Monday, January 19, 2009

episode: america's best dance crew, season 3 premiere

Holy crap, America's Best Dance Crew Season 3 has begun... and I almost missed it. (It premiered on the 15th, and I've been catching up on Freaks and Geeks and The Pretender, the first three seasons of which are on Hulu!) Here are my thoughts on this season's crews, though it should be noted that I know very little about the technicalities of dance. I'm only commenting on the aesthetics, so flips and tricks aren't really going to impress me. Let me just say, though, that I have missed Lil' Mama's impeccable glitter matching. Her ridiculous outfits are always a highlight for me.

Strikers All Stars: Wow, these guys are from my hometown! They had a lot of energy and were in sync, but I can't help but wonder if the step climber was supposed to flip at the end. I enjoyed their performance, but I take issue with Shane Sparks' comment about these guys being different and versatile... their performance was deeply rooted in fraternity step shows, which is neither different nor versatile. That's not to say it wasn't good -- because it was -- but that those adjectives do not mean what Sparks think they mean. (Inconceivable!)

Beat Freaks: Girl power. Geez. Why do women always feel like they have to win something for their entire gender? Still, there was some popping and some locking, and I thought it was a well-choreographed set. Shane Sparks made the comment "America's Best Dance Crew will be a female group this year" and the ladies went wild.

G.O.P. Dance: Really? GOP stands for Group of Peace? (And did it bother anyone else that MTV transcribed what they were saying, even though their accent wasn't difficult to understand?) I thought these guys were kind of sloppy, and I'm probably the only person who associated their robes at the beginning to Jawas... but I appreciated Lil' Mama's comment about wanting a more cultural style of dance. These guys are coming from Puerto Rico, and they show us the same ol' stuff.

Quest Crew: These guys were AWESOME. They really knew how to work with the music, and they had a lot of high points throughout their set. There was a lot of time spent on individual members -- and it opened on an over/under trick that actually impressed me. To come off the ground in a Matrix-like slo-mo with two bodies passing by from opposite directions was something I'd never seen before, and the handstand shaker was a really simple way to make the shaking move more interesting.

Fly Khicks: First of all, what a stupid name. Secondly, their outfits were obnoxious and their dancing subpar. Not to mention, the choreography was underwhelmingly simple. And Shane Sparks' overtly sexist comment was unnecessary. And what was with Lil' Mama saying, "You were sexy, and I don't mean that in a gay way"??? Every now and then, homophobia creeps onto the show, and I wonder

Ringmasters: These guys are from Brooklyn and know that they look like hoodlums (their word), but think that once you see them dance they won't seem like hoodlums anymore. Does that even make sense? Can hoodlums not also be dancers? Are they antithetical? I didn't care for these guys, mostly because they used unnecessary props and I don't remember any of the choreography. There were just those two guys whose entire bodies are double-jointed. (Did anyone else laugh at Lil' Mama's breakdown? She was crying just because they're from her hometown. Is no one else concerned about this blatant bias?)

Boxcuttahz: Honestly, I don't remember these guys. But I remember their awesome clothes. And I remember Lil Mama calling them "characteristic," whatever she thinks that means.

Dynamic Edition: Combination tap-dancing and clogging to Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps"? I'm definitely sold on these guys. Their lines and formations were exceptionally clean, but I was bothered by their arms being glued to their sides. I know that's characteristic of clogging, but hip-hop requires a lot of full-bodied motions and they should include arm movements into their footwork if they want to survive future rounds.

Team Millennia: These guys lost out last season to Fanny Pak! I thought the best part of their routine was the incorporation of "The Carlton," as random and unfitting as it was, and even though I understand that their set was intended to showcase their versatility, but it came off like a hot mess. It was a bit too scattered for me.

As of right now, my favorites are Strikers All Stars (I do love step dancing), Quest Crew, and Boxcuttahz (their theatrics were fantastic and something the other groups are lacking.) I don't know how often I'll comment on America's Best Dance Crew this year, since I don't think I'll be watching it regularly, but I'll comment when I can.

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