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 is focused on winning at all costs and judging women based on their looks. Contestants are sometimes mercilessly harrassed to lose weight (even when they're clearly not fat); others end up feeling like they're failures because they can't speak in front of a group. And pageant coach Cyrus Frakes is more than a little pushy about getting what he wants. Expect some bleeped language and revealing bikinis.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In KING OF THE CROWN, pageant coach Cyrus Frakes (of Gowns and Crowns in South Carolina) coaches young women to win in beauty contests. He's had several clients in fairly high-profile pageants and works hard to help his current protegees present themselves in the best way possible -- which can mean everything from helping them lose weight to coaching them for the on-stage interview process and teaching them how to compete in swimsuit competitions.
Is it any good?
While Frakes clearly has a stake in how well his clients do -- if he didn't produce winners, people wouldn't hire him -- he seems slightly more interested in his own welfare than his clients'. In one case, for example, Frakes pushes a client who embarrassed herself in a national televised competition to compete again to redeem herself ... and him, too.
And Frakes isn't the only one with mixed motives and messages. In another instance, viewers see a mother pushing her daughter relentlessly, then sabotaging her and berating her for it. It's painful viewing -- to the point that you can't help but wonder whether the daughter really wants to be in a pageant, even though she says that winning Miss USA is her lifetime dream.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about body image. What message do shows like this send on that issue? Is it fair to judge people on how they look?
How does the way the show is edited contribute to the on-screen drama? Do you think events always took place in exactly the way they're shown? Is "reality TV" always realistic?
Do you think this show fairly represents the pros and cons of beauty pageants? Is more than one perspective represented?
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