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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 Queen America is a Facebook Watch series about the beauty pageant circuit that's geared towards older teens. There’s strong sexual innuendo (including simulated sex acts), drinking, cigarette smoking, and references to cocaine use, alcoholism, body image issues, and eating disorders. Violence includes fighting, insult hurling, and bullying behavior, which sometimes results in a punch or two, too. Cursing is frequent (though the word "f--k" is bleeped). All this being said, the series does contain positive messages about finding people that help lift you up, and having the commitment to work hard to achieve your goals.
What's the story?
QUEEN AMERICA is a Facebook Watch comedy series about a pageant coach who is trying to outrun her troubled, working class past. Catherine-Zeta Jones stars as Vicki Ellis, a pageant coach who spends her time coaching Oklahoma pageant contestants to victory while struggling with her own demons. When she successfully coaches Hayley Wilson (Victoria Justice) to victory in the Miss Oklahoma pageant, she looks forward to helping through nationals with there help of her friend and makeup artist Nigel (Teagle F. Bougere) and trainer Mary Clark (Rana Roy). But an unexpected twist has her working with Samantha Cole (Belle Shouse), the unrefined first-runner up who only has three months to prepare for the biggest pageant of her life. Meanwhile, her relationships with her sister Katie (Molly Price) and niece Bella (Isabella Amara) are strained, and she’s dealing with her own health issues.
Is it any good?
This dark, funny comedy sees Vicki putting her clients through their paces in order to survive the cutthroat pageant circuit. It highlights some of the well-known secrets of the pageant world, which range from extreme exercise and dieting techniques to dealing with sexual predators. It also underscores how these things can lead to long-term health problems, including eating disorders and alcoholism.
Despite the dark, snarky tone, Queen America also contains some mildly empowering themes, including the value of working hard, finding strength in oneself, and the importance of finding people to help pull you up when you need it. And while it has enough strong content to make it a questionable choice for young viewers, it is very entertaining for those mature enough to handle it. All in all, if you’re looking for a fun streaming series to watch, this one works.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the pageant industry. What kind of positive things do pageants offer contestants? What are some of the negatives?
What does Queen America suggest about the relationship between pageantry and eating disorders? How can you tell if someone is struggling with this mental health issue? What ways are there to help a friend dealing with an eating disorder?
For kids who love reality TV
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.