In the past I have had a couple of requests for some reviews, particularly mentioning a television show that is so bad it’s almost good, called Dance 360. What I can say with absolute certainty is that American Bandstand it is not. It is not even a poor substitute for Soul Train. For those of you that have never had the misfortune of catching this UHF castoff, Dance 360 is a show that claims to be an urban dance competition show, but usually becomes more about acrobatics than dance and more posing than competition. Yet, it can be mysteriously mesmerizing in the way that only awful television can be.
However, for those of a certain age there is enough breakdance nostalgia to hold your attention long enough to get sucked into the swelling nonsense that the show has to offer. I could have sworn the participants on this show have been watching old footage of Turbo and Shabba-Doo form Breakin’, circa 1984. It is all the more amusing when one of the crowd of dancers on the show is an some guy probably in his 40s on the verge of blowing a disk trying to do a “Headspin.”
With three pseudo-hosts that include Kel, a grade C Chris Tucker wannabee, paired up with a desparately wanting to be Tupac, Fredro, both working the crowd and a mic, and K-Sly, a rather attractive Asian female DJ. If it wasn’t for her the other two goofs would be even harder to take. However, the cameramen seem to always find a way to get her some screen time, despite the fact that K-Sly is stuck behind a digital turntable fronted with an array of shiny street-slick hubcaps. The two goofs mix with the “Party People” looking to find contestants for a dance-off that takes place in the 3-6-0, which is a giant circle on the floor that is essentially a manhole cover decal. You can tell right away that this show is street. If there were any doubt the contestants usually throw out some stupid street name when asked, with the occasional zip or area code, because they gotta represent, you know! Yeah!
After they shuffle about six “dancers” to the fore, we get the rules which generally include one dancer going “head-to-head” with another before they “tag [their] man.” If you haven’t guessed there is a lot of call and response. Aight! Check it out, after some of these dance battles the rest of the studio audience votes on them. What is truly amazing is that show fills a half hour. The wheel that K-Sly seems to be spinning sounds suspiciously like the same synth-pop, with some digital scratching, the whole time. The dancing, if you can call it that, has little to do with rhythm or the music. You see attitude rules in the 3-6-Ohhhh. As I mentioned, the moves become ridiculously repetitive and there is always at least one female that has to work in a serious rump shake before getting off the manhole cover. After all the yelling and yea, yea, yeas are done, the winner is poised to receive, guess what, $360 and some additional prizes, an Xbox and whatever else they could scrounge up from other sponsors. All that for essentially making yourself look like an ass for even being seen on the show.
Nevertheless, it is a lot like watching a car wreck. You’ll find yourself flipping through the channels and suddenly someone doing “The Worm” arrests attention long enough to suck you into the vortex. Before you know it, you are transfixed by the sheer badness of the whole thing that you can’t flip the channel. In fact, Ali and I have had the opportunity of getting sucked into a special kids show that was hysterically horrible. Check your local listings and share a little of the pain.
This one’s for you Dave. You know who you are.
All in all, an enjoyable and through review, although the “party people” who frequent the show may not agree. I’m sure on some college campuses somewhere, there is a drinking game taking place which involves downing a shot whenever the battle cry “head to head” is heard. To imagine the participants families watching a tape or dvd of their loved one’s performance and making encouraging comments is to truly engage in the absurd. I am eagerly awaiting the dvd box set, which is sure to contain a treasure trove of extras. Talk about solid gold!