Recommended: Come Dance with Me on CBS
What's Come Dance with Me About?
Talented child dancers are paired with one of their parents to compete as a team, executing choreographed routines for judges Jenna Dewan, Tricia Miranda, and Dexter Mayfield, with one team getting eliminated each week until a champion dance family is crowned.
Why (and to whom) do we recommend it?
If you're a fan of televised dance competitions, it's been a rough few years. So You Think You Can Dance has been off the air since 2019 (and although it's coming back, it's with a completely revamped judging panel and, for all we know, format). Dancing with the Stars just got punted to Disney+. World of Dance was canceled almost two years ago. America's Best Dance Crew has been gone for a decade. Coming along to scratch that itch is Come Dance With Me, which takes the televised dance competition genre to the next logical step. So You Think You Can Dance already did a juniors season, so clearly it was time for a family show.
There's a ton of potential in a series where kids partner with their parents for something as physically demanding and talent-forward as dance. And even just going by the premiere episode, Come Dance With Me has a bunch of different angles on the family dynamic. All of the parents are presented as supportive of their talented kids, of course, but you've still got the overwhelmed daughter-dads trying their best to keep up with their little girls, the Type A "Dance Moms" who now have to put their own feet to the dance floor, the steadfastly supportive mom of the boy who gets picked on for being girly, and of course the classic archetype: the drummer for Limp Bizkit (for real) and his dynamo of a daughter. If you're the type of person who gets emotional watching dancers harness their natural gifts in order to create stories out of movement, then you're almost certainly going to be feeling things as you watch these incredible kids prop up parents who are trying their best.
As a competition, the show has a pleasantly straightforward formula: a rehearsal package (where we get to know the dancer and their parent), a performance, and judging, where each judge gives the routine a numerical score from 1 to 10. At the end of each episode, the bottom two teams face off, with the judges then deciding who gets eliminated. The judges themselves do a decent job of giving substantive critique without crushing the dreams of the kids on stage. Both Miranda and Dewan are consistent in delivering the kinds of criticisms and pointers that might help the parents (and even the kids, who are still growing into their abilities). Dexter Mayfield is the enthusiasm judge, and he plays that role to perfection, projecting love back to the contestants.
As for the production, there's an admirable restraint in telling the families' stories. Come Dance with Me definitely has some hard-luck tales, but the overall vibe doesn't wring tears out of the audience. In fact, the show could lean a bit more on the sentiment. On So You Think You Can Dance, host Cat Deeley has a gift for zeroing in on the emotional core of a given dancer or routine while projecting genuine care and affection for the performers. Philip Lawrence could do with more of that here.
Pairs well with