Before I give my take on the premiere, I must admit that when I first heard about this reality show a few weeks ago, I wasn't sure it would be good reality TV. Not being a huge fan of beauty pageants, I saw this as a potential bad attempt to fill the air with yet another "beauty" show in which participants are not offering much more than good looks. Well, after watching the premiere, I can admit that I was wrong.
The network describes Crowned as a series that "explores one of life's most emotional and volatile relationships as mothers and daughters from all walks of life compete together -- and against other mother/daughter teams -- in order to win a no-holds-barred beauty pageant."
Crowned does have some participants who fit the beauty pageant stereotype (great body, no brain) but it also has mother and daughter teams who could be tagged as "average". When trying to find a team's name, one duo brainstorms and comes up with "Lean Queens" and one of them comments on the fact that some of the participants aren't lean. Even if this comment is not so tastefull, it highlights the types of teams in this show.
Even if the teams live in a luscious mansion, they have to sleep in bunkbeds and follow the orders of pageant director Linnea Maloney. Each week, they have to go through competitions and be judged by Carson Kressley (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy), former Miss U.S.A. Shanna Moakler (Dancing with the Stars) and television personality Cynthia Garrett (Later with Cynthia Garrett).
In the first episode, teams compete in a "First impressions count" contest. Mothers and daughters have to come up with a team name, themed outfits and a unique intro to impress the judges. Indeed, first impressions count, especially in such a contest. But the twist to this? Judges are looking for originality, to get a feel of who the participants are, etc. They don't judge only on the looks.
Watching the teams prepare for this contest was rather amusing. Some teams were going for appearances while others wanted to display who they are while looking good. One team chose the name "Blonde Bombshells" and when asked to describe their choice they said that this name referred to "intelligent and smart" women. Of course, the judges (and myself) didn't think of those two words when hearing the team's name! Another team went for "Skin Deep" as a name but got the meaning wrong. I'll let you watch the premiere to see what they thought it meant. One of the more "average" teams went for "Tomboys Queens" showing their girls-next-door style and their pageant contestants self at the same time.
I don't want to spoil the premiere too much but, as you can see, the series has all sort of contestants and the fact that the mothers (raging from late 30s to the 50s) are also participating adds a nice twist to the series. The series will not only offer a take on the world of beauty pageants but also on mother/daughter relationships. Right now, I'm rooting for the "Dream Gals".
Crowned premieres on Wednesday, December 12 at 9/8 c on The CW.
All pictures are (c) The CW.