R.I.P. teenage daydreams.
On Wednesday night, ABC finally aired the remake of Dirty Dancing that no one asked for. The original 1987 film was a beautiful cheese-fest of sultry dancing that perfectly captured the explosive chemistry between Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. Unfortunately, the TV adaptation starring Abigail Breslin and Colt Prattes was like suffering through an elementary school musical with a million-dollar budget.
The Dirty Dancing remake made major changes to the plot rather than presenting itself as a carbon copy of the original. Clearly, this risk presented no rewards. In fact, it was so bad that if I was given a choice to re-watch it or get a root canal, I would most definitely get a root canal. No joke.
Keep reading to find out why this small-screen adaptation was a failure to the umpteenth degree. Oh, and if you haven’t seen it yet, count your blessings.
1. Ain’t nobody got time for a three-hour musical!
This bloated rendition was jam-packed with commercials and new songs. Although Katey Sagal’s delivery of “Fever” was quite alright, Debra Messing and Bruce Greenwood’s musical moments could’ve easily been cut out.
2. What’s with this d-i-v-o-r-c-e nonsense?!
Marjorie and Jake Houseman faced martial strife in the ABC adaptation which was a clear departure from the original film’s narrative. In the remake, Marjorie felt lonely and abandoned by her workaholic husband who was unnecessarily rude and dismissive of her. Things got so bad between the two, that Marjorie ended up asking for a divorce! Just like Baby, Marjorie won’t let anybody put her in the corner. Of course, this side plot line wasn’t integral, especially since Sarah Hyland’s musical capabilities and natural charm were totally underutilized in this TV remake.
3. You had one important line, Baby!
It was quite shocking when Baby messed up her one important line. Rather than saying “I carried a watermelon,” Breslin’s Baby said she carried “his watermelon.” Ugh, you can’t challenge the legacy of the original.
4. Cover me not!
For some unbeknownst reason, the remake provided covers of background tracks by modern bands. Lady Antebellum’s countrified version of “Hey Baby!” worked against the movie’s tone; YouTube star Greyson Chance’s rendition of “Hungry Eyes” didn’t hit the sweet spot; and the decision to replace Swayze’s vocals with Calum Scott’s on “She’s Like the Wind” was worse than Baby’s spaghetti arms. Plus, these contemporary adaptations simply didn’t fit with the story which was set in the 1960s. Like, hello!
5. This Baby was not made for dancing.
While Grey’s portrayal of Baby had a quirky charm when it came to dancing, Breslin’s Baby moved with as much grace as a loaf of bread. In particular, the iconic lift was shaky and weak compared to the effortless fluidity of the original.
Make no mistake, Breslin is a talented actress, but she is a subpar dancer which just doesn’t cut it for a movie that’s all about dancing. In fact, nine-year-old Breslin showed off better dance moves during her oddly hilarious striptease in Little Miss Sunshine.
6. The ending was a disservice to humanity (or maybe just hard-core Dirty Dancing fans).
The ABC remake opened with a time jump to New York City in 1975 where Baby was watching Dirty Dancing: The Musical. This framed the central story line which took place in 1963 and followed the summer romance between Baby and Johnny. The flash-forward sequences served like bookends and made way for a very unsatisfying ending. We learned that Johnny fulfilled his dream of choreographing a Broadway musical, and that Baby married a man with a very questionable mustache. In fact, Baby had a daughter with Mr. Mustachio, and she even took a salsa class just for kicks.
The weird, wistful exchanges between Baby and Johnny at the end were a total waste and emphasized the uselessness of the time jump. This ending felt like a B-grade version of what might have transpired between these two in an alternative universe. Listen, it’s not like I expected Baby and Johnny to be frolicking in a field and living out their happily ever after, but there was also no point in going beyond their summer fling. The story should have started and ended in the Catskills.
What did you think of ABC’s Dirty Dancing remake? Were you left satisfied or did you feel an unyielding desire to chuck something at your TV? Hit the comments to dish and discuss all your unfiltered feelings.