Talking Television and Values.

Reality TV is Losing Weight

Posted by Travis R Grant on September 21, 2006

Many may think that this recommendation is absurd. To be honest with you when I first heard about The Biggest Loser, I thought that it would be really lame television. Survivor on Atkins, or even worse Big Brother starring Richard Simmons.

However, one boring day, I was flipping through stations and found The Biggest Loser as the only thing worth watching. And as I watched it I realized that not only is this show rather well produced, it is also doing a whole lot of good.

This season they pulled a publicity stunt to try and attract a larger audience. They claimed that they were beginning this season with 50 contestants, one from every state. Of course this is only a gimmick to encourage the viewer to watch and cheer for their state’s representative.

Well, of course they can’t run an effective reality show focusing on 50 people. So, right off the bat, 36 contestants were eliminated.

How heart breaking. Most contestants worked really hard to get that far in the process. Then they find out that the odds are against them. They are likely to be eliminated before even 1 hour of air time. With 50 people, that isn’t enough for even 15 minutes of fame.

Getting eliminated so easily could also send many back to the old school-yard-pick days and cause them to gain more weight. What good is that going to do for America?

But wait. This show has really taken a very socially responsible approach, and they are giving each of the 36 a chance at 2 spots to come back on the show. They have to earn it. The two contestants who lose the most weight on their own while not on the show will be given a chance to compete.

I am not sure how far into the show they are going to be when they come in, but it will be neat to see who pushes the most to get on the show. It will be great to watch.

This sense of social responsibility goes further than this season. They have always encouraged contestants who are voted off to keep up what they learn, and they have final segments featuring how well they are doing.

I think that this is one of the great examples of the good that television can do. Many who are watching this show are thinking to themselves that they too can lose the wait. They are learning tips and pointers about how to do it. They are learning the importance of eating right and exercising.

Too bad I was watching this show while shoveling a cinnamon roll in my face.


One Response to “Reality TV is Losing Weight”

  1. jim said

    Hey Travis,

    First off, thanks for visiting my site.

    I gotta tell you that I agree with your view on The Biggest Loser. So much of TV “reality shows” show the worst in people. Regardless of whether someone wins or loses on The Biggest Loser, they can take something away from the show.

    That being said, and at the risk of coming across as a hypocrite, I’m not a constant watcher of the show. I watched a few episodes last season. I must admit I’ve been a fan of Survivor since season one. It’s is about the only reality show I can handle on a regular basis.

    Perhaps “socially conscious” reality shows will be the next trend in TV programming.


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