Even if winter seems like the perfect opportunity for a show about ice skating, “Skating with the Stars” proves that, once again, British reality TV knock-offs are not the way to win any sort of medals.

“Skating with the Stars”

Mondays at 8 p.m.
ABC

ABC’s latest desperate attempt at big-hit reality TV programming has led to the atrocious idea to make celebrities ice skate. Riding on the success of “Dancing with the Stars,” the format of “Skating” mirrors that of its predecessor. Each so-called celebrity is paired with an expert partner to perform a routine each week, and voted off the next day. But don’t be fooled — this show is a million times worse than “Dancing with the Stars,” which itself is pretty annoying.

There are two major issues with “Skating” that make it unbearable to watch. First, the celebrity contestants are not celebrities at all. ABC has clearly lowered their standards with the D-list line up, which includes Johnny Moseley, Vince Neil, Bethenny Frankel, Rebecca Budig, Sean Young and Brandon Mychal Smith. Who are any of these people? According to the show, their claims to fame range from “Disney superstar” to “rock legend.” It’s pretty sad when Bethenny Frankel, a “Real Housewife,” is the show’s biggest talent when “Dancing with the Stars” has had at least a few recognizable stars on all of its seasons.

Issue number two: Inherently, there’s a giant problem with the idea of making people skate who never have before ― skating is just plain difficult. Learning the moves for Yost Ice Arena’s open skate night is one thing, but doing it on TV is another. It’s hard to even stand up, let alone try and do spins and jumps. As a result, the “performances” from the celebs consist of them gliding around doing bumpy child-like tricks and hand motions that supposedly count as routines because they are on TV. Not only is it awkward to watch, but you can tell all of the celebs are thinking they have reached the lowest point of desperation as soon as they get out on the ice.

The rest of the show attempts to make up for the lack of compelling on-ice content — in the most stereotypical and obnoxious way possible. The camera swoops gratuitously over the performances and quickly cuts to different angles of the skating to try to heighten the action. Host Vernon Kay (British, as reality TV custom dictates) tries to crack witty jokes about how awesome the performances of the contestants were, and lays on the hyperbole. When phrases like “This is the most thrilling and dangerous show on TV!” are followed by gawky ice gliding, it’s really hard to try to take the proceedings seriously.

And then there’s the fact that every star’s most difficult move is replayed in painful slow motion after the fact, which makes each performance even more uncomfortable. No one needs to see Vince Neil twirl ineptly twice, ever. It adds insult to injury — not only for the stars, but for everyone watching.

And then there are the judges: Johnny Weir, Dick Button and Laurieann Gibson. They don’t really seem to know what the flip they’re talking about. Ninety-five percent of their comments are just a mesh of random adjectives thrown together because they didn’t know what else to say. Even pro skater Weir, known for his colorful antics, just exclaims how “awesome” and “inspiring” every sucky performance is. It’s clear the judges also think this show is a piece of crap on ice, but are just going with it in hopes that the gig launches their next 15 minutes of fame.

“Skating with the Stars” goes past the point of obnoxious and straight to intolerable, practically forcing you to turn the TV off. In the end, the only thing that could save this show is if one of the stars completely biffed it on the ice and made an even bigger fool of themselves. But the show denies us even this pleasure, which may be the biggest injustice of all.

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