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‘Dirty Dancing’ Review: ABC Musical Event Is Decidedly Not Worth Your Time

So much so, in fact, that we'll keep this short.

DIRTY DANCING - Abigail Breslin, Debra Messing, Bruce Greenwood, Nicole Scherzinger, Sarah Hyland, Tony Roberts, Katey Sagal and Billy Dee Williams, along with rising stars Colt Prattes and J. Quinton Johnson, headline the stellar cast in a new adaptation of the global pop-cultural phenomenon "Dirty Dancing," premiering WEDNESDAY, MAY 24 (8:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Guy D'Alema)ABIGAIL BRESLIN, COLT PRATTES


The musical special event craze that has led many broadcast networks to revisit beloved classics continues to push forward, undeterred by pretty disappointing efforts like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “Hairspray.” Tonight, we have ABC’s first big attempt to get in the game with “Dirty Dancing,” an epic-length remake of the 1987 romantic dance drama. This time around, it’s a full-on musical about the magical summer that made Baby (Abigail Breslin) into a woman, after she fell in love with bad boy dance teacher Johnny (Colt Prattes).

READ MORE: ‘Dirty Dancing’: How the New TV Remake Compares to the 1987 Original Film

The cast includes Debra Messing, Bruce Greenwood, Nicole Scherzinger, Sarah Hyland, Tony Roberts, Katey Sagal, and Billy Dee Williams, and the original film’s runtime of 100 minutes has been expanded to three hours (with commercials) by adding multiple storylines that seek to give the supporting characters additional depth (without really succeeding).

But the film also attempts to recreate the magical chemistry between original stars Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze, as seen in the side-by-side comparison below:

So, should you watch ABC’s “Dirty Dancing”?

Nope. Really, nope. Just — don’t. We’ve seen it, and between the bad lip-syncing, the inexplicable addition of musical numbers, and the pale imitation of classic moments from the original film, it just doesn’t work.

Here are some other great shows currently available for viewing on a number of platforms: “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Hulu. “The Leftovers” on HBO. “Better Call Saul” on AMC. “American Gods” on Starz. Even on ABC, there are other great shows, “Downward Dog,” “Speechless” and “Fresh Off the Boat.”

Watch one of those, if you haven’t already. Trust us: By skipping “Dirty Dancing” and watching something else, you’ll have the time of your life.

“Dirty Dancing” airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. on ABC. But really, you can pass.

Grade: C

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