Tuesday, February 28, 2006

ABC's Dancing with the Stars:The New Lawrence Welk Show?

To the embarrassment of our four children and their two spouses, Ron and I get a big kick out of ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

What's not to like? It's full of glamour and laughter, good sportsmanship and gentle, self-deprecating humor. While not suspensefully addicting viewing, it's fun, delightfully escapist television. In a word: it's

It's not about dead bodies, crimes and violence. It's not about war or greed or national security fears. It's not about hate, cynicism and racial/age/gender stereotyping. It's not about patients suffering weekly from painful, disfiguring diseases. It's not angry or cruel or mean or even sad.

It's doesn't send a a sly, smiling wink at extramarital affairs or heavy gambling, greedy materialism or leaving bad behavior secretly behind in Las Vegas.

And it's not limited to participants under 30 who fit a certain mold.

Debonair sixty-something film veteran George Hamilton competed cheerfully (and competently) with winner, thirty-something boy-band star Drew Lachey. Rapper Master P rubbed friendly elbows with fortyish soap star Lisa Rinna, and gorgeous wrestling pro Stacy Keibler and Academy Award winning actress Tatum O'Neil joined dancing forces with ESPN's Kenny Mayne and football superstar Jerry Rice.

Imagine an updated-fusion of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers with the immediacy of reality TV, the competitiveness of sports, and bubbly pop-tunes of the late 20th century. And millions of viewers empowered to choose the dancing victor.

So if Dancing with the Stars is so with-it and cool and today......why do I have flashbacks of my grandmother glued to the Lawrence Welk Show (which I thought embarrassing and horribly corny) as Ron and I settle down with a bowl of popcorn for an hour or two of dancing, catchy music, sparkling gowns and pretty people?

Have I become my grandmother, who I thought was ancient? Or in the arrogance of youth, did I misjudge my beloved grandmother's tastes?

Truthfully, the answer doesn't matter. I'm already searching TV listings for word of the third season Dancing with the Stars. I don't care what my kids think....:)


Anonymous said...

Most don't know who Mr. Welk is or even means to our present day culture. I think people think dancing is so RATED G. But frankly it makes for really great "family tv" and it is not violent. Now we have some bubbles and a great show.
Jimmy, play us out on the accordian to a really great tune...

Deborah White said...

I can still see Lawrence Welk waving his baton and chanting "A one and a two and...." as bubbles rose from behind the orchestra playing "champagne music." My grandmother never missed his show, and always told us what "nice young folks" were on the program.

She was a church organist for years, and loved Welk's music.
Thanks for your fun comment!