Sundance's 'Push Girls': Exclusive look at episode 2
Sundance Channel’s buzzy new reality series Push Girls — which follows the lives of four women who have been paralyzed from the neck or waist down and rely on wheelchairs to get themselves around — premieres on the cable network tonight at 10 p.m., and you can actually take a sneak peek at the entire episode online already. That riveting half hour of the show, produced by Little People, Big World and Ruby mastermind Gay Roenthal, mostly introduces you to the personalities and sets up the season to come. But what happens next?
EW has the answer, as we’ve got an exclusive first look at a scene from the second episode, airing directly after the first at 10:30 p.m., to whet your appetite for the series. The video — which you can find below — follows firecracker Auti Angel, a hip-hop dancer, who enters a dance competition and finds herself as the only differently abled person in the mix. “Watching the dancers gracefully glide across the floor, it hit me: I’m going to be competing against all these able-bodied dancers, and I’m the only one in a wheelchair,” Angel says in the clip. “All eyes are on me. What the hell was I doing there?”
What follows is a moving scene where Angel owns the dance floor with her partner — and afterward is congratulated by a gaggle of children curious about her chair. “The reaction that we received was unbelievable,” she says. “Being surrounded by all those children reminded me of how non-judgmental and how curious they are about the wheelchair.”
EW recently attended a luncheon with the show’s cast in Beverly Hills, where Angel explained more about the series. “We all looked at it as an honor to have a platform to show that persons with challenges can overcome them,” she says. “That’s our message — being able to show everyone that obstacles are always overcomeable.” The show, Angel continues, isn’t just about the challenges around living in a wheelchair. “I’m a 42 year old woman who is working on having a family with my husband of five years now. That’s relatable,” she says. “It’s just so cool to show, look, regardless of a challenge and, yes, we happen to be in a wheelchair, we live life like anyone else. We experience like anyone else. We have to face life like everyone else.”
Dancing, Angel explains, has been a passion of hers since before the 1992 accident that put her in a wheelchair. “I was a dancer before my car accident — kind of like J.Lo before J.Lo,” she explains. “Like, literally, I was about to sign a record deal in 1992, when she signed hers. I was going to have the whole film career and everything, and the car accident put that on pause — it didn’t stop it. People were like, ‘Oh, you just stopped it.’ No, I just put it on pause to learn how to become independent and regain myself.” Indeed, it was actually the spirit of the infectiously optimistic Angel that led her back to the dance floor, where you’ll see her in the clip below. “When the doctors told me I had less than 99 percent chance of ever walking or dancing again, I always had the attitude of, Yeah right! Watch me,” Angel says. “You tell me I can’t do something, I’m going to do it. I forced myself to push through this to prove them wrong.”
Watch Angel put her money where her mouth is in this exclusive clip from the series’ second episode here:
Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky