Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Memo to the Big Losers at The Biggest Loser

Dear "TBL" producers,

I fully understand that your top priority in life is to make a buck. You have children to feed, mansion mortgages to pay, and Hummers to gas up. I get it. But my patience is wearing thin. See, in your quest to make a buck, you're messing with people's emotions...toying with their lives....humiliating them for entertainment.

It's Tuesday night. And here I am watching the first episode of the season.

You have made it another 'couples' season, which is fine. Get fat together...get healthy together. That makes perfect sense. The part that rubs me the wrong way is that eventually, I know, these 'couples' will be forced to compete against each other. Mother vs. son, cousin vs. cousin, husband vs. wife, etc. That's strike #1. (Edited to add: Holy cow. You're making them compete against each other in the FIRST episode? I'm watching the contestants try to decide on which twin brother to send home.)

Strike #2 - In this first episode, you reached a new low. It's bad enough that you make these people take their shirts off for the weigh ins. (Seriously? Is that 1 pound shirt going to make or break anyone? Especially a 400 pound person? How about, for every single weigh in, from day 1, they wear the exact same shorts and shirt. The clothing would remain constant while the weight fluctuates. Don't you think they suffer enough humiliation in their every day lives without disrobing in front of the entire world?) This time around, you forced them to complete the first weigh in at home....in front of family members, neighbors, co-workers, random strangers. And for extra shock value, you were sure to include lots of close-up camera shots of stretch marks, blubbery tummies, man-boobs, back fat, and dimply thighs.

Strike #3 - Did you actually edit the footage so when the one guy was walking by it would look like he was SO HUGE that he MADE THE EARTH SHAKE?! Fantastic. I bet you'll sleep better tonight knowing you got to pile on the shame just a bit more.

Strike #4 - You brought all of these teams to the ranch and announced that the first challenge would be taking place immediately and that the 2 teams who came in last would be going home. Without even unpacking a bag.

Just in case you are completely oblivious, let me explain something to you. These people are at death's door. Morbid? Not really. When the man or woman standing in front of you weighs 450 pounds...you should be thankful that they're standing at all. The next breath could bring a stroke or a heart attack. You cannot bring them to the ranch and say, "Aw. Too bad. You'll have to go home now."

* * * * * * * * *

My proposal is this: Expand your facilities and staff enough to accommodate 50 contestants. Bring all 50 people to your ranch and give them a 2 week boot camp. Intensive nutrition classes, daily cooking instruction, and gut-busting workouts. Throw in a couple challenges with rewards meant to inspire or boost morale. At the end of 2 weeks, send home the 10 people who lost the least. Skip the voting, for now. At week 3, send home another 5. At week 4, send home another 5. And so on. At some point, the voting can be introduced (or not. I would be fine without the sobbing and the drama and the pleading.).

And another thing. Relax with the in-show infomercials. I know, I know....you're heavily sponsored by Brita. But do I need Jillian to tell me how often to change the filter or that it can be found "in the hardware section at your local Wal-Mart?" Not really. When, exactly, was the last time Jillian was even IN a Wal-Mart?

Oh, and before I forget...I'm not suffering from dementia and my IQ is higher than 20, so I don't need you to repeat things that I just saw or heard 5 minutes ago before the commercial break. If, before the commercial break, Contestant X falls off the treadmill and pukes on the floor, I don't need to see the footage again of Contestant X falling of the treadmill and puking on the floor. I also don't need a recap of the first hour before the second hour starts. Thank heaven for the DVR from my cable provider. I can turn your 2 hour train wreck into a solid one-hour show.

Shape up, folks. I'm getting tired of watching you all tap dance in a puddle of human shame. Focus your priorities before the audience starts drifting away.

Cuz it's really hard to make money hand over fist if your core demographic gets sick of your shenanigans and total lack of respect for suffering.

A formerly devoted fan who is rapidly losing patience.


  1. amen sistah, and don't even get me started on the bachelor.....

  2. I say we all get in the wayback machine and go back to the time when there wasn't any reality TV. I agree that all the stuff they do on TBL is demeaning (although I'm not sure I've ever watched a complete episode - I was never a fan of the show). However, they're in it for the drama, and sadly, I think you're in the minority. There are a lot of people who like watching that stuff. I think that pretty much all reality shows end up "going there". That's why, in general, I don't watch them (except Top Chef - I put up with the drama because I like watching what they come up with).


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