The Best Soap Currently On the Air *Isn’t* the One You Think
CBS, ABC, Jill Johnson/JPI, Howard Wise/JPI
Have we got a surprise for you — a wonderful one, too!
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When the fall TV season rolled around, I’ll admit it: The last thing I intended to do was start watching a new show. But I’ll be damned if Fox’s The Big Leap (Mondays at 9/8c) didn’t reel me right in — and fast, too. Now I’m convinced that — sorry, Young & Restless, Bold & Beautiful, Days of Our Lives and even General Hospital (which is pretty kickass, it’s worth noting) — it’s the best soap on TV.
Here’s what you need to know to start watching — or if you want to just take my word for it that it’s awesome and swoon-worthy, the first two episodes are already on Hulu. even though No. 2 won’t debut on Fox till Monday night.
What’s It About
When a reality show pirouettes into Detroit to put together a dance troupe of nonprofessionals to stage a season-ending production of Swan Lake, we’re introduced to a ragtag group of underdogs looking for their second chance to bask in the warm glow of the spotlight. Among them are single mom Gabby (newcomer Simone Recasner, aka the find of the season) and disgraced football star Reggie (Charmed alum Ser’Darius Blain), who — trust me on this — is going to charm you even more quickly than he does his partner/ballet tutor.
On stage, calling the shots is fierce choreographer Monica (Galavant’s superlative Mallory Jansen). But behind the scenes, the strings are being pulled by EP Nick (Scandal vet Scott Foley), a manipulative scoundrel who hates himself as much as you will for how good he is at messing with the minds of our protagonists. (Also, Foley is freaking hilarious; yeah, you’re gonna hate Nick, but you are gonna love hating on him.)
Why Should You Care?
I’ve never championed a primetime show on Soaps.com. I know that’s not what you usually come here for (although we did recently do very thorough season previews of Grey’s Anatomy and the One Chicago franchise). But The Big Leap is special. Its humor is so sharp, you’ll need a Band-Aid to staunch the bleeding after any given episode. It’s so romantic, you’ll hear somebody saying “Awww” as you watch before you even realize that that somebody is you. Then you’ll facepalm and be like, “Oh my God, why can’t my soaps do that?!? It’s just! Great! Writing!”
And it’s freaking fun. If you don’t smile all the way through the scene in which Gabby’s estranged bestie Justin (Raymond Cham Jr.) turns the bowling alley at which he works into a stage, you’re going to have to consider the very real possibility that your face is broken. If you don’t get at least light palpitations when future dance partners Mike (SNL alum Jon Rudnitsky) and Paula (Piper Perabo, who’s been in everything!) recreate Singin’ in the Rain, bantering every step of the way, it’s more than conceivable that you are dead inside.
It’s that good, people. So if you’ve been curious about The Big Leap, take the plunge. Dive in. You won’t be sorry. The cast is as solid as a brick wall, the scripts all but sing with humor and heart, and so far, every episode (I’ve seen two) has left me higher than the last.
On your way to the comments — what are you hooked on that we should be checking out? — stop off at the below photo gallery of former daytimers who are making it big in primetime.