Review: 'Dance Moms: Miami' puts the guilt in guilty pleasure
Last night's premiere of "Dance Moms: Miami" was good news for "Dance Moms" fans broken up about the flagship show airing its season finale. Now there's a whole new set of ambitious kids, crazy moms and flamboyant instructors to follow.
It's less good news for anyone who doesn't enjoy seeing kids put under unreasonable amounts of pressure, grown women embarrass themselves and arguments inflated for entertainment purposes.
I'll admit I'm in the second camp, and I've never bothered to check into the "Dance Moms" phenomenon before this. I've seen clips and interviews, but it always seemed like something worth ignoring.
After struggling through a hour of "Dance Moms: Miami," I haven't changed my mind.
The action is focused on Star Dance Studio in Miami, owned and operated by Victor Smalley (who was a finalist on season 6 of "So You Think You Can Dance") and Angel Armas.
They have five young dancers in their class: standout Jessi, tiny Kimmy, laidback Hannah, newcomer Sammy and the lone boy Lucas. But the real camera hogs are their moms: Susan, Ani, Debi, Abby and Brigette. Debi and Abby are especially central due to a pre-existing rivalry they have from a previous dance studio.
Susan, whose mother was a dancer in Colombia, is also completely over-the-top in her desire to push her daughter to succeed at any cost.
There's a lot of the typical reality show bluster on display with quotes like "We're tough on the kids but at the end of the day that's what's gonna make them stars," and "We're pretty, we have money, and people are just jealous of that wherever we go." (Oh no she didn't!)
The original "Dance Moms" has been very successful for Lifetime, growing its ratings season-to-season and emerging as the network's youngest skewing show (with an average age of 32).
It's junk food TV. And although I don't really believe in the term "guilty pleasure," I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest maybe you should feel at least a little guilty about getting pleasure from this stuff.
Just before the premiere episode's big competition, Victor gets so sick he has to vomit. It's a perfect metaphor for how I felt watching the show.
What did you think of "Dance Moms: Miami"? How does it compare to the original? And how crazy do these moms have to be to participate in a show like this?