I was having a relatively normal weekend until I saw this. In fact, I would go so far as to say I was having an absolutely splendid time, before I was mentally assaulted by the image of Homer sucking on Marge’s toes during a choreographed dance routine to... The Simpsons theme song.
My apathy for America’s Dancing With the Stars, a re-imagining of British dancing competition Strictly Come Dancing, cannot be understated. For me, it’s the desperation of the D-listers, shaken and stirred into the sanitizing spray in which the show douses notorious celebrities and evil political operatives. Despite this, Dancing With the Stars’ progenitor, Strictly, evokes none of the same loathing—perhaps because it features the same atrocious dance numbers, but with celebrities I feel absolutely nothing about.
For instance: Last week’s theme was “movies.” Where a rational person would assemble together contemporary pop hits from famous flicks, the diabolical minds at Strictly instead went with a grab bag of thoroughly perplexing choices that included the Star Wars theme song, the Gnomeo and Juliet soundtrack, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, and... The Simpsons’ opening theme.
There is a lot to process in the below number, in which producers dressed former boy band star Max George and dancer Dianne Buswell—who selected the song themselves—in ill-fitting yellow turtlenecks and a truly wretched shade of body makeup. (Which didn’t even cover their entire bodies.) I have yet to recover from the horror of this moment.
What is the worst part of this routine? Is it when Max/Homer sucks on Dianne/Marge’s toes, or when they fling each other around? Maybe it’s when they play bumper cars with those donut pool floaties. Or, if I’m being really honest, it’s the single pubic hair protruding from Max-Homer’s bald cap. I don’t like it! I don’t like it. I don’t like it I don’t like it I don’t like it.
Now, in an effort to be fair, Strictly does not present itself as serious television. Celebrities fully understand what they sign up for when they accept the invitation, and dancers expect to be dressed in the worst possible costumes one can imagine. Just last year, Will and Janette were asked to dance the paso doble to the Pokemon theme song for movie week... another moment in Strictly history that will haunt me for a lifetime.
What the fuck is going on with British television? The answer, I think, is this: literally nothing. The mania pictured above is just what they like to watch over there. After all, this show has been on the air for over 15 years, spawning countless spin-offs across the planet. Whatever it is that Strictly is selling, people are buying. Including me, in all my abject horror and loathing.
Still, why did he have to suck on her toes like that?