Dance for Me, My Subjects!

I would like to applaud NBC for their brand new show Superstars of Dance. Not because the show is any good, but because it demonstrates that the network has mastered time travel.

At least I assume they did, and used it to pluck a producer from the 1950s and bring him back to modern times. Because there’s no way that any producer born in the last 40 years would take grown-ass men and dress them in such demeaning costumes just because they’re from foreigny lands. 

Or maybe they went back to the late 1800s, and got old timey editorial cartoonists to do the costume design. Because all of the judges on this show are forced to wear stereotypical garb from their native land. The audience couldn’t possibly enjoy a well-performed dance routine from, say, a Japanese man. No, he must wear a samurai robe and carry a katana at all times!

The Chinese judge wears a saffron Buddhist monk’s robe. The Russian judge wears a traditional puffy blouse, like he’s gonna start step-dancing with a bottle of vodka on his head any second. I’m pretty sure I saw a Swiss guy in Tyrolean hat, and a Samoan guy in a muu-muu, and an African with those weird neck rings. It’s really a spiritual cousin to It’s a Small World After All: an attempt at “international understanding” that just betrays the superior, condescending attitude of the perpetrator.

Remember when Michael Richards said some crazy racist stuff a few years back and it ruined his career? Well, if he said anything as racist as this show looks, he would have been stoned to death in the street.

NBC also turned back the clock to get its audience. They must have come from a time before Dancing With the Stars premiered, because these people are simply AMAZED that dancing has returned to television. They must also be blissfully unaware of So You Think You Can Dance, Pants Off Dance Off, Someone Marry My Mom While Dancing, and the roughly 8 billion other dance-reality shows that have aired in the last 5 years.

Or they got their audience from roughly 15 years ago, the last time Michael Flatley was famous and relevant and didn’t vaguely resemble Lawrence Welk.

Actually, they probably got their audience from a lot farther back than that. Some time when entertainment hadn’t been invented yet. Because these people will apparently applaud anything done in front of them.

Irish step dancing straight out of Celtic Nightmare or some other bullshit diddly-dee PBS special? Yippee! Indian dancing that wouldn’t fly in the cheapest Bollywood movie? Huzzah! Some Argentinean chick convulsing in something that barely resembles rhythm? Oh joy!

Kudos, NBC. When you’re done raiding the past for inspiration, see if you can figure out that whole “who killed JFK” thing.