What a delight it was channel-surfing last night and stumbling upon So You Think You Can Dance on the FOX network from 8-10 pm EST.

It’s my new favorite show.

Why? It’s always alarmed and saddened me that most of the “prime time” programming on network TV is devoted to homicide, rape, autopsies, murder, crime and other examples of man’s inhumanity to man.

I like American Idol because it’s an updated version of the American Dream in which someone can be plucked from obscurity who performs a magical moment of artistic beauty.
“There’s no better proof of those unexpected magical moments Hawaiians call “chicken skin” performances than this 2 minute video clip from this season’s British Idol. Trust me, it’s worth watching as a shining example of the power of soaring music to give you chills for all the right reasons. Click Here

Unfortunately, that show has an increased emphasis on the staged snarkiness between Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest and on people-behaving-badly who will do anything to get air time (including obscenity-laced rants). The most egregious kooks were actually rewarded on the final show with their 1 minute of fame and further exposure to an audience of 180 million people (!) around the world. What other countries must think of us for glorifying these shameless attention-at-any-and-all-costs individuals.

That is why So You Think You Can Dance is such a welcomed contrast.

It showcases talented young people who work hard for what they want and are passionate about their creative art. They are healthy, innovative, dedicated, creative individuals doing what they love with energy, enthusiasm . . . and character.

When they’re voted off, every single one handles it with grace and dignity — no snarling epithets tossed at the judges. When they need to dance in a genre that is alien to them, they don’t complain or make excuses, they just get to work and expand their repertoire. When they’re partnered with someone not at their level, they respond with graciousness and a commitment to do their best.

What a concept! Man (and womankind) at their best. . . instead of their worst. Now that’s worth watching and emulating.

Do you have a favorite TV show that showcases the best (instead of the worst) of man-womankind? What is it? Are you a fan of American Idol or So You Think You Can Dance? Why or why not?