When TV Meets Dance Meets the Internet
Whether featuring competing singers or dancers, talent shows are an undeniable phenomenon of modern primetime TV. From the one that started it all, American Idol, to the latest incarnations including The X Factor, So You Think You Can Dance and The Voice, these shows offer performances ranging from “Oh no! That girl’s a goner for sure!” to “Wow! Did you see that? Did you see that?”
It’s no wonder then these shows have resulted in so many TV show off-shoots, concert tours and iTunes tracks. But we can also thank these shows for inspiring Jon Chu to create the award-winning web series, The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers. If you’re a fan of dance or athletic feats or any combination in between, this is a series not to be missed.
As Advertising Age put it“this richly produced series that follows a cast of highly talented dancers has arguably ushered in a new auteur movement in webisodic broadcasting… it is, by a wide margin, the most beautifully filmed, elaborately staged web series in the history of the medium.” The New York Times says that “in some ways it brings to mind Jerome Robbins, a “NY Export: Opus Jazz” for the hip-hop age. But despite the misfit nature of the characters and the stylishly gritty locales, the series was not made on the cheap; the budget is in the millions of dollars.”
In an interview with Vanity Fair, one of the dancers, Harry Shum (perhaps better known for his portrayal of Mike, the dancer who can’t sing, on Glee), explains that the first season introduces the roster of characters and their origins. In the world of LXD, when unexplainable and bad stuff happens, the only way to stop it is to… dance. The second season delivers plot, story, explanations and a lot of… dancing.
Each episode is about eight minutes long and offers an exhilarating demonstration of dancing of all kinds. The series has won the NATPE award for “Content Innovator” (along with AOL and Ikea), as well as Advertising Age’s prestigious Media Vanguard Award for “Best Original Web Series.”In April, the series’ creator and director, Jon Chu, won the 2011 Pioneer Prize at the International Digital Emmy® Awards.
To watch, go to LXD’s siteand click on “Episodes.”