There Are No Dance Moms Without Dance

Y’all, I have to apologize. I realize that I may have gotten a bit ahead of myself last week by giving you the bare outline of the Dance Moms concept and then diving straight into the dysfunction.

Dysfunction is, of course, delicious…. But talent is the glue that holds the reality sandwich together; without it you have a stale drama sandwich. OPEN FACE. Fortunately, these gurls have plenty of talent. And every week, under the merciless tutelage of Kim Jung Abby, they bring to life her wonderfully demented creative vision through DAYUNCE!

So, to get to the heart of why we grown-ass adults tell our friends we aren’t feeling well so we can ditch happy hour and go home, get on our couches in our sweatpants, and watch Lifetime while we eat cake with our hands…. here are five of Dance Moms‘ finest routines!

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You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Know This Much About Dance Moms….

But, like Donald Rumsfeld said, the unknown unknowns are the one’s that’ll getcha! Right now you’re in a state of ignorance, but never fear my chickadees, ignorance can be cured.

There are so many things I love about Dance Moms. Friendships inextricably intertwined with power struggles. There’s the fact that every single blessed moment of this show is an ethical dilemma about how much a parent should push a child to achieve her dreams (yes, the “her” is purposefully ambiguous as to whether it refers to mother or child)….. Plus, there’s DANCING!

For those who have not partaken of the glory of Dance Moms…. The basic premise is that a small group of fame-thirsty mothers subject their (generally lovely and talented) daughters to the cruelty of a completely insane dance teacher, Abby Lee Miller.

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Abby takes her “team” to dance competitions requiring them to learn new routines every week and jostle with each other for primacy within the group. Scoring well at a competition (and, if we’re honest, general sucking up to Abby) is rewarded with the opportunity to perform a solo the following week…. “failure” and/or disobedience is punished with no solo and possible expulsion from the weekly group routine.

Because the Lord is just and merciful, the routines are frequently batshit insane.

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This show is so good, it’s as though it was engineered in a lab to hit every single dopamine receptor. It is, essentially, perfection.

To inaugurate what I’m sure will turn into a ridiculous series on the massive fuckery that is this TV show….

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Time for Some Escapism!

Hey y’all. So, I was planning to finally pivot away from the Bachelor franchise this week (despite the incredible announcement that there will be a Bachelor Winter Games airing in tandem with the 2018 Olympics, which will combine competitive sport and dating into one irresistible melange, thereby representing the highest achievement of human civilization to date). I was going to write a post about Dance Moms, which is maybe my truest reality TV love, delving into its moral complexity and downright hilarity.

But Northern California is on fire and the air is filled with smoke a hundred miles away, and I’m not feeling very frivolous. So I’m going to save Dance Moms for a later, happier date, and instead give y’all a quick list of stuff that’s good to watch when you need to send your brain to a happier place…. No wonder Amazon keeps telling me I need one of these.

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Love Hurts– So Maybe Just Settle (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Accept Bryan)

Y’all, I have been thinking about Rachel’s Bachelorette season on and off over the summer. Partly because Dean really proved himself to be a certified, grade-A Hot Mess once left to his own devices in Paradise. But partly because a question has really nagged at me– could Rachel really, truly be happier with Bryan than with Peter? After that brutal final encounter of raw heartbreak between Peter and Rachel– and the quick edit to the “happy ending” of Bryan offering Rachel a typically fugly Neil Lane sparkler– I have had a hard time buying into the possibility that Rachel actually made the right choice….

But now I’m not so sure.

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Let’s Talk About Sportsball (Stay With Me, Y’all)

Sportsball has been getting a lot of attention this week. Or, to be more specific, not sportsball itself– the pre-sportsball ritual of playing the national anthem. This…. seems like a stupid controversy to waste brain space on. I wish we could get away from the brainwashing of the 24-hour news cycle and separate our entertainment from our information. Maybe then we would be able to (regardless of our politics) focus on solving actual issues and not fetishize spectacle….

Because I, for one, want to get back to sports for the sake of sports! It may surprise those of you who know me as a self-hating Bachelor-franchise fan that I also enjoy sporting pastimes… but it’s true! I like watching people compete over throwing a ball through a hoop, running/swimming/whatevering really fast/far/etc., and also oh flipping in the air a bunch and hurling themselves down chutes of ice in wooden sled-missiles, because heck, it’s fun to watch!

So, without further ado, to remind us all why we bother watching sports, please enjoy this video of a Cubs shortstop crashing into a fan’s nachos.



Jack Her Up! Or, Five Things I’ve Learned from Say Yes to the Dress

Y’all, I have had the delightful (not sarcastic!) but also bizarre experience recently of being the second set of eyeballs for a delightful friend shopping for her wedding dress. Because my friend is the most low key bride in the world (“I don’t have Pinterest. I like the color blue,” was her response to the “what’s your wedding going to be like?” interrogation by the various bridal consultants), the experience was pleasant and anthropological, and I was grateful to be of some limited assistance to her wedding journey….

However, the experience reawakened one of my more shameful addictions…. It’s hard to admit publicly, but Say Yes to the Dress is basically my version of bath salts. I say I’m going to watch a little, and then a little turns into a lot, and soon I’m rampaging through the streets biting off strangers’ appendages because TRUMPET GOWNS MAKE ME DISSOCIATIVE.

In an effort to find a silver lining to this problem, I have compiled a list of five lessons I have learned over the years from watching SYTTD…..

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I Read a Book, Y’all!

Yeah it was YA– what do you expect, me to read something legit difficult? Give me a break, my brain is on the Bachelor diet. Anyway, I just finished the Black Witch by Laurie Forest, a moderately creative, reasonably well-written piece of YA that’s basically a cross between Harry Potter, Twilight, and the Shannara Chronicles.

Why, you might ask, would I crack open a book, when there’s so much TV to watch and it requires so little mental effort? The chance to provide y’all with a HAWT TAKE, DUH.

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