Make it or Break It: Season One, Volume Two (2010)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

After finishing the first volume of ABC Family’s inside – or dramatized, look at the life of an elite athlete, I can say that I was sort of “addicted” to it. This was partially because I do like the sport of full twists and stick landings and on the other end of the spectrum, I was intrigued by some of the topics the scripts explored.

Payson (Ayla Kell) has dreams – big ones. Her determination will take her far in her sport and those dreams fuel her ability to work hard. Ranked number one in the world, all those dreams crash when Payson suffers a career-ending back injury while competing at Nationals which in turn allowed for fellow teammate Kaylie Cruz (Josie Loren) to take the gold medal – the one gymnast no one took seriously because she never displayed the attitude of a real champion despite being coached by her professional athlete father. Now, Payson is home, recovering and hiding her anger from the world, from her friends and parents, especially worried is her mother (Peri Gilpin) who knows that beneath Payson’s cryptic response that everything is “great,” nothing is. While her friends try to be supportive, more drama is in the offing.

Lauren’s one indiscretion with Carter (Zachary Abel) leaves Kaylie furious at her best friend and though both Carter and Lauren (Cassie Scerbo) try to reconcile with her, she is refusing to acknowledge either one of them. Lauren’s feelings of abandonment stemming from her mother are also re-opened when her father and his fiancée, Summer (Candace Cameron Bure) end their engagement. Meanwhile, Emily (Chelsea Hobbs) is still trying to keep her family afloat by juggling a job and competitive gymnastics but when both she and her mother, Chloe (Susan Ward) become entangled in new relationships, all bets are off.

If only one word could be used to sum up this show it would be, “drama.” There is enough of it to fuel two shows let alone one and it’s that angst that grows old very quickly. I understand the need to put obstacles in the character’s way – to show they aren’t merely handed awards in their sport, but gosh, I wish they’d give them a few more victories amidst the drama that is, mostly, only there for effect because none of it is “real.” What one does peg as genuine within the show’s sordid subplot certainly deserve more screen time and the petty drama could have been avoided.

In these installments, we experience more of Lauren’s ridiculous lies and double-talk (seriously!? Why does anyone even think about trusting this girl!?), Payson’s new life as a high school teenager and Emily’s world crumble. In each of these scenarios – with exception to Lauren’s pettiness, each girl comes out of the situation with more resolve but I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that my heart broke at the direction Payson was headed in before she realized the error of her ways with much help from a peppy, sweet girl named Heather from her school. The only thing I did miss from Payson’s new life is how quickly writer’s dropped the ball on Heather. One episode she was playing an important role in Payson’s adjustment and being a real friend and the next, she had vanished without explanation. Or a good enough one! If you were annoyed by the whole, Kaylie/Carter/Lauren fiasco in the first volume, you will be doubly so in the second as it ramps up and ends in a way I was quite disgusted with. Lauren could be a good person but for every “good” deed she does, she is ten steps ahead in plotting her payback. A sign that despite her apologies and claims that nothing will ever ruin her repaired friendships, she has actually learned nothing. Ironically, Make it or Break it’s greatest weakness is actually what it is all about: Gymnastics. It paints its sport in an unflattering light and its competitors as girls unwilling to put in the hard work to accomplish their goals. Both as an athlete and human being.

(What to know: More conversation revolves around cheating spouses, and/or boyfriends. There is some mild discussion about the benefits of “waiting for sex.” Profanity is nothing worse than h*ll, da*n and sh*t while elsewhere there is disrespectful behavior and lying from teens. Rated TV14.) 


  1. Hehe, your "addiction" of Make it or Break it matches my "addiction" of Switched at Birth. lol

  2. I like TV shows that can be addicting. That's how I got started on Doctor Who 8-D

    I hope this one keeps getting better and better.


  3. Rosie - oooh! I love 'Switched.' There is a premise that is unique - have you seen Jane By Design from ABC Family? Sadly, it was short-lived with only two seasons but its so darn cute. And talk about charm! :-)

    Jack - unfortunately, this show aired its last episodes with S3. I'm about to start S2 but am skeptical that writers ended things on a good note. :/ With all that drama, seriously, how could they!?

  4. No, I haven't. I don't really watch ABC, save for SaB. But maybe I'll try it. :)

  5. I don't watch ABC Family "live" (or any network regularly) but I do watch some of their DVD sets and original movies if/when they make it to DVD. Most of the latter are adorably cute while their TV series are usually flawed.

    'Switched' is a unique concept and I love it. Jane By Design is a happy go lucky series that makes me smile and this show? Yeah, it's WAY over-dramatized but... intriguing at the same time.


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