It's a longshot that Bravo would ever pick up a fantasy series, but my interest was piqued when hearing the title Game of Crowns . Like Bravo announced last year, it's a new reality docu-series that follows six women as they compete on the adult beauty pageant circuit. There's backstabbing, treachery, and sky-high wigs, but without the icky undercurrent of exploitation that runs through Toddlers & Tiaras or Dance Moms. For those of us who love where rhinestones and reality TV meet, Game of Crowns is a dream we didn't even know we had until it came true. The (unusual for Bravo) New England accents and confrontational attitudes are just icing on the bronzed, bedazzled cake.
What's most surprising is how little the child/teen competitions and the "Mrs." competitions differ. These women are caking on spray tans and foundation, their dresses are technicolor explosions of voluminous satin ruffles, there's a swimsuit competition, and they're expected to give the exact same canned answers about volunteering expected from high school students. The only real difference is that for these women, "butt glue" is a serious issue. Yep, they have strong opinions about whether or not gluing your buttcheeks together is acceptable or not.
It's like the Housewife Personal Style Olympics.
The biggest and best Mrs. pageant is "Mrs. America," which the entire cast has either competed in or even won before. Unlike childhood pageants, as long as you show up with enough skills, smarts, and cash (emphasis on the cash), it seems you can compete as much as you want. The cast is filled with happily married career women and moms alike, though 29 year-old Lori-Ann Marchese is poised to steal the entire show. And for those who think these drama queens can't hold a candle to the Westeros monarchs, I present this George R.R. Martin-worthy quote from lifelong pageant competitor Lynne Diamante, courtesy of the series preview.
"Onstage, it's all about world peace. But offstage… it can be war."
Case closed. Forget period shows or gory dramas — Game of Crowns is the only way to satisfy your Game of Thrones cravings this summer.
Image: Jason Wise/Bravo, giphy (2)