"Make It or Break It" feels a little like a TV series version of the movie "Stick It", where an edgy girl became a skilled gymnast and valued teammate after being tutored by an elite coach. This time around, "Make It Or Break It" follows a group of Olympic hopefuls as they go through difficult (and as someone who couldn't - and still probably can't - make it over the pommel horse, anything gymnastic-related seems more than a little difficult) training for competition.
Again, the series focuses on a series of Olympic hopefuls who train at the Rocky Mountain athletic center - aka, "The Rock". The main three are the dedicated Payson Keeler (Ayla Kell), spoiled slacker Kaylie Cruz (Josie Loren) and Lauren Tanner (Cassie Scerbo), who has her run of the place due to her father's position in the organization.
In steps Emily Kmetko (Chelsea Hobbs), a girl who isn't classically trained, but has the potential and the heart. The girls who have been working together are instantly icy around the newcomer, who still pushes forward, causing the girls to start to feel threatened.
However, the series doesn't start and end with the athletic plots, and a large portion of the series is devoted to the various dramas that the characters have to deal with, including relationship issues, family drama and other common peer pressures common for teenagers. The issues that the girls face aren't unusual, but are handled in a thoughtful and reasonably enjoyable manner, although the series does veer into melodrama at times and I would like to see a larger focus on the athletic aspect of the series.
The cast also helps a great deal, as the main girls - especially Kell and Hobbs - handle the material well and are good fits in the role. The adults who play the parents - including former "Frasier" star Peri Gilpin as Payson's mother - are also satisfactory in their roles.
"Make It or Break It" is another fine addition to the ABC Family line-up, and hopefully the show can continue to improve and progress as the seasons go forward.
1 1-01 22/Jun/09 Pilot
- New girl Emily Kmetko enters the training center known as "The Rock", only to find the reception chilly.
2 1-02 29/Jun/09 Where's Marty
- Lauren and Coach Marty leave the facility, which causes a shake-up as those remaining seek answers.
3 1-03 06/Jul/09 Blowing Off Steam
- "The Rock" looks as if it might crumble when Kaylie's dad takes over as coach.
4 1-04 13/Jul/09 Sunday, Bloody Sasha, Sunday
- The girls are called into "The Rock" on their day off after a kegger.
5 1-05 20/Jul/09 Like Mother, Like Daughter, Like Supermodel
- The mothers come up with the idea of a fashion show to raise money.
6 1-06 27/Jul/09 Between a Rock and a Hard Place
- Sascha invites the Denver elite to compete in a pre-nationals event.
7 1-07 03/Aug/09 Run, Emily, Run
- It may be a new day at "The Rock", but old grudges remain.
8 1-08 10/Aug/09 All's Fair in Love, War and Gymnastics
- Nationals are only a few days away, and while the team looks great, it doesn't feel so great.
9 1-09 17/Aug/09 Where's Kaylie
- The day before the nationals and the day after the Cruzes' party, but nothing feels right.
10 1-10 24/Aug/09 All That Glitters (Extended Finale)
- The moment the girls have all been waiting for - The Nationals - has finally arrived.
VIDEO: "Make It Or Break It" is presented by Buena Vista Home Entertainment in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The episodes generally looked quite nice, as the series almost always appeared sharp and detailed, with fine details visible during some scenes. Some slight edge enhancement was spotted in a few scenes, but no other faults were seen. Colors looked natural at all times, with fine saturation and no smearing.
SOUND: The show is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. Surrounds occasionally offer up ambience during the gymnastic sequences or outdoor sequences, but the audio is otherwise front-heavy. Audio quality remained first-rate, with crisp dialogue, effects and score.
EXTRAS: A set of deleted scenes and an enjoyable EPK-style "making of" documentary ("Making It") that offers interviews with the cast and crew and discusses the show's balance of acting and stunts.
Final Thoughts: "Make It Or Break It" is an enjoyable mix of athletic stunts and teen drama, with enjoyable performances from its ensemble cast. The DVD provides solid audio/video quality, as well as a couple of minor supplements. Recommended for teens.