This is a “Nightline” report on toddler beauty pageants that pulls most of its material from TLC’s “Toddlers & Tiaras.” It’s eight minutes long. At two minutes, my eye started twitching. Just before the four-minute mark, I became physically ill and had to stop watching. And yet Michelle Collins of Best Week Ever, who ordinarily seems charming and not insane, claims that “T&T” is “one of the most hilarious and yet genuinely entertaining programs to come out of the basic cable landscape this summer.”
I’m sorry, I know train wrecks can be fun to watch, but that doesn’t mean I feel right poking through twisted steel to see the mutilated bodies. TLC is nothing more than a 21st century freak show — note the watermark in the lower right advertising “Treeman Meets Treeman” (more here) — and the people who tune in today are the same people who paid a nickel to gawk at the bearded lady a hundred and twenty years ago. The only difference is that now it’s free, and the bearded lady is your mom.