The new worst show on television debuted Wednesday night on Lifetime--Dance Moms, an ugly docu-circus featuring a megaton bully of a Pittsburgh dance instructor, the little princesses she costumes as lunatic street whores, and a quorum of strenuously pathetic stage mothers, one of whom warbles that she would slit her wrists if her daughter even thought of trying out for softball.
Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings
Oct 7, 2011Horrible people are what makes reality programming memorable and that's what sets Dance Moms apart. The little girls mother's are horrible. Little star Maddie is rotten, but the very worst of all is Abby Lee Miller, the star of the show and the major domo of the allegedly world-famous Abby Lee Miller Dance Studio, a small cinder block building in a suburb of Pittsburgh.
Abby is hysterical in every sense of the word. She is a dead-ringer for Divine as Edith Turnblad in the original Hairspray movie. Abby is so over the top that one wonders if this is a Christopher Guest - "Wating for Guffman" type satire rather than supposed reality. Episodes are loaded with "Waiting for Guffman" type moments as we meet an variety of third-rate show business detritus presented as "one of the biggest talent scouts on Broadway", etc..
The little girl dancers are generally innocent victims of their attention starved mothers - who should know better - and the tyrannical Abby. The one exception is little angelic star Maddie who is easy to detest.
The show has turned into a suprise hit and has been renewed for a second season. I'm wondering is someone from Alleghany County Child Protective Services should intervene.services is… Full Review »
Sep 9, 2011Three caveats, I'm a dude, I almost never watch reality programming, and I don't have kids. So why the heck would I spend 47 minutes of my life watching this? Originally it was morbid curiosity. I wanted to see the train wrecks. The Toddlers and Tiaras show sounded too far outside my comfort zone, but I thought since these girls ostensibly learned an actual craft, it would be a stomach-able compromise. I also think athletics and team sports are valuable experiences for young people, so I climbed down off my high horse and tuned in.
Hey, kids are kids, that never changes, and this show is not about the kids. It's about American culture, women's gender roles and how damaging stereotypes are handed down from mother to daughter in the form of destructive personality disorders. The mother's are the stars.
I try to critique media within the confines of it's genre and or sub-genre. I look at what's successful in that medium and try to make comparisons regarding professional competency as well as what might move the medium forward (the purpose of art, no?). You can't do any of that with this. It's pure sugar and salt, utterly nutritionless. A young girl couldn't even watch this for the value of the competitive routines because the performance in quick edits before going back to the reaction of the mom's. But that's pretty much what I expected, so what's my verdict?
It's not a guilty pleasure. A rich dessert is a guilty pleasure, this is corn nuts, pop rocks, and mountain dew. The Dance teacher is competent, the kids are cute and driven, but none of that is appreciated. I would like to know more about the girls and their individual motivations and struggles. But the 'reality' is that wouldn't get ratings. It's disposable pap, the train wreck I tuned in to see and complain about. And if that's it's value to the medium, then I'll just get back up on my high horse and ride to a pasture with fewer gopher holes and cow patties.
Rated 4 out of sympathy for the kids who might know how to use google.… Full Review »
Feb 22, 2014Despite its clearly bogus chain of events, Dance Moms remains a thoroughly and surprisingly enslaving look into the life of a scary dance teacher, the impressionable dance kids, and their pushy mothers. If it wasn't for the delightful antics of the mothers, this would remain a mediocre documentary with some fat woman screaming at blonde girls.… Full Review »