Fox’s ‘The Big Leap’ is a comedy-drama that centers around a reality dance show and its participants. With most of them hailing from modest backgrounds, the contestants are initially attracted to the reality competition that gives them the chance to appear on TV if they can master the choreography of the classic ballet Swan Lake.
However, over the course of the show, the backstories and individual eccentricities of the contestants take center stage as they grapple with the ups and downs of life and build up their confidence. The show within the show is an interesting premise, but just how much of it is true? We decided to dig into ‘The Big Leap’ and find out just that!
Is The Big Leap Based on a True Story?
No, ‘The Big Leap’ is not based on a true story. Created and written by Liz Heldens, the show is loosely inspired by the 2014 British miniseries ‘Big Ballet,’ which follows a troupe of amateur dancers on their journey to fulfill their dreams of dancing the iconic Swan Lake. The Fox show is a fictional dramatization of a similar reality show and follows the contestants’ lives as they embark on a journey of self-acceptance and empowerment. Envisioned as a feel-good series, ‘The Big Leap’ focuses on generally down-on-their-luck characters who come together to achieve their dream and turn their lives around.
The idea for the show seemingly began in 2015 when Heldens, inspired by the British reality show, considered making a fictional version that would delve into the contestants’ lives. The reality show backdrop, according to her, worked as an effective vehicle to narrate the stories of regular people who faced tough times but later found a way out through their love for dance. Her show, therefore, features a broad spectrum of characters, including a blue-collar worker whose job gets outsourced, a cancer survivor, a suburban mom and former ballet dancer, and a professional football player who gets suspended.
The show is especially motivated by the current state of affairs and the particularly tough years that the COVID-19 pandemic produced for America and the world at large. The global pandemic is mentioned in passing, and the narrative is set in a world emerging from it. Therefore, despite it not playing an active role, the worldwide catastrophe is also partly responsible for the characters’ woes, making them feel all the more authentic to viewers who are in similar situations in reality.
However, the message that Heldens’ show focuses on is one of optimism and the need for hope and togetherness. This is perhaps most clearly depicted in how there are no eliminations in the fictional “reality show” that ‘The Big Leap’ centers on. There are no scheduled eliminations, and the focus remains more on unity and overcoming challenges together instead of competing against one another.
‘The Big Leap’ is a show that takes inspiration from a reality show, and perhaps, more importantly, from present-day reality. The fictional show centers upon characters that seem to be grappling with issues that regular people face in real life and aims to spread a message of how they, and in essence, all of us, can overcome adversity through unity. The show’s Detroit backdrop further adds to this feeling, as the city itself is, according to the show’s creator, also on a comeback journey.
Read More: Where is The Big Leap Filmed?