'Dance Moms': Why am I so fascinated?

dance-moms

Image Credit: Scott Gries/Lifetime Television

Normally I wouldn’t watch an episode of Dance Moms on a weekday — such programming is far better suited for a lazy Saturday marathon — but with much of the regular Tuesday night scripted offerings in repeat mode, I tuned into the new episode of the Lifetime reality show, and, to my non-surprise, was as horrified as ever by what I saw.

In last night’s episode, Abby Lee Dance Co. was rocked by scandal (relative to this show) when Brooke, a veteran star dancer in the group of young ‘uns, decided to ditch competition and try out for (the horror!) cheerleading, leaving her tiny teammates up a sequined creek.

Brooke’s mom found support from her fellow moms, but was met with a string of screechy (Ricola?) insults from Abby, who decided rashly that she was striking the entire group number, of which Brooke was set to star, from their competition lineup. I understood that Brooke’s mom wanted what was best for her daughter, but, personally, I want to teach my future kids the value of commitment. So I probably would have at least asked her to consider the impact of her decision on her teammates. Then, I thought, I never would have put her in Abby’s dance studio in the first place. What a horrid woman. Then, I had a follow up pondering: Why am I watching this?!

It would have been different if I was watching Dance Moms for the first time, to check out the drama. Nope. I’ve seen every episode this season. I’d also feel less like a self-flagellating TV watcher if I had the power to turn off the TV at the height of the episode’s awfulness: When one of the moms, Christi, got into a lame-insult-laden argument at competition with rival dance mummy, Cathy, who this season started her own dance company. (“Whoville called, they want their nose back!” Burrrrrn…or not.) But again, I couldn’t bring myself to turn it off.

Why? Because I probably hate myself. But if you watched last night, I’m curious about your take on the odd appeal of this show.

I understand that all of the popular reality shows have some sort of unexplainable power to capture our attention. We watch Big Brother for the (sometimes poorly) veiled sexual innuendos hidden in the competitions and to mock dumb contestants. We watch The Bachelor because we’re secretly hopeless romantic who like to mock dumb contestants. We watch Survivor because, well, it’s sometimes a really good game…and to mock dumb contestants. But I just can’t figure out why I’m watching Dance Moms. There’s very little actual dance and all it does is enrage me and aggravate my own former dancer PTSD.

Help me out, PopWatchers. Are you watching this show? And, DO YOU KNOW WHY?!

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