I Want You Back
Episode 1 of The Big Leap begins with a flashback to seven years ago. Gabby Lewis helps to choregraph a dance with her very-obviously-gay boyfriend, Justin. Unfortunately Gabby soon learns about his secret that evening when Gabby walks in on him kissing another guy. And if that wasn’t enough, the boy Gabby had sex with before didn’t use protection… so she’s pregnant.
Fast forward to present day and we catch a glimpse of our main character Gabby, hurrying her son along to school before arriving at her office job. She’s just been promoted to office manager too, but it’s not exactly an enthralling career prospect.
Meanwhile, Mike is stuck in the past, with the stinging blow of his divorce still hitting hard. After being fired from spin class, he finds himself determined to try and make more of his life.
Finally we have Julia, who’s struggling to keep her nose above the water in the wake of other influencers. Her sponsorships are resting precariously on a knife-edge and her husband isn’t exactly supportive, especially given they haven’t had sex in over six months.
All three of these characters stumble upon a new dance competition called The Big Leap. They’re doing a rendition of Swan Lake but the entire contest is laid out like a proper talent show.
Gabby doesn’t want to go alone though, determined to try and convince Justin to join her. They haven’t spoken since that party seven years back, back but it takes Gabby dancing in the middle of a bowling alley to convince him to join her.
The only trouble is, there are thousands of others who have decided to get involved too. Packed inside the stuffy auditorium, their flamboyant host confirms that this isn’t an elimination contest but there will be cuts. 20 people will be chosen to be part of this Big Leap production.
The auditions are absolutely hilarious, with Spiderman, awkwardly romantic twins and more competing together. In the midst of all this though are a number of others that get through – including a sex worker. When Justin and Gabby compete, Gabby slips right at the death of their routine which causes her to be dropped. Justin though, flies through to the next round.
Outside, drama ensues between Mike and his ex wife, which is hurriedly recorded by the hungry producers outside. While this intimate moment is recorded, Julia and her husband have friction in their relationship too. The latter is unhappy with Julia broadcasting their entire life online.
The next day, Gabby approaches the judges and manages to bag herself another chance. That comes in the form of teaching a disgraced football player how to dance. If she can do that, she’ll be allowed back on the show.
Reggie and Gabby have great chemistry together, with the former helping to give Gabby praise and encouraging her to do a lift. Gabby though is worried about her weight but Reggie does a great job making her feel better. Unfortunately he’s also a bit of a loose cannon, which is clear to see when a couple of guys trash-talk him outside, prompting Reggie to beat them up.
Still, it doesn’t stop them from making it on stage and doing their audition together. The judges are shocked, especially when Reggie actually lifts her up. Rapturous applause breaks out as Gabby struggles to hold back tears. Behind the scenes, executive producer Nick decides to do everything he can to figure out who Gabby is. She’s the star of the show and he’s going to make it so.
The Episode Review
September TV premieres are back! And after nearly a year of stop/start service in the west, Fox’s latest feel-good dramedy kicks things off with a really promising opening chapter.
The introduction to our three main characters is well written, with Mike, Julia and Gabby each coming from very different walks of life. This helps to establish who each of them are and why they’re taking part in the Big Leap competition.
The real stars of the show though are Gabby and Reggie. The pair have such great chemistry together on-screen and the reassuring nature of Reggie, helping to put Gabby’s mind at ease regarding her weight, works really well to develop both characters in a compelling way.
It’s also a pretty ingenious move to have Gabby fail her first audition, subverting expectations slightly and keeping things unpredictable.
This show certainly has a lot of promise though and the ending hints that we’ve got lots more dancing to come in the upcoming episodes. Let’s hope this one can deliver!
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|