Skip to Content

mother says Showbiz Moms and Dads “ripped us apart”; critics say it’s “riveting.”

mother says Showbiz Moms and Dads “ripped us apart”; critics say it’s “riveting.”
This week, The New Yorker reviews Bravo’s new series Showbiz Moms and Dads, finding that “when it comes to the way parents treat their children, judgments are impossible to avoid.” That judgment has left one of the parents feeling betrayed. Debbie Tye tells the St. Petersburg Times that she was misled: “We were specifically told this would be a positive look at pageantry. And I can almost guarantee that every family went into this thinking that their kids would get work and be shown to be hardworking. (Instead), they completely portrayed me as a pushy pageant mother.” She says, “They’ve really ripped us apart.” The New Yorker’s compares Tye’s daughter Emily to JonBenet Ramsey, writing that, “There is a universe of difference between being arguably ill used and being killed, and yet it is hard to avoid the language of crime when it comes to these pageants. One feels that Emily is, at the very least, being robbed of her childhood, and even of her essential femaleness, which is repeatedly buried under a pile of fluffy feminine trappings.” Other critics have called the series “riveting” and “fascinating”; the second episode repeats tonight at 6 p.m. ET and midnight, and Sunday at 11:30 a.m. It airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.

All reality blurred content is independently selected, including links to products or services. However, if you buy something after clicking an affiliate link, I may earn a commission, which helps support reality blurred. Learn more.

More great stories

About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.


I value our community at reality blurred, which connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching and the stories about it.

Comment rules: My goal is for us to be able to share our perspectives and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive space. That’s why I’ve created these rules for commenting here. By commenting below, you confirm that you’ve read and agree to them.

Happy discussing!