Make It Or Break It 2011 Spring Premiere

ABC Family’s hit gymnastics series sensation “Make It or Break It” returned on Monday March 26, 2012! 8:00 Eastern, 9:00 Central

The first episode of the season was “Smells Like Winner”

2012 Spring Premiere Trailer

Not Seen Before Deleted Scenes

Not Seen Before Outakes

The 3rd season premiere of the gymnastics-based TV drama, Make It Or Break It, begins Monday, March 26, 2012 on ABC network TV stations.  The show is scheduled to debut at 9:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) or 8:00 p.m. (Central standard Time).  You should definitely check your own local TV schedule for the exact time in your area of the country. The TV drama focuses on the lives of the gymnasts trying to make the Olympic team and their parents and coaches.

For those not familiar with the story line, let us summarize it in our own little  Make It Or Break It episode guide.  This group of elite teenage gymnasts deal with teammates, coaches, parents, boyfriends, coaches, rivalry and betrayal while trying to qualify for the Olympics.

The Make It Or Break It cast includes Payson Keeler (played by Ayla Kell) who is the extremely focused serious gymnast. Kaylie Cruz (played by Josie Loren) comes from a privileged background and doesn’t think the team’s rules apply to her. Lauren is highly competitive and will stop at nothing to win. Newcomer Emily attracts the attention of everyone when she arrives at the gym wearing an old leotard with gymnastics moves beyond compare.

While the show is not rated as mature, parents of young gymnasts may not really want to have their children watching what some have said is inappropriate subject matter. In past shows, potentially inappropriate subjects have included teen sex (no actual sex scenes shown), relatively mild bad language and extremely poor gymnastics and gym parent role models.

Adults will most likely and certainly want to watch the show first and evaluate its appropriateness for their own daughter and certainly to watch the show with them, if they allow them to view it at all.  This is by no means the worst show on TV for young children, but parents who like the fact that their daughters are in the gym almost everyday, so they can avoid early contact some of the less positive aspects of teen life, have a decision to make about this show.  Some parents have found that their 10-year-olds are only interested in the gymnastics portrayed and tend to ignore the more adult aspects of the show.

The show has also been criticized for being overly melodramatic and showing far more drama than occurs in real gymnastics gyms. I beg to differ with that assessment, but it is also not necessarily the image of gymnastics or gymnasts that I want to see portrayed on TV or held up as a model for young gymnasts.

Then again, there is also no violence, no positive portrayal of drinking, drugs or smoking and some of the positive values of gymnastics and competition are displayed by some of the gymnast characters.

The actual gymnastics portrayed is of mixed quality with some interesting high level gymnastics shown and other parts that are definitely watered down. Overall, the show is not held back by poor gymnastics. The apparent need for soap operas to have really mean and rude characters backstabbing other characters is carried on to an annoying level. Even with all the real drama in real gyms, no gymnast I have ever met goes as far as one of the characters on the show does (Lauren Tanner, you know who I am talking about).

There are also extreme negative caricatures in the group of gym parents, who often show extreme favoritism to their own gymnasts, engage in unsportsmanlike behaviors and provide poor role models to their own children and any gymnasts watching the show.

Fortunately, so far, the primary coaches are mainly portrayed in a positive light, not without faults, but keeping their gymnasts best interests at heart, especially Sasha Belov (played by Neil Jackson). Michelle Clunie, however, plays a vicious national gymnastics federation coach, called Ellen Beals in the show.

Overall, this is an interesting show for older, more mature gymnasts, gym parents and coaches.  It is also currently the only show featuring gymnastics as a theme on TV and that alone deserves some support and justifies my interest in the show.

There is a complete Make It Or Break It episode list, more information and all of the shows from last season available online at ABC’s site Make It Or Break It.

Make It or Break It successfully premiered on ABC Family on June 22, 2009 with 2.5 million viewers. The show was extended up for an additional 10 episodes, which started airing in January 2010. At that time, the show was renewed for a second season which premiered in June 2010.

Make It or Break It airs internationally on E4 in the United Kingdom, Cafe in India and on TV2 in New Zealand.

None of the actors in the show have any high level gymnastics experience, but there are competent gymnasts performing as stunt doubles. Ayla Kell, who plays the role of Payson Keeler in the show, has a background in ballet and Josie Lauren, who plays the character of Kaylie Cruz in the show, has a cheerleading background.

A number of the real gymnasts in the show playing stunt doubles, doing the actual stunts in the background or playing gymnasts include a number of former Los Angeles collegiate gymnasts from UCLA.  Jordan Schwikert, UCLA Class of 2008, doubles for actress Ayla Kell, who plays Payson Keeler.  Her older sister, Tasha Schwikert, UCLA Class of 2008, is cast as a gymnast on the series, who you can often see doing gymnastics in the background.

Natalie Padilla, UCLA Class of 2008, and Arianna Berlin, UCLA Class of 2009, both have played stunt doubles for actress Josie Loren, who plays Kaylie Cruz.  Heidi Moneymaker, UCLA Class of 2000, was a stunt double for actress Chelsea Hobbs, who plays big skill gymnast Emily Kmetko on the show.  Karin Silvestri Coye, UCLA Class of 1997, is a gymnastics coordinator for the show.

Other former collegiate gymnasts who are doing stunts on the show include Courtney Kupets (2004 Olympic medalist), Ashley Postell (University of Utah), Renae Moneymaker (San Jose State) and Jenny Hansen from the University of Kentucky.

Complete Make It Or Break It Cast

Main Characters

Character Cast Member
Payson Keeler Ayla Kell
Kaylie Cruz Josie Loren
Lauren Tanner Cassie Scerbo
Emily Kmetko Chelsea Hobbs
Sasha Belov Neil Jackson
Chloe Kmetko Susan Ward
Summer Van Horne Candace Cameron Bure
Kim Keeler Peri Gilpin
Damon Young Johnny Pacar
Carter Anderson Zachary Burr Abel

Recurring Characters

Character Cast Member
Kelly Parker Nicole Anderson
Razor Nico Tortorella
Nicky Russo Cody Longo
Steve Tanner Anthony Starke
Brian Kmetko Wyatt Smith
Ellen Beals Michelle Clunie
Alex Cruz Jason Manuel Olazabal
Leo Cruz Marcus Coloma
Ronnie Cruz Rosa Blasi
Marty Walsh Erik Palladino
Becca Keeler Mia Rose Frampton
Mark Keeler Brett Cullen
MJ Martin Marsha Thomason
Austin Tucker Zane Holtz

Watch the show and let us know what you think in the comments below.

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