Binge Club: Sing It On

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Our weekly series looking at the good, the bad and the obscure of on-demand viewing. Each week, we'll choose a series from various New Zealand streaming sites and determine whether they're worth watching.
Who doesn't like a good, old fashioned sing-off? Photo / SingItOn Facebook
Who doesn't like a good, old fashioned sing-off? Photo / SingItOn Facebook

Sing It On (Netflix)

This show came into my life on a dark Saturday afternoon, following a rough Friday night. There was pizza, and poor choices.

It's the kind of show you watch when you have nothing better to do (or can't leave the couch) and there's nothing else to watch.

That said, I smashed out all eight episodes by Sunday afternoon and I was not sorry.

The thing about Sing It On is it combines all of my favourite things: the drama of reality television, the voyeurism of getting a glimpse into another weird world, the hilarity of singing auditions, the joy of watching performances from inception to stage, and of course the big reveal moments.

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You know the ones - the big end number where a rag-tag bunch of misfits finds what makes them special and uses it to create a performance like no one's ever seen.

They're the reasons you sit through 'til the end of films like Step Up, Bring It On and Pitch Perfect, even though you know exactly how it's going to turn out.

And that's what Sing It On provides.

You get the finished product after all the behind-the-scenes work. Photo / SingItOnPop Facebook
You get the finished product after all the behind-the-scenes work. Photo / SingItOnPop Facebook

We follow different college a cappella groups from around the US as they work out their routines, gather new recruits, practice, fall apart, and pull themselves together again for the ICAAs (International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella).

Perhaps my favourite part about this show though is just how serious these people take a cappella singing. Pitch Perfect was funny because it made fun of this aspect, but actually, it's entirely real.

These people are prioritising singing over sleep, health, relationships and even uni work. They put "aca" in front of words for no apparent reason (eg. "this is an aca-disaster), they break down when they mess up a solo, and they pin all their hopes on a singing competition which ultimately doesn't mean much outside of college.

And you get to watch this unfold. (Lucky!)

One team practices choreo with makeshift mics and probably a lack of sleep. Photo / SingItOnPop Facebook
One team practices choreo with makeshift mics and probably a lack of sleep. Photo / SingItOnPop Facebook

It's hard not to pick favourites and get pulled in - particularly when real personal struggles interrupt the reality TV vibe.

One group takes a risk and bends the rules of a cappella in an effort to stand out. Usually a sure winner in movies, but a bust in real life.

Another group suffers a tragedy, but they go on stage anyway. Usually the time where their emotion scores them a win, but not so in real life.

It's everything you love about music and dance films, but with a twist of (exaggerated) reality.

For fans of: Pitch Perfect, Glee, American Idol, X-Factor, Step Up etc
Better than: Glee. Other forms of reality TV in which you watch rich people live out their daily lives.
Not as good as: Talent shows like Idol - there aren't really any high stakes, more of a "journey being better than the destination" type situation.

- NZ Herald

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