In February, the UK’s Sky1 began airing a 13-episode docusoap about London’s Pineapple Dance Studios. And while clips on the Internet seem to be somewhat limited, this is apparently some of the most mind-blowing reality television ever created, combining over-the-top flamboyantly gay men in a reality TV setting with occasional scripted interludes and the narration of a BBC newsreader (see the “Soup”-like clip above).
It’s all a little too much to process, but you should nonetheless read this scorching review from the Guardian:
On and on the show goes, swerving effortlessly from fist-chewingly mundane office-management sequences… into bizarre choreographed dance sequences the next. Yes: they’ve thrown in occasional fourth-wall-smashing musical numbers just to baffle you to death. One minute Louie is complaining to the builders next door about noise and then suddenly – boom! – they unexpectedly start dancing, as though he’s stumbled into a dream sequence. And this breakdown of reality isn’t acknowledged in Michael Buerk’s voiceover at all. No, it simply occurs. And then the show moves on as if it hadn’t… And suddenly you question the veracity of everything you’re watching. Except the rest of it is real. It just doesn’t – just shouldn’t – feel that way.
But that’s Pineapple Dance Studios. A show designed to trigger life-threatening cognitive dissonance. As mundane as a breadbin; more outlandish than Avatar. As horrible as war; as funny as a guffing cartoon donkey. Words don’t even graze the surface.
You really should read the whole thing, if only to get the characterization of Andrew Stone (see video below): “a tool of such breathtaking immensity, it’s a wonder the cameras didn’t simply explode out of horrified glee.” Which, coincidentally, is how my penis was described on my first visit to a porn set.
(thanks to Angel Eyes Van Cleef for the tip)