'The Cho Show: The Cho-Universe Pageant': Episode 2 Recap
Don't get me wrong: though improved, the show has a way to go in the biting humor department, and it remains too stagey for my taste (but what else to expect from what Margaret is calling "semi-scripted reality"). Still, the latest episode showcased a trifle more heart and the Cho bravura that fans have come to know and love.
The show opened with Margaret and feisty four-foot-something assistant Selene mulling over the idea of a mother-daughter beauty pageant done Cho-style. Both women - candid about their struggles with issues of height, size and race - want an event that reflects an atmosphere where diversity and individuality are celebrated over empirical ideas of beauty. I'm sure they also wanted an excuse to wear a few cute ensembles.
When the duo run the idea by Mr. And Mrs. Cho - settling into their roles as wise sages - there was a genuine moment when Cho got emotional, reflecting on bullying she suffered as a child. Even more affecting are her father's tears, and he admitted he never realized his daughter's "deep feeling" on the subject.
In its typical breakneck editing, we watched as the girls met with a pageant advisor (three winning tips: Mention wanting the troops out of Iraq, have amazing reactions and tan, tan, TAN!), a ventriloquist to coach them for the talent portion (Mrs. Cho shows aptitude at saying 'bitch' without moving her lips) and a tanning salon ("I want to be so tan that cabs won't stop for me"). In perhaps the best (visual) commentary on the show's theme of self-acceptance, Margaret Cho stripped down to a bikini and nonchalantly displayed her real-sized body while being spray tanned.
The pageant itself attracted a diverse pool of contestants, from real mother/daughter duos to friends to drag queens, all different shapes and colors. Cho friends Michelle Rodriguez ("Lost") and Alec Mapa ("Ugly Betty") were two of the pageant judges who presided over the talent and evening gown competitions. There was no swimsuit portion, because as Cho artfully explained, "F--- that F---ing Bullsh*t!"
An approving and entertained audience whooped it up for Margaret and Selene's naughty riff on Shari Lewis and Lambchop during the talent portion, but the cheers were never louder than when the judges declared there would be no losers. "Ultimately," Michelle Rodriguez told the contestants "the only opinion that matters is your own."
If only we all lived in the Cho-Universe.
Anybody else catch "The Cho Show"? Make a comment!
Story by Shannon Peace
Starpulse contributing writer
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