Tuesday, November 29, 2011

5 Things I Hate About The Biggest Loser.

Of the many reality TV shows my Wife is a fan of, The Biggest Loser has to be top of the heap. She records each episode, knows who all the contestants/trainers are, and is enraptured whenever it's on.

I don't hate the show outright - I do believe that it's sending out a positive message, and I like to see the contestant's end results.

But there are some things I can't STAND about the show and drive me nuts whenever I see them:

  1. "It's a JOURNEY": Having gone from fat to thin and back again, I understand that losing weight is a long and arduous process. "Journey" is probably the correct word to use in the context of the show. But they use it so fucking much that it kills me. Every time they talk, it's "I'm just starting on my Journey", "Thanks for being part of my journey.", "I'll never forget the things I've learned on this journey.". Journey gets mentioned so much you'd think Steve Perry was a producer for the show - I'm waiting for "Don't Stop Believing" to be played during the closing credits.
  2. Tears, Tears, and more Tears: - While they never really show the contestants eating during the show, they do show them crying a lot. Be it at the gym, during a weigh-in, or when they have to vote someone off, there's more crying in this show than almost anything else. I get how being away from your family and friends on a multi-million dollar fitness ranch (Paid for), being trained personally by professionals (for free), and having the opportunity to win $$ and prizes could be emotionally draining (yeah right) - I don't think it's anything to cry about. And the crying when you're voting someone off? Isn't that the point of the show? Suck it up, fatties - put away the Kleenex and get back on the treadmill.
  3. Playing the Game is Bad: - To make this point clear, the Biggest Loser is a Game Show. It's a contest to see who can lose the most weight and win the cash at the end. There is a point of the game where the a contestant can go either of two ways when casting their vote for who to eliminate - they can choose to get rid of the person who is the biggest threat to them (who may potentially lose more weight than them), or eliminate someone who is not as much of a threat. Every single time a contestant chooses to "play the game" and get rid of their biggest competitor they are vilified by the other contestants and portrayed in the worst possible light. What's the point of going on the show if you aren't going to try to win? Why is it bad to make sure you get to stay that extra week and last longer than the next guy? Making someone look evil for playing the game by the rules is retarded.
  4. Product Placement: Product placement is a fact of life. I understand that. Showing people drinking from their Brita© water jugs or running on the Cybex© treadmills - that's okay by me. Having the contestants do awkward scenes about chewing Extra© gum or eating at Subway© not only look stupid, but really push the fact that the show isn't 100% about helping people - it's about selling products and ideas to people who look to the show for inspiration and motivation.Whoring your show out to advertisers just isn't endearing to me.
  5. Show the Work. From what I see of the show it usually follows a format: The contestants do a contest or temptation for a prize, they do some sort of activity or go somewhere with the trainer, they talk about their "journey", someone cries, maybe another contest, they do a "Last Chance" workout with the trainers and then it's off to the weigh-in - where sometimes they drop 10+ pounds in a week. I think it's bullshit. To lose that kind of weight (outside of water weight) a contestant has to burn an extra 5000 calories a day - why not show the work? They are obviously doing it, so why not show it? Show them getting up at 6am and putting 6+ hours a day in the gym. Show the work they do when they aren't stacked in front of a camera. It's great that you can let people know it's possible to lose weight on that scale, but you're lying to your audience by only showing the highlights - put some reality back in the show and have a "day in the life" episode where the effort expended is given the credit it's due.

I know - for a guy who supposedly "hates" the show, I know a lot about it. What can I say? I'm usually in the same room when it's on, and I like to see the workouts that they do - it's hard not to get drawn into it. I just wish that they would fix those things that I've mentioned.

And while they are at it, make it so I don't feel guilty for eating a snack while it's on, okay? You'd think that seeing obese people struggle to do exercises would destroy my appetite, but guess again.

Go figure.


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