Off the ice
Three years ago, it was 1. men 2. dance 3. pairs 4. ladiezzzzz. But I have since had a change of heart, and these days, it's...
Here's what happened: ladies is my favorite discipline at the moment because it's fairly unpredictable, has a large number of skaters who are pretty enjoyable to watch, no skaters I strongly dislike and no huge emotional involvement - so I can just enjoy each competition and look forward to seeing what my favorites might do. It helps that Carolina Kostner appears to have finally overcome her headcasey tendencies. But really, it's mostly that so many skaters are capable of surprising us on any given day. Quick, predict who'll be on the podium in Sochi! Hard to say, isn't it? I like that.
Pairs is almost entirely because of Savchenko and Szolkowy. I can't wait to see what Ingo comes up with for them; I love having the best in the business be so committed to being creative and innovative, both technically and artistically. TakaTran's medal at Worlds also helped, because they are a joy to watch. Also, I have cast V/T as villains, which keeps me entertained. And there are some lower-ranked pairs I'm fond of/coming to like. Pairs at its best still can't be beat for beauty and wow factor.
The men are so good right now. The problem is that I have both favorites and strong dislikes, so I am too emotionally involved to actually enjoy most competitions. Also, because the men are so competitive and must squeeze every point out of their programs, they can tend towards code-whoring. I dislike that. IJS can be done right (see pairs above) but it requires commitment and vision.
Dance has let me down, even my beloved P/B. The discipline is dominated by a small number of schools and it's frankly becoming a bore - the programs out of Canton in particular. I also don't really like most of the top teams, though I admire some of them. The lack of depth compared to the past is disappointing, and the emphasis on difficulty too often results in elements that are aesthetically not pleasing. I'm not going to single out anyone, because most of the teams are guilty. And the switch from a three segment format to the SD/FD format is also to blame; in three seasons, I can think of very few SDs that I've liked. Can't we have OSPs instead?
There's just something about the ladies that I love. I find it to have the most variety of any of the disciplines and its the hardest to predict (as my fantasy skating scores have shown over the years :D ).
I like ladies best. I don't like how COP changes men's skating. The flexibility rewarded under COP forces men to do elements that they don't do very well. Men will never be as flexible as women so I wish that aspect of COP wouldn't factor in as much in men's skating.