• Publication date: February 15, 2010

Talented Kids Or Overzealous Moms & Dads? Unwilling Child Performers Fulfilling Middle-Aged Parents� Dreams

�Showbiz Moms and Dads� (2004) documents crazed parents who believe their children are destined to become the world�s next superstars.

�Showbiz Moms and Dads� (2004) documents crazed parents who believe their children are destined to become the world�s next superstars. From boy bands to beauty pageants these moms and dads will stop at nothing to achieve their goal, even if it means depriving their sons and daughters of their childhood and their freedom. Sadder however, is that the parents featured in the show are not necessarily working for their kids� best interests, but their own by living their dreams of stardom through them. Even more disturbing is that these mothers and fathers are banking on their children�s efforts to line their pockets with millions in cash.

For example, show mom Debbie Klingensmith insists that son Shane is wholeheartedly devoted to becoming a professional singer and dancer. Debbie is also convinced that she in no way places unnecessary pressure on her son, despite the fact that he has no social life of his own, no creative control over his performances, and regularly receives sharp, unqualified criticism from his mother. Undoubtedly Shane�s academic career, his real key to a successful future, takes a backseat to mom�s far-fetched dreams of stardom.

With the exception of Jordan and Kimberly most subjects on the show are not particularly talented either, and certainly not driven enough to make it big. But why should they be? At the age of four an average child would rather play with toys, dolls, or neighborhood kids, not be dressed up in elaborate costumes and drenched with tanning spray � while crying nonetheless. That is the unfortunate case of nearly infantile Emily, whose mom (also named Debbie) gets her kicks at beauty pageants. Debbie�s dedication to winning and wowing other parents is so fierce that she, at one point, instructs Emily not to speak with another competing child � presumably in some attempt to psych her out.

Then there is the annoying, selfish, and appropriately named David Nutter. Nutter uprooted his family of seven from a comfortable home in Vermont to a two-bedroom apartment in Queens, New York. Why you ask? Well middle-aged David hopes to realize his dream of becoming a professional actor, and forfeited his secure job for work at a theater ticket booth. Meanwhile his wife earns the bulk of the Nutters� income as a public school teacher. Naturally, the entire family despises him, even his daughters whom he hopes to mold into stars. His effeminate demeanor, lisp, and fascination with women�s fashion and hair salons gives him added comedic value. And really that�s why we watch. All of the show�s parents are so delusional that their failed attempts at stardom provide audiences with pure comedy; at the same time one cannot help but feel pity for the kids who must endure such a horrific upbringing.