This holiday season, use all your available wishes to help bring the writers’ strike to an end, because if the new reality show Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants is any indicator, not even near-nude gems of Southern culture can save us from the drivel ahead. In what can only be described as the absolutely hottest Southern mess, Crowned makes its nauseating debut on the CW this week (Dec. 12).
Carson Kressley (trading one sagging reality franchise, Queer Eye, for another), Shanna Moakler (who won some pageant that nobody remembers but who was also on a recent season of Dancing with the Stars), and Cynthia Garrett (who nobody knows at all) host Crowned, a low-budget program tapped to keep fans of Gossip Girl from abandoning the network during down time. The project might have looked to any number of reality-show competitions and cribbed notes on how to create enthralling drama, but unfortunately this show would rather make an earnest attempt to convince you to care about the real-life drama and heartaches of mother-daughter teams competing for a pageant crown—because it’s their last chance for happiness. For real.