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Genre: Web series
Country: United States
Starring: Roger Aaron Brown, Luis Rosado, Chadd Smith, William Wingfield, Carly Lang, Travis Wong, Nicholas Braun, Jeremy Marinas, Cameron Boyce, Richard Vazquez, Vivian Bang, Oscar Orosco, Galen Hooks, Aja George, Terence Dickson, Straphanio Solomon, Christopher Scott, Harry Shum Jr, David Schreibman, dozens of others
Directors: John Chu, Scott Speer, Ryan Landels, Charles Oliver, Christopher Scott
Run time: 180 minutes
DVD distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment
Had I known about the online web series LXD when it first launched last year, I might have watched it. I might even have been able to get into it. Each “episode” (or “webisode”, I guess) was just ten minutes long, each one involved a pretty interesting and intricate dance number, and each one moved the story along just enough that my interest could well have been piqued.
But it wasn’t with the DVD release, out April 12th from Paramount Home Entertainment. I’ll explain why in a second. First though, a brief description of the show. LXD stands for Legion Of Extraordinary Dancers. This is a good-vs-evil type show, in the template of X-Men. The greatest dancers in the world are recruited to an (ostensibly) top-secret training academy, where they will train to defeat their evil counterparts. Each dancer has his own specialty (they are pretty much all guys).
And that’s about it. The only way we know the Evil Guys are actually Evil is that the narrator tells us so. They DO rob an art gallery at one point, but how Evil is that, really? In fact, 90% of the story itself is told by the narrator, the other 10% is actually shown on screen.
At first, I was entirely enthralled with The LXD. It was so…bonkers! The old-school superhero, kung-fu feel of the episode setups, combined with truly remarkable dancing – and dancing duels at that – was so insane I couldn’t help but get sucked in. The thing is, that feeling lasted only as long as the story actually went somewhere.
The first ten or twelve episodes do nothing but introduce us to new characters. So by the halfway mark, I knew almost nothing more than I did at episode 3, and I couldn’t keep track of ANY of the characters, let alone all of them. The problem is, this show was designed to be watched one mini-episode at a time, 10 minutes at a time. Watching a full three hours, all in a row, is mind-numbing. To have a show with virtually NO plot progression in three hours is a painful viewing experience.
The best thing about the show is, of course, the dancing. Although it’s often contrived and annoying, it’s always breathtakingly athletic. But as I said before, this show was designed to be watched 10 minutes at a time. And in small doses, I love to watch crazy, entertaining dance. In SMALL doses. But for three straight hours? I was fully stir-crazy and desperate to leave after 40 minutes. So I guess this is a marginal recommendation for The LXD on DVD. As long as you watch it in 10-minute segments, each separated by a week.