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Dance Moms and Other Reality TV Shows about Adults Behaving Badly

Posted By HCBA President Kimberly A. Lowe, Monday, January 25, 2016

During the winter when it is cold and we are all stuck in the house, I tend to park myself on the couch with the remote and watch hours of home improvement and cooking shows.  It’s sort of a winter tradition at my house, just me, Daisy, Betty, and the remote.  The other evening I jumped from a rerun of “House Hunters International” to a rerun of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” to a complete tour of all of my Direct TV channels between HGTV and TLC.  During this random channel surf, I stopped on yet another reality TV show, “Dance Moms” on Lifetime.  Well, it took less than 30 seconds for me to become disgusted. Really? The snippet I caught captured several moms wearing excessive amounts of makeup bad-mouthing each other, the coach, and the little girls involved in some high-pressure performance dance troop. 

Now, I know that parents are not perfect and all make mistakes while raising children.  But… really?  As we seem to grapple almost daily with mass shootings and high school students assaulting their teachers and school administrators, should we really be glamorizing the disrespectful and ridiculous antics of these grown women on broadcast TV for our children and young people to see? 

As many of you know, my legal practice involves working with nonprofit organizations. Several of my clients serve youth and involve parent volunteers.  Recently, my clients have been forced to contend with behavioral issues not involving the children, but parents of children!  And these are not the hockey moms celebrated by Sarah Palin. 

So as my intrepid assistant Nellie and I grapple with writing a blog that includes David Bowie, Glen Fry, and Natalie Cole (just to name a few), my forced winter confinement compels me to comment on the erosion of civil society as a result of reality TV.  So, as I recall the beautiful experience that is Fry and the Eagle's “Witchy Woman,” Bowie's penultimate 1983 pop anthem “Modern Love (coincidentally from the album titled “Let's Dance”), and Natalie Cole's 1975 “This Will be (an Everlasting Love) and her amazing virtual duet with her father Nate King Cole with the 1991 “Unforgettable,” I cannot help but ponder what has happened to the common sense of parents!    

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