Monday, December 10, 2012


I'm not sure if this is the same Ice Moms that Lifetime announced it was developing back in January, but the even more interestingly titled Jersey on Ice premieres on TLC this Wednesday, December 12.

It appears to be a "reality show" (or, what I like to call, improv by amateurs) about mothers who are also figure skating coaches.  In New Jersey.

I will reserve full judgment until I have screened an entire episode.  A minute and a half clip isn't enough to go by.

What I can say right off the bat is that these coaches, moms and kids appear to be competing in the ISIA, the Ice Skating Institute of America, which is different from the United States Figure Skating Association.

Though they also have qualifying level tests and competitions, the ISIA track is not the one that qualifies skaters for the same national championship that qualifies them for the World Championships or the Olympics.  So, by definition, it would seem that the stakes are lower.  Though, of course, low stakes have never stopped any parent in any sport from losing their mind on occasion.

I worked as figure skating researcher, producer and writer for ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBC, covering the USFA side of the sport at Nationals, Worlds, and Olympics.  When I wrote my figure skating mysteries, I set them in the same world, since that's the one I was most familiar with.

In all honesty, I have never so much as attended an ISIA competition.  But, something tells me, it isn't much different.  So, yes, despite my overall dislike of reality shows and the belief that they are killing scripted programming, I confess that I will be watching Jersey on Ice.  And inevitably blogging about it.

In the meantime, if you'd like a head start on examples of Skaters Behaving Badly, please click on the links below.  (Any resemblance of fictional athletes to ones actually living or dead is completely coincidental.  That's my story, and I'm sticking with it.  So the legal department tells me.)

Murder on Ice

Axel of Evil

Death Drop

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