Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants TV Poster Image
Mom/daughter beauty contest gets pretty catty.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The judges evaluate the contestants on a mix of physical beauty, intelligence, attitude, and evidence of clear and respectful boundaries between mother and daughter. Some of the contestants are very catty and vindictive. Some of the moms and daughters have troubled relationships, while others' stories are inspirational. Some women make negative comments about others' appearance (including commenting on their weight). The teams come from various socioeconomic backgrounds; most are Caucasian, but there are several African-American teams.

Violence

Contestants sometimes argue with each other. Some mothers argue with their daughters.

Sex

The contestants are sometimes seen in bras and bikinis. Some of Carson's risque observations contain references to "hookers" and gay "queens."

Language

Words include "crap" and "bitchy."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some visible alcohol consumption (wine, champagne).

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.

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

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Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008

A big NO!

I think this show is for people 12 and up. There is a lot of swearing and fighting. Kids should not watch this show, even though this show is about fashion.
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

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?

TV details

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