Girls With Guns: Well-Armed for Reality TV, But Not For
A mom reflects on the latest controversy surrounding
By Allison McDowell Enstrom Special to MSN TV
It's hard to tell the difference between "Mob
Wives" and "Dance
Moms" anymore. Well, not really. There are no cute little girls in "Mob
Wives"! Coincidentally, the latest episode of Lifetime's "Dance Moms" was titled
"Ballet and Bullets." And believe it or not, the outrageous part of the
show wasn't the fact that the girls were using guns in the performance.
I admit it: I'm totally hooked on "Dance Moms." Addicted. Like
need-an-intervention addicted. I find the girls to be unbelievably talented
dancers and often surprisingly well-grounded and thoroughly committed to their
budding careers despite their mothers. I find the moms oddly fascinating. And
then there's the love-to-hate, always passionate, rarely congenial, never boring
instructor, Abby Lee Miller. The woman clearly spends her nights dreaming up new
ways to provoke or offend or shock. Her winning reputation is indisputable.
There's no doubt that the woman knows how to make a dance team not only stand
out, but win, over and over again. You know the saying, though: There's no free
lunch. And this dance studio's reputation comes at a high cost.
This particular rant stems from the episode that aired on Feb. 21, where Abby
brings in prop guns for the kids to use. The group number is an interpretation
of private eyes, and what good is a P.I. without a pistol? "You're going to blow
the competition away," growls a hoarse-voiced Abby (and with this volatile crew,
it's hard to tell how seriously to take that!). After Abby broke the news, the
girls went about their business of dancing while the moms proceeded to the
observation mezzanine to kvetch like they always do. Here's the bitch-fest gist:
Their daughters using plastic guns was inconceivable and totally inappropriate,
and they'd probably even get disqualified because, surely, gun props are not
allowed. Knowing there's power in numbers (do they even know Abby?!), one of the
moms (who happens to be a school principal) even led a confrontation, which Abby
immediately shut down, convinced that the number would win the
weekend's competition. So just like that, the moms took their lumps and moved
on. So, after all the moms' feigning of moral convictions and refusing to
tolerate girls dancing around with guns, competition day arrived.
I am fascinated by the behavior of these people, but do wonder at what point CPS steps in? These youngsters are often verbally abused and tormented.
Sorry to have to point out that some are not as talented at their mothers seem to believe, and are heading for some serious issues if reality checks aren't applied. I keep watching for the adults to get the justice they truly deserve, only wishing the children could be spared. Did I actually see
Abby in tears as she retreated at the end of this season? And what happened to that Candy Apple "lady". What a twisted character is she!
As graduation day approaches, tension begins to build between Frankie and Axl when he ignores her requests for answers about the graduation party she's planning for his special day. "The Middle" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.