ‘I got sunshine, on a cloudy day.'”
It’s true. And nothing makes me as happy as fast as a good show-stopping musical number. When it was over, I applauded. Because I’ve done just enough singing and dancing in my life to know that stuff takes work, and I felt so thankful that they’d done the work and passed on the happy.
Then Monday came and with it the announcement for the new contestants on Dancing with the Stars. And I haven’t gotten excited about that cast in a couple years now, but this one made me very, very happy. Mostly because, it includes Jennifer Grey.
Dirty Dancing is one of the shows I watch pretty much any time I catch it on Cable. And if it happens to be at the final number, all the better. I’ve got “I had the time of my life” on my ipod, and when Dancing with the Stars did a Patrick Swayze tribute last year, I was beside myself. And as if just having Baby herself on the show wasn’t enough to thrill me, they paired her with Derek Hough. I like many of the professionals on DWTS, but he’s my favorite. As far as my world is concerned – and my Monday and Tuesday nights – Dancing is back.
Now, some of my friends and family members insist that I should also be watching So You Think You Can Dance. And I always intend to. But I know it will be missing two elements I really love about DWTS. One is the proven effectiveness of cross-pollenating your brand. So many times on DWTS, I haven’t even known the people who were cast. They were in fields (such as comedy, sports, the Disney Channel, or Reality TV) that I just wasn’t familiar with. Sometimes I didn’t like my first impression of them either. But then as they worked their butt off and showed us their vulnerability and their human-ness and their relatable thoughts, I came to like them. I cared that they existed, and I didn’t (always) want to see them go.
And speaking of working their butt off, that’s the other thing I love about this show. It’s the if-I-can-do-it-you-can factor. I love how often we actually watch people improve – right before our eyes. We see them struggle with the steps, feel embarrassed (I hate that part), get criticized (I really hate that part), and then get better. It’s a beautiful thing. A good dance can bring Carrie Inaba to tears, and I totally understand why. It tells a story. And sometimes it’s not a fictional one, and it’s not the story of a dance. It’s the story of a dancer, a person who wasn’t sure they could, a couple that fought and struggled through rehearsal but stayed persistent, or a person who’s been seen in every light but good, and then the work pays off and the couple comes together, and the person rises above, and it all comes together for the beautiful, inspiring end. And suddenly hard work seems so worth it, and very little seems too hard to overcome.
A cancer survivor once said that she dances every single day. She was definitely onto something.