"Dance Moms" Isn't Reality TV, It's a Sign Something's Gone Horribly Wrong Review

Reality television, as is, already rests comfortably as the lowest low of television genres; any concept comprised of nothing more than showcasing people at their worst and passing it off as entertainment is deplorable. However, even within this niche of depravity there’s a particular brand of awful that’s worse than all the rest: those that force kids to take part in the suffering. Toddlers and Tiaras has gained fame for being one such show, but it’s arguable that Dance Moms is even worse. It’s not even about the children; it’s about the parents, all of whom are two scoops of crazy and constantly butting heads with a despotic dance teacher who’s like a much less pleasant and more obese version of Roseanne Barr.

If you want to see what a group of parents living vicariously through their daughters (many of whom seem indifferent to the activity) then look no further, of course once you do you’ll wish you hadn’t.

Throughout the first season you see the parents descend further and further into petty squabbles, all the while ignoring completely what their daughters want. Would any truly responsible parent tell their child to go on stage after a doctor tells them they definitely shouldn’t? Would any intelligent person continue to hang around an organization that thinks a silly dance recital is more important than walking for graduation upon receiving their doctorate? That’s right; one of these women has earned her doctorate, but can’t seem to figure out that a belligerent, overweight instructor incapable of holding a rational discussion or conceding a point is a good choice of role model for her impressionable daughter.

“Kids should cry when their arm is broken and it’s hanging off or somebody died. That’s it.”

It’s the kids who seem to be the most sensible of any of them with one little girl saying plainly to her mother that she doesn’t want to dance anymore, only to be bullied back into the studio week after week (because she wishes she’d had the opportunity when she was young). The older girl in the bunch, now 13 years old, offers the most rational thought the show has to offer, but even so her mother badgers her into returning week after week.

This isn’t a guilty pleasure, it’s a collection of recorded evidence should any of these kids ever decide they want to emancipate themselves.

DVD Bonus Features

Extra footage from select episodes and a sort of sizzle reel of embarrassing moments are the only extras.

"Dance Moms: Season One" is on sale August 7, 2012 and is not rated. Reality. Directed by Anthony Gonzales.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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