Fox’s showrunners are back with a new reality competition series, The Masked Dancer, that sees elaborately masked and costumed celebrities competing against one another in a multi-week dance tournament of sorts. With the show being presented as the newest series in Fox’s so-called “Masked Universe,” I was left wondering: what else will celebrities do, on television, from beneath the comfort of an elaborately designed mask and costume? What’s next?
Each new addition to Fox’s Masked Universe causes the overall concept to lose value. What made The Masked Singer special was its originality—its uniqueness. While I believe that Fox’s television lineup is already supersaturated with ‘Masked’ content (one is enough, two is too many), it is only a matter of time and conceptual missteps before viewers grow tired of finding out that celebrities can, or cannot, sing or dance or do anything other than what they’re known best for doing. Time, already, has had an impact on the creative concept; additional offerings that leech off of said creative concept will only accelerate the Masked Universe’s inevitable decline.
Regardless of what may (will) happen, The Masked Dancer is airing now and does have a thing or two going for it. Host Craig Robinson is always a pleasure to watch and judge Ken Jeong, though sticking to the same shtick found on The Masked Singer, continues to produce laughs. The mask/costume designs continue to dazzle and the ‘who’s under the mask’ guessing game is growing old but still works, nonetheless.
The Masked Dancer lacks in areas similar to its predecessor, but much more so in the area of celebrity performances and overall entertainment value. Frankly, masked celebrities who can’t sing, and are trying to on television, are much more interesting than those who can’t dance. Why? I’m not sure, really. Perhaps bad dance moves need to be associated with their owner in order to be interesting.
Overall, The Masked Dancer isn’t that much different from The Masked Singer. And, since it doesn’t do much to stand on its own, Fox’s newest addition to the Masked Universe draws comparisons to the show that started it all, leaving me to say: The Masked Dancer is like The Masked Singer, but worse…
The Bottom Line
Watch The Masked Dancer if you still enjoy watching The Masked Singer; just don’t expect to be wowed or all that entertained.