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Social Media Stars Are Not Actors: ‘Step Up: High Water’ Needs to Sit Down

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Youtube Red has finally released their long awaited, big-budget first season of the new series, “Step Up: High Water.” “High Water” is a spinoff of the “Step Up” film series that began in 2006 starring Channing Tatum, and his now wife, Jenna Dewan. The “Step Up” series follows the lives of teenagers and young adults who express themselves through dance, including the problems they deal with in their daily lives. Many of the people who have been a part of the franchise have a past in dance, or learn how to for the purpose of the film.

Taking place in Atlanta, “Step Up High Water” does a great job executing the dance and song performances that are put on throughout the series by the characters, but it does not excuse the fact that the acting is atrocious. Aside from the fact that the plot of the series is a bit messy and hard to understand, a few of the cast members, including Lauryn McClain, Naya Rivera (“Glee”), and Marcus Emanuel Mitchell, worked well with the material that they are given, making their acting spot on. However, Terrence Green, Jade Chynoweth, and Kendra Oyesanya had the worst acting out of everyone in the series. All of these people are amazing dancers, but every time time they had to act in a scene I wanted to roll my eyes into another dimension.

The dancers in “Step Up High Water” are also pretty popular on social media, with large following and devoted fanbases. It is now a recurring trend in Hollywood where getting a job depends on how big your following is on social media.

There are plenty of television series and movies that hire social media stars to be actors, and the outcome most of the time is negative. Cameron Dallas, who is an internet personality with more than 20 million followers on Instagram, has starred in two films and his very own Netflix series with having no acting experience. The reviews for all of them have been negative. In 2017, MTV revived one of their past popular shows, Total Request Live, but all of the hosts are social media stars. The public’s response was not so nice. It’s become pretty obvious that these people are getting these jobs because they know their followers would watch it, which helps with its ratings; giving the network and service more money.

A great example would be another YouTube Red Original, “Foursome” starring a cast of social media stars including Logan Paul. The show has a great concept and plot, but the acting is horrible and brings down the quality of the show. But with millions of clicks on each episodes, their followers are still watching the show anyway, just to support their favorite social media star.

Yes, I am aware of the fact that people can have more than one talent. There are plenty of people that began training in dancing, acting, and singing at a young age, so they could be advanced when they get older. As they begin to age, many dancers turn to actors, learning that acting will give them a career longer than dancing. Alyson Stoner, who appeared in three of the four “Step Up” films comes to mind. 

That said, if YouTube Red wants us to take them seriously as a streaming service, they have got to step it up with the quality of their shows, first by hiring real actors.


Nicole O. Johnson, 19, attends Clayton State University and thinks Hollywood should get it together.Nicole

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comments (2)

  1. Omar

    The plot isn’t hard to understand, if you find that so then you should rewatch it and pause it everytime you fall behind. I’ve not had a single moment where I went hmmm where did that come from or how did that happen.

  2. J

    Completely disagree both seasons are really damn good.