A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this beauty-pageant reality series -- in which mother-daughter teams vie for the crown -- rewards talent and intelligence as well as physical beauty. The judges also look for clear boundaries between the moms and their daughters ... which are often crossed behind the scenes (some of the relationships are quite troubled). Expect some strong language ("crap," "bitch," etc.) and catty behavior between contestants, including negative comments about weight.
What's the story?
CROWNED: THE MOTHER OF ALL PAGEANTS explores the complex relationship between mothers and their adult daughters by teaming them up to compete for a beauty-pageant title. Eleven mother-daughter teams from all over the country live together in a mansion under the watchful eye of pageant director Linnea Maloney as they undergo intensive pageant training (the teams have a range of past pageant experience). At the end of each week, they strut their stuff on stage for the show's trio of judges: Queer Eye star Carson Kressley, former Miss USA/Dancing with the Stars alum Shanna Moakler, and image consultant Cynthia Garrett. The pair that shines the least is desashed and sent home; the final team left standing will win sparkling tiaras -- and $100,000.
Is it any good?
The judges claim that they're looking for "modern beauty," which ostensibly includes heart, spirit, and brains as well as good looks. They also want to see moms actually act like parents rather than their adult daughter's friend or subordinate. But these ideals don't keep some of the competitors from engaging in catty behavior -- including openly sniping about other contestants' weight, talent, and socioeconomic background. The pressure also causes some troubled mother-daughter teams to turn against each other.
While Crowned may appeal to young pageant hopefuls, the sometimes-strong language and snide remarks make it iffy for tweens. But it's definitely a guilty pleasure for older viewers who enjoy watching the behind-the-scenes strife that always seems to emerge between reality-show competitors.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the messages that televised beauty pageants send to viewers. Do pageants ever really give as much weight to qualities like intelligence and talent as they do to physical beauty? And what issues come up when parents and kids compete together? Why do some parents seem to lose sight of their role as parents when they're competing? Do these competitions exploit parent-child relationship problems for entertainment?
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