Tricks of the Trade from Kim of Queens

Kim of Queens (Photo: Lifetime)
Kim of Queens (Photo: Lifetime)

Lifetime debuted its newest tween/teenage extra-curricular reality series Kim of Queens. What tricks of the trade did we learn about the Georgia pageant preparation circuit?Expert: Kim Gravel, a former Miss Georgia from over 20 years ago who now owns and operates her own pageant preparation company Pageant Place.

Clientele: From the premiere episode, it looks like Kim has a posse of eight or nine “pros” in the 12-to-15 age range, though based on the events of the premiere and clips of next week’s episode Kim will probably have a new client each week.

Additional Staff: Kim’s sister Allisyn and her mother. The two serve more as a distraction and inconvenience, which works great for producers and the various “accidents” that may happen (lost costumes, for example).

Test Case: This week’s client is Addison, an inarticulate tomboy and *gasp* clog dancer. Addison’s mom wants her daughter to give pageants a try as the zombie “pros” look on. All the girls will prepare for the Sweet Onion Blossom pageant, which includes a camo-themed talent portion. What can we learn from how Kim prepares her southern Eliza Doolittle?

Use half of your face to test out makeup (and scare the bejeezus out of others).

Although I wonder why Kim’s one-on-one attention with Addison wasn’t handled in a private consultation as opposed to a group lesson, the one area where everyone got helpful info was during a makeup test. Kim painted the right side of Addison’s face with a natural look, while the other half was what could be described as the Tammy Faye sampler. Addison is still not comfortable with make up; I was not comfortable with how she reminded me of Harvey Dent.

The correct answer to an interview question: Answer, why, example.

Yes, the questions are as vapid as one would expect from a pageant, but I actually like this piece of advice. It isn’t an instant fix for elocution, which Addison needs to work on to avoid getting subtitled. However, as a means to organize thoughts, this trick is a keeper.

The talent portion is not about talent.

I had no idea clog dancing was the kiss of death in the talent competition. Even though this was Addison’s skill, Kim convinced her to translate her skills to tap dancing. She tells her client the two differences between clogging and tapping are class and skill. However, when facing a pageant panel, it’s more about faking the skill and giving a class performance. This was punctuated shortly before Addison’s performance with a reminder to incorporate wild gesticulating throughout the steps.

Delegate tasks to wacky family members for easier fast forwarding.

Kim of Queens could easily be a half-hour show if the nonsense with her mom and sister had been eliminated. Although they serve as other adults for Kim to interact with, their hijinks dumbed down what is otherwise a fairly entertaining makeover show. Say what you will about the kiddie pageant circuit, Kim’s heart is in the right place. She isn’t purposely abrasive, and her yelling comes from enthusiasm rather than the reality TV playbook.

Verdict: I did not to expect to enjoy this show when I tuned in and was pleasantly surprised. Kim’s personality is endearing and she knows what she’s doing. There does not appear to be any overall story arcs, which means it will probably be the same format each week. Kim of Queens isn’t horrifying the way Toddlers & Tiaras can be, but like most makeover shows there won’t be much variation week-to-week. If you have the chance to dip in or catch a marathon, this show could be fun, but no need to season pass it on your DVR.

Kim of Queens airs Tuesdays at 10pm on Lifetime.

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About Mike McComb 656 Articles

Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it “TV Camp.” After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv