Inspiring celebrities, if somewhat flawed production
I'm not sure why that first review is even allowed on here - they admit they never watched the show, which should a prerequisite for having an opinion on something. I do understand where they were coming from; when I first saw the commercial, I thought network TV had hit an all- time low, and would soon have D-list celebrities fighting each other to the death (previously only attempted with claymation). But out of morbid curiosity I found myself watching the first episode, and I was hooked.
Celebrity reality TV, and reality TV in general, is one of the fakest, most UNreal things out there. They gin up false drama to get into the pages of US Weekly in a (usually) embarrassing attempt to revitalize their careers. But there was very little interpersonal drama in this show, in fact the celebrities were all very positive in their support for each other. There was also no faking the diving, which is difficult and dangerous, and a lot of plain old hard work in training every week. They suffered bruises, cuts, concussions, fractures, and plenty of stinging belly flops, but in the end I didn't feel it was just to pump ratings through appealing to our least worthy fascination with other's suffering. It was to better themselves, learn something new and difficult, and try to get some publicity the old-fashioned way (by putting their butts on the line). I personally found it very inspiring.
Every time one of them went back up on a high platform after hurting themselves, they showed that just because you're a celebrity doesn't mean you're useless. Nicole Eggert especially was a role model for all women, regardless of age, fitness, weight, etc. I find myself with the overall feeling "if they can do that, I can do something else I thought was impossible". Anything that makes you feel that way is worthwhile in my opinion, and I think it's incredibly sad that someone would trash their intense efforts and bravery without even taking a look.
That being said, I had to deduct some points for style (lol). The production itself could have been set up to run more smoothly, feel more 'fair' in the scoring, and tell individual stories better through improved editing and interviewing. High points for the water-drop-wall of moving lights (I want one!), and the cheesily endearing theme songs written for each contestant ("Brandi Chastain, do it again / She used to play soccer / Now she's hittin' the water", love it), but adding a more entertaining, non-diver judge might have livened up those exchanges. And while they showed clips of what the celebrities do to train, they didn't really explain it coherently. I would have loved a more detailed explanation of what each dive involves and what the celebrity had to master to accomplish it. That way we would also have known what to look for as they dove, beyond the amount of 'splash'. As it was, I rarely even knew what the dive was SUPPOSED to look like before they did it. Also, the set, while groundbreaking (water- breaking?), was way too circus-like and over-the-top, and the costumes were usually more garish than a toddler's gown in a full-glitz beauty pageant.
All told, I think this show was worthy of much higher rating and better reviews than it seems to have garnered. It should have run over the summer season when there is little to watch, and diving seems a little less ridiculous of an occupation. I hope the celebrities who really poured their hearts into it know that their efforts were appreciated by those of us who did watch.
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