Welcome one, welcome all, to a new feature to this blog which I have decided to call: Weekend Watching. This will be a hopefully regular post uploaded on Saturdays or Sundays (hence the “weekend watching”) where I talk about a film, TV show, or maybe even YouTube channel/video that I’ve particularly enjoyed recently. I’m hoping to spotlight at least one thing to watch each week and hopefully someone at least will get a kick out of these posts – I will, if no one else does!
Last week’s Weekend Watching showcased the latest offering in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther, the film that EVERYONE (including me, apparently) is raving about. This week features something that is a little left-field because it’s not exactly a TV show or a film but is IS equally something that EVERYONE (or, at least, a certain portion of Twitter) is going on about: the ice dancing pair that is Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Yes, folks, this is going to be about ice dancing so strap yourselves in and get ready to learn about how I went from 0-60 in the space of about a day, or, rather, over the course of a single ice dance…
It’s not secret that I’m not exactly a sports fan. I can maybe tolerate cricket and I do like a fair bit of men’s tennis when Wimbledon is on. But, aside from those instances, I don’t care for sports. I pretty much hate football, which, when you live in England (specifically Liverpool), is something that is guaranteed to raise a few eyebrows of concern. I certainly don’t care for athletics and even the Olympics, arguably the most easy to fall into watching showcase of the world’s greatest athletes at their peak, doesn’t do much for me. But then, a couple of weeks ago, the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang started and I fell in love with two events – the mixed doubles curling (yeah, I know, but it’s ADDICTIVE and my faves, Canada again, won) and the figure skating. After watching the various disciplines involved in the team event of the ice skating, the very last couple from Team Canada were performing to add some more points to the team’s overall score, and onto the ice skated Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and, pretty much five minutes later, I became an obsessive fan.
Here’s the thing about ice dancing… I know next to nothing about it. But it’s part of the Olympics and I find that the Winter Olympics is quite unique in that it takes about half an hour of watching any given event to begin to understand what the fuck is going on, or at least to have enough confidence to make comments like ‘nah, that was definitely under-rotated’ or ‘he’s not got enough air to pull off that trick’. I feel that this tweet illustrates this feeling perfectly with regards to the curling in particular – and, yes, the tweet has become one of my favourites ever. Ice dancing is like that, I think. Anyone with even a layman’s knowledge of ice skating can understand it, particularly because ice dancing is the skating event that is most about “storytelling” and “chemistry” as much as landing huge jumps. There are impressive lifts, and the lifts are mind-bogglingly gravity-defying (particularly VirtueMoir’s “cunniliftus” move), but you can get by on very little knowledge of the ice skating world at large. It requires minimal effort to keep up with and has maximum payoff when it comes to stunning dances such as VirtueMoir’s Moulin Rouge-inspired long program.
Maybe this is why I feel in love with Canada’s top ice dance couple (and now 2 times Olympic Champions) Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, or VirtueMoir as people (including themselves) tend to call them. They are so infuriatingly in-sync and mesmerising to watch out on the ice that they are definitely worthy of all the accolades and hordes of fans that cheer them on. Or maybe I just feel in love with the way that they look at each other. Either way, if you have not seen their Gold Medal winning dances from PyeongChang, I would highly recommend you correct that, stat.