CW’s Breaking Pointe is a beautiful docu-series that follows the dancers at elite Ballet West in Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s visually stunning (take, for instance, last night’s episode in which the dancers put final preparations on their big production), a little dramatic (dancer Rex loves dancer Allison; Allison doesn’t love Rex in that way), and very charming — in the same way you’d walk into a small town and compliment its small town-ness.
In the doldrums of summer, this CW reality series has slowly become appointment television in my life. As someone who is accustomed to watching 30+ hours of scripted TV a week during fall, I find myself with a lot of spare time in the summer for reality programming. And in this case, I’m glad I have those voids to fill because Breaking Pointe would easily be something I’d overlook during the regular TV season.
The big problem? Even for summer, Breaking Pointe is not a smash. Last night’s episode, which was amazing, wasn’t so amazing in the ratings, garnering a slight 0.3 rating in the 18-49 demo and 836,000 viewers. (Read more ratings news from last night.) For comparison, Ringer was canceled with a season average of 0.6 in the demo.
But in those disappointing stats lies my question: Do poor ratings make you less likely to commit to a show — even if it’s reality? I remember reading comments to that effect here on PopWatch during the fall, right after the networks had rolled out their crop of new — some now canceled — shows. But, from what I recall, the sentiment was expressed most often when the show in question was mythology heavy — like Alcatraz.
I promise you, there is no time-bending on Breaking Pointe, and the only mythology you need to know is the dancer hierarchy. (Yes, it exists, and it is as socially terrifying as Christiana’s eyebrows are arched.) But I’d be lying if poor ratings don’t put a little bit of a damper on the experience and make it harder to get invested in the individual stories being told.
At least, that was my dilemma after the first two episodes. Now, four episodes into the six-episode run, I’m in this until they call curtain. Agree?