Revamped! Revitalised! Transformed!
Gushing media releases and transparent name changes cannot hide the sad reality that a television show promising to change people’s lives is focussed more on achieving ratings success than the well-being of its contestants.
“I want to fit into a bikini”
“I want to keep my job”
“I want to be sexy”
Yes, yes, all well and good. These are aspirations that millions of us share. But the rotten core of Biggest Loser has been staring us in the face from its inception: it’s not a competition about who can lose the most weight, it’s about outwitting, outplaying and outlasting your competitors.
It’s Survivor for fatties*.
If the producers were truly concerned about the health and well-being of their contestants, and the show had truly been transformed, no-one would be eliminated in a weekly fat-shaming event.
Why are the people who lose the least amount of weight sent home? The people who most need to be there? Isn’t this show meant to be about helping people lose weight?
The biggest losers, apart from the discarded contestants, are the advertisers, who have backed a lame horse and are now associated with this cruel facade.
It’s a shame, as TBLT had enormous promise. Instead of focussing on the game-show aspect, the revamp of the program could have shone a light on the actual reality.
Why are we so fat?
How can we address this?
Is it possible to change our ways?
Instead of watching personal trainers scream disappointedly at dejected contestants for not having the heart to continue, a more inspiring show with informative and interactive examples could have seen TBLT become a must-see-tv experience.
Imagine viewers, not sitting at home, but standing at home – participating in the exercises being displayed on-screen by the contestants and explained helpfully by the caring trainers. An updated morning jazzercise show perhaps, but in a time-slot normally allocated for entertainment. Changing our perspective of what reality programming could be – something to be involved in for real.
Discussing the types of food to eat and avoid in a meaningful way, not a shame-fest. Talking about what proteins and carbohydrates actually do to you, and showing how to you change your eating patterns to reverse the gradual slide to morbid obesity.
Why continue to be a reality game show when TBLT could have transformed into a body and soul reinvigoration experience?
This could be the wake-up call TV executives needed – in their retrospection on how this show failed they may stop wondering how they can shock us into being entertained and figure out how to entice us to become involved.
Sadly for The Biggest Loser Transformed, it will be remembered as the great opportunity that slipped away.
Stephen Scott is an overly-opinionated Gen Xer, who, naturally, like every other middle-age white male, loves Star Wars™ and has a blog.
*Caveat: Let it be known that I, Stephen Scott, am grossly overweight. As a fattie, I’m allowed to refer to our kind in that manner. Just as Tim Minchin aptly pointed out that only a ginger can call another ginger “ginger“.