Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Biggest Loser

The first rule of fat club? You do not talk about fat club.

The second rule of fat club? You do not talk about fat club!

And so tonight, The Biggest Loser is on TV.

This is a great show to watch. It's a real feel good TV show full of ups and downs and a roller coaster ride of emotions.

The start of each new season makes you feel good about yourself. No matter how many times you press the snooze button on your alarm clock to avoid going to the gym, or how many squares of dairy milk you have with your cup of tea, at least you're not as bad as those fatties right?

For two hours every Tuesday, or an hour and 20 minutes whenever you catch up with your DVR you can follow the efforts of the contestants and exercise vicariously through them. Sometimes we like to order a pizza and then settle down to watch. Is that so wrong??

There have been some changes creeping in to the show in recent seasons that don't sit quite right with me. The product placement was the first thing I noticed. At first it was a way of passing on advice on what the contestants should be eating and drinking but now the situations are so contrived and obvious that they may as well cut to commercials. "Its 4pm Bob and I'm craving something sweet so I think I'll raid the pantry and see what I can find". "No, wait, don't do that. Chewing Extra sugar free gum will satisfy those sweet cravings while containing virtually no calories. Oh, and don't forget to wash it down with a glass of Britta filtered water."

The other thing that really bugs me about the show these days is the editing. You know that if during a challenge they cut to an interview with a contestant and they are really confident about the challenge, you know they're going to fall flat on their face.

Its the same with the weigh ins. They'll show a number of contestants weighing and then go to a commercial break. Only before the commercial break, they'll show clips of various people's reactions to the result about to be revealed that have no baring on reality. The action always ends with a slow motion montage of the contestants, and the trainers shocked expressions as though someone has chewed off their own leg right in front of them to lose those extra few pounds.

After the commercial break the results will be revealed and you know that it will be the complete opposite of what was suggested by the editing.

Why is this necessary? We're still going to watch. We don't want little teasers about what is about to happen, as soon as we've fast forwarded through the commercials we'll see it for ourselves anyway. We can wait.

Do they think that our attention span is so short that we'll forget what we were doing and change the channel if they don't keep us on the edge of our seat desperate to see what was so shocking that Bob held his head in his hands?

It is really annoying when it is played in real time and you see the truth. The big girl in the purple t-shirt wasn't covering her mouth because she was so shocked that the big girl in the yellow only lost two pounds. It turns out she was just yawning and covering her mouth out of politeness.

One thing I noticed on last weeks show was one of the trainers actually telling the contestants who to vote off. I think this goes against the spirit of the game. The trainers are there to help the contestants lose weight. It's not about them. They're not the winners. Don't let it become Bob versus Jillian.

As the finale approaches, you start feeling inspired by the contestants and thinking if they can do it, so can you. And you will. Starting Monday.

Then Monday comes around and you decide to go to the gym on Tuesday instead. If you do an extra half an hour it will make up for missing Monday so you feel better about hitting that snooze button.

I suppose the secret is knowing when to make the change for yourself. By all means watch the show and get inspired but if you're doing it because of the people on TV, the momentum is unlikely to last long. Only you will know when the time is right for you. But the time is rarely next Monday.

The Biggest Loser is on NBC, Tuesdays at 7pm Central time. You can also check out The Biggest Loser Club online.

No comments:

Post a Comment