TV Review: Make It Or Break It

As a fan of ABC Family’s Greek and The Secret Life of the American Teenager, I’m no stranger to cheesy dramas nor am I ashamed to admit that I love getting caught up in shows like these despite the fact that I’m outside the targeted age-range for shows like these (and don’t even have kids to use as an excuse to watch them). That said, based on the pilot episode of ABC Family’s Make It or Break It, I’m not sure I’m totally sold on this series.

The series follows Emily, a young aspiring gymnast who gets a scholarship to attend The Rock gymnastic training center. Emily’s relatively poor, doesn’t have a strong history in the sport and her mom’s a flake, and that doesn’t help win her points with the other girls hoping to get a spot on nationals but her background is hardly the thing keeping her from receiving a warm welcome at The Rock. When it comes down to it, Emily’s good and that makes her a competitive threat to Payson Keeler (Ayla Kell), Kaylie Cruz (Josie Loren) and Lauren Tanner (Cassie Scerbo). These three girls were most likely to lock in spots at nationals to represent The Rock and in walks Emily, who could take one of their spots.

Other drama includes pressure coming down from the parents, Emily’s mom not totally understanding the role she plays in Emily’s training, and one of the girls is dating one of the guy-gymnasts on the sly, despite the no-dating rule that applies to all trainees.

The competition is fierce and while some of the girls see the sport as something that’s work but also fun, others aren’t above taking the Tonya Harding route if it means getting ahead. The pilot episode introduces the characters and the conflicts simply enough and you can also expect a few great displays of gymnastics amid everything else that’s going on.

I said I wasn’t completely sold because frankly, aside from the gymnastics, there isn’t much going on in this show that really makes it stand out among any other teen drama series. I'm a fan of gymnastics about every four years but in between Olympics, I could take it or leave it. The show is relatively entertaining and its good enough to fit in among ABC Family’s other shows. I’m just not entirely sure this is one I’m going to get into on a weekly basis. While Greek has some excellent dialogue and Secret Life addresses the teen-pregnancy thing nicely (and also has some great side-characters), MIoBI has gymnastics. I’m thinking that’ll be enough to get plenty of teens and young adults to tune in and the rest will watch for the drama (secret romances, sabotage and that sort of thing).

Make It or Break It

Starring:Chelsea Hobbs, Ayla Kell, Josie Loren, cassie Scerbo, Zachary Burr Abel, Peri Gilpin, Candace Cameron Bure and Susan Ward

Premieres: Monday, June 22 at 9:00 p.m., ET on ABC Family

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.