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Thursday, December 13, 2007

In Defense of (and in Love with) Crowned

posted by on December 13 at 9:49 AM

As Eli noted yesterday, last night brought the premiere episode of Crowned, the new CW reality show in which teams of mother-daughter pageant queens live in a house together and compete for…something.

Crowned is the first in an onslaught of nonscripted programs to hit the networks’ schedule since the Hollywood writers’ strike began,” notes the Washington Post. “If Crowned is any indicator of what to expect, viewers are in for a thoroughly depressing 2008.”

That’s one way to look at it. Another is: holy crap! Despite it’s complete immersion in/obsession with/exploitation of grotesque meaningless bullshit, Crowned scores major points as a collection of uniquely awful human behavior.

Among the premiere’s key delights:

*The mandatory, introductory mini-performances given by each mother-daughter team, which ranged from bite-size raps to messily choreographed pose-dances to what looked like simultaneous acid flashbacks.

*The team names chosen by the mother-daughter competitors, most of which deployed the word “bombshell” (the Blonde Bombshells, the Redheaded Bombshells). Leading the surreal team-name pack: Silent But Deadly, chosen by the mother-daughter pair that “may not say much, but when it comes time to deliver, we’re winners.” Neither mother nor daughter displayed any awareness of their moniker’s gassy connotation. (Such linguistic klutziness is also at play in the show’s title, which obviously refers to the crowning of pageant queens, but given the mother-daughter set-up, also serves to remind viewers that, once upon a time, the placenta-smeared skulls of half the contestants emerged from the other half of the contestants’ vaginas.)

Needless to say, the whole thing’s terrible, but it’s terrible in some fascinating new ways, especially for those of us infected by Shari Cookson’s miraculous Living Dolls with a lifelong morbid obsession with all things beauty pageant.

Crowned continues at 8pm Wednesday on the CW.

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david, i love you.

Posted by adrian | December 13, 2007 10:05 AM

I tried to watch this but found it too awful to bear. I did like the cutting of the sash, which was reminiscent of the cutting of the umbilical cord. No one ever told me pageant ladies were so ugly, either... some of them were cute but most of them made me wince.

Posted by Katelyn | December 13, 2007 10:13 AM

I find this show entertaining in the most horrific way.

The woman with the future pornstar daughter, who went to reform broken. no wonder he daughter is such a fuck up.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | December 13, 2007 10:24 AM

Mmm. Sequins and silicone. It's like a drag show.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | December 13, 2007 10:36 AM

That clip had the quickest most nauseating cuts ever. I've got a freaking headache. But I must say that the show looks disgustingly appetizing.

Posted by addicted to tv | December 13, 2007 10:43 AM

And let's not forget that there's an actors' strike looming. Most of the major film studios will be shutting down productions by March or so. Oh boy! Looks like 2008 will be a pretty forgettable year as far as movies and TV.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | December 13, 2007 10:51 AM

I just couldn't bring myself to watch this.

What watching the commercials did do, however, is remind me that what I love most about my mom is that she would never in a million years even consider entering herself or her kids in a beauty pageant.

Posted by Jo | December 13, 2007 11:05 AM

Dear Bob in Heaven, someone please pay the fucking writers already. I don't care if we have to take up a collection or install some sort of E-gold system for our downloads that goes direct to the WGA. Don't the television executives have any sense of decency? Concern for the sanity of their fellow man? Clue?

Posted by K | December 13, 2007 11:08 AM

I'm getting old; I kept mishearing the de-sashing as de-SNATCHING.

Posted by michael strangeways | December 13, 2007 11:18 AM

i get the rubber-necking at a traffic accident appeal (i watched too). a number of the people are horrible! by that i mean their personalities. but how about a little more accuracy in the reporting of the facts. out of what 11 sets of contestants, only two teams used the word "bombshell" - that is hardly "most". and i think it's great the team that had the most points in the "first impression" contest last night was the team that another harried team find outfits that would work for them. i doubt i'll watch on nights when there are alternatives (i don't have cable, and my dvd wasn't working), but if there's nothing else on, i'll watch what is surely to escalate in bad behavior.

Posted by Stella | December 13, 2007 11:34 AM

bad unscripted TV will force the writer's strike to end sooner. the unfortunate outcome being that we, the internet viewer, will have to pay. there's no way the networks are going to pass up the opportunity to both make more money, and make the writer's look like the bad ones.

Posted by infrequent | December 13, 2007 11:54 AM

If this is the best TV can offer, I guess I will be meeting my 52 book goal this year.

Posted by keshmeshi | December 13, 2007 1:21 PM

For what it's worth, when I finished watching the mom and daughter models, I finished reading James Baldwin's "Another Country," and goddamn it was good.

Posted by David Schmader | December 13, 2007 3:35 PM

It occurs to me that there may be a queer revenge afoot here:

Before this is over, we might well be seeing all sorts of polls on which mother-daughter duo men would most like to double-dip.

Posted by bd | December 14, 2007 5:11 AM

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