I am not above Dance Moms -- Season 1 was a surprise hit, and the beginning of Season 2 made for some of the best candid reality TV-viewing in recent history. The second half of this season, however, definitely lost some of the magic. Everything good and bad with the current state of Dance Moms was seen in last night's finale, "Nationals 90210," which says two things: 1) There's still so much potential in this Lifetime series and 2) The current storylines have peaked, and it's time for a change. If Abby and the gang don't straighten some factors up by next season, we doubt we'll make it through much more of her drama... after all, ahhhveryone's replaceable.
I've long held the theory that reality shows cannot thrive in Miami -- look at the Real Housewives of Miami, Miami Social, 8th & Ocean (though the seasons of Top Chef and Bad Girls Club that were in South Beach were pretty awesome, though those shows travel every season and aren't dependent on the surroundings the way that the former series were, but I digress) -- so my hopes for the South Florida spin-off Lifetime's already surprisingly wonderful Pittsburgh-based Dance Moms were exceedingly low. And the show somehow still managed to disappoint me beyond that. Here's why it doesn't work:
How is it even possible that Dance Moms is getting better at this point? Last night's "Return Of The Candy Apples" has solidified not only that Season 2 can live up to the hype of Season 1 -- it might just "turn it into applesauce," if you will. There's also news of a Dance Moms: Miami in the works, but I can't even wrap my head around that right now, what with all of these amazing quotes that sprouted up in this episode.
I was a bit worried that Dance Moms would lose its sparkle after the masterpiece that was Season 1, but within the first minute of last night's premiere, I knew I had nothing to worry about: Abby Lee Miller is back, and as twisted as ever. The whole plotline about casting a new girl was completely over the top and cruel, and if I took a shot every time Abby told a child or mother that "Everyone's replaceable," I'd be a goner. Moving forward, the jury's still out on whether "900 Number" Jill and Kendall will be a satisfying addition to the group, but until then, let's all laugh at the most ridiculous -- and, not-so-coincidentally, heinous -- lines of the evening. Shockingly, none of them are from Cathy, but we're got all season for those.
Say what you will about the moral aspect of parents parading their children around in intense competitions that may or may not be age-appropriate, but in terms of the entertainment factor of the TV shows that portray these cultures, it's hard to argue that they're not at least a little bit intriguing, if not shamefully enjoyable. After all, the best parts of these series come from the pointless drama and the stressed-out adults. (Though I do like the moments when the kids are genuinely happy, too. I'm not a monster!) TLC's Toddlers & Tiaras has had a strong choke-hold on the market of madness since early 2009... but after a strong premiere season of Lifetime's Dance Moms, I think it's necessary to pit these two shows against each other in a grudging, hair-pulling battle of exploitative candid reality shows, if not only to cut down your weekly intake of stage mothers next season. Just know that when I say "Winner", I mean which show I would rather watch, given the battle.
We enjoy the guilty pleasure of Toddlers & Tiaras as much as anyone, but we're more than a little skeptical about the show's upcoming spinoff Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. While it was fun to see her talk about a dollar making her holler for a few minutes, it's not necessarily something we need to see on a weekly basis... or for a full hour. Even if she is picking up roadkill at the same time. We might be proven wrong, but judging by these recent reality TV spinoffs, we're guessing that won't be the case. Here are the worst stinkers:
Most awesome person of the week on reality TV easily goes to Harry Connick, Jr. who nearly single-handedly renewed our interest in American Idol with his charming antics and musical knowledge. You're a wizard, Harry. The rest of reality TV was filled with despicable morons, like usual.
New year... and a bunch of horrible new reality stars to contend with. Welcome to 2014, everyone.
We're leaving Ken from Project Runway off our list this week because he was able to contain his utter hatred for the judges… somewhat. But let's just say it is never a good sign when your mom knows that you are like Jekyll and Hyde and can turn into a beastly monster at the drop of a hat.
Before we get to the negativity of this week, we'd like to take one minute to give a shout out to Extreme Weight Loss's Cassandra for exuding so much positivity and to Julie Chen for giving Aaryn a little taste of what she's in for once she leaves the Big Brother jury house. Now back to your regularly scheduled obnoxiousness.
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