Monday, April 29, 2013

Dance Academy's Second Season, Part 1 of 4

Were you a fan of this Australian teen drama when it aired on TeenNick? We covered the initial season (or series, as that's the term in Australia) as it ran, but my DVR completely missed the airing of the second season. Fortunately, Netflix has it available for streaming (this round of episodes aired in Australia during the spring of 2012), so I thought I'd share some thoughts on the events, as a third season will debut later this year (though a US airdate has not yet been determined). As with the final sections of the first season, I'll be doing minimal recap and thoughts to marathon through it.
You'll notice in the above cast photo that there are a couple of new faces. Between Ethan and Tara is Ben, a first-year who is very advanced. Between Christian and Kat is Grace, Miss Raine's goddaughter from England who transfers to the Academy as a second-year student. Now, onward we go!

S02E01: Sammy is a dishwasher and boarding house adviser to afford tuition without his parents' help. [that's gotta be rough.] He's also flirting and kissing many first-year girls. [odd, no?] Everyone else returns from their summers, including Kat, who will be off to boarding school soon. She pierces her tongue to stand out, though her mother decides to let Kat live at home and just attend day school. [interesting change.] There's also a new girl in the bunch, Grace, Miss Raine's Londoner goddaughter. She's an excellent dancer and is given a solo after Tara walks out on choreographer Ethan when he tells her she's out of shape. [anyone surprised that there's tension between Ethan and Tara?] Abigail and Tara share the same room again, and they will be fierce competitors all year, as the Prix de Fonteyn will be held in Sydney.

: Miss Raine, now the principal, tells Sammy that he cannot have side jobs during the school year. [I see her more as an administrator anyway.] Sammy distracts himself from this problem by starting a hip-hop after-hours club with Christian, who is at the bottom of every class. On the other end of the spectrum, Grace is at the top of all her classes, so Tara befriends her, only making poor Kat (who is turned away by a clique and is eating lunch in the bathroom) jealous. 

Some first-years idolize Abigail for putting ballet above all else, and she puts them to work researching how to beat Grace. They interview Grace, but Abigail wants them to be sneakier, friend her old friends, hack her old records, etc. [Abigail is so hardcore, LoL.] It doesn't take long until Abigail discovers that Grace got expelled from her old Academy for giving another girl a nervous breakdown. Meanwhile, Tara is trying to become more dedicated, creating a weekly schedule for herself and Christian to maximize time management, but he's more interested in hip-hop than ballet. [I think scheduling is one of those things that you shouldn't do for someone if you're not sure how they'll take it!] She's not too crushed, however, as she meets Saskia, the youngest principal dancer in the history of the Company, who invites her to watch a performance from side stage.

S02E03: Kat still isn't fitting in at school, and pretends she can't dance when there's a movement piece assigned. However, she's caught when she recognizes a famous choreographer, so she not only tells the truth but takes her team to the Academy to practice with Sam, Tara, and Christian. [I don't know if being caught in a lie is really going to help her make friends, though.] Abigail and Grace are also having trouble being friends when Grace's idea of fun is mooching off of anyone in sight. [troubling!] There's also a new guy in class, Ben, who is rude enough that nobody attends his party. [awww.]

: To earn more money, Sammy tries waiting tables instead of washing dishes but it doesn't work. Miss Raine learns that Sammy is still working and offers extra tutoring so he might be able to get a scholarship next semester. [pretty generous.]

Saskia has been injured and is teaching repertoire class for a while, and finds Tara's choice (a piece Saskia is known for) to be a mess. Meanwhile, Ethan asks Abigail to be a dancer in his new piece. His budding independence just keeps growing, however, and he moves out of his parents' house.

S02E05: Kat's parents are invited to Berlin for a special project, which could send Kat back to boarding school. Natasha considers "retiring" from dance but Kat convinces her that she must go to Berlin because performing is such a rush. Natasha decides to let Kat stay with Ethan. [wow... what kind of trouble do you think she'll get into?]

Tara struggles to tell Christian that she loves him, but when he says it first, she manages to reciprocate. [I don't know that I really believe either of them, though.] Christian continues with his hip-hop, which causes Ethan to want to "update" his new choreography piece, but when Abigail nearly quits on him, he goes back to the original.

S02E06: Sammy's brother shows up at the Academy and Abigail plays video games with him when Sammy goes to work. Sammy learns that his father has been pushing his brother toward academics and away from athletics. [no surprise.]

Tara begins to get jealous of Grace, especially how thin she is. Tara works out at the gym and uses self-tanner to appear thinner. She overdoes it, though, and has an orange appearance the next day. [I thought maybe she was following in Abigail's footsteps, but it's too short-lived here.]

Kat calls an agent who showed interest in her at the showcase, and she gets an audition with a rugby cheerleading squad. She makes the call-back, but doesn't get it. [wouldn't that be awkward? and wouldn't she have had to graduate from high school first?]

S02E07: Miss Raine tells Tara and Christian that they need to be more serious about their studies, so Tara decides to pause things for a month, until after assessments. [I can't decide how I feel about this - part of me agrees, the other part doesn't know that they were behaving appropriately in the first place.] He doesn't take that well so she takes it back and decides that maybe Christian needs to know his father. [left field, anyone?] She searches for the guy online, but Christian already knows what his father is up to - he just chooses to have nothing to do with him. He breaks up with her. Elsewhere, Ben wants Kat's attention, so he decides to stage a flash mob. And, Grace tells Abigail that she thinks Ethan is into her, so she shies away from finishing a project with him. Abigail begins to be into Ethan, but Grace kisses him to be rude. [Grace is SO annoying.]

Stay tuned for three more posts about the second season of this show! 
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