Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Biggest Loser and Biggest Doppelganger

Oh good gravy, Miss Muldavy. I didn't get around to visiting many of you at all because I suddenly realized that I had TWO deadlines this week, and I had no inspirational story to share, no insights to offer, no wocka-wocka funnies--Nothin'.

The night before last, I kept waking up trying to think of a topic. Then I would fall back asleep and dream of a topic, wake up all ready to write and then realize, "Oh no. I can't write about that." (Oh, wouldn't YOU like to know!) No, seriously, it would be some lame topic that seemed Pulitzer-worthy when I was unconscious and ridiculous when I woke up. And that was a fun night, oh yes.

Anyway, from the moment I came home from work, my hinder was planted in this chair until I got it all pounded out. And may I say that my column is totally ... mediocre.

So let's move on.

Doppelganger. You were right, you smarty pantses. It is sort of synonymous with "likeness, ghostly apparition" like the women in this illustration, or like Mike Meyers and Andrew Lloyd Weber, which I have so aptly pointed out to you before.

Which answer did I think it was? You really want to know? I thought it was slang for either the uvula or the scrotum. I'm not joking. Don't castrate castigate me.

When did I sink to this level?


I have never watched this show from the beginning of the season, and I've only actually caught a couple of episodes, so this is all new to me.

Wow. Wow and Wow.

Do you guys like this show?

Some observations:

In the beginning, one of the young guys said he wanted to live to a ripe old age of 65. I am 46. That makes me 19 years from "ripe." Thanks, Kid.

Upon reaching the ranch, one of the contestants said, "All's we have to do is walk up that hill together." I thought that was an unfortunate proposition right at that moment.

Someone exclaimed, "I can't believe this is where Bob and Jillian KILL PEOPLE! YES!"

I cracked up when they were told their first work outs would be alone and one lady said, "Whut? Alone? I can do that at home." I have to agree that it seemed a little anti-climactic to their exciting arrival.

When Bob and Jillian watched the people fumbling around in their first workout alone & without benefit of trainers, (via hidden camera) B & J borderlined on making fun of them, I thought. And the director had the camera do a fake earthquake shake, which I thought was stupid. You don't see me using that word often, but I did not like that. Not funny.

Actual quote from Bob: "The first time I looked at them I said, 'Wow, these guys are big.'" Um, Bob? What show did you think you were on, "The Young and the Restless?"

Jerry the Grandpa passed out within the first five minutes of the show, which was totally scary and disturbing. I realize they edit the episodes, but it looked like he just sort of walked around the gym and passed out. I noticed Bob and Jillian didn't rush over to him right away. Hmm. At that point, I wanted to stop watching.

Then I noticed that Jerry's WIFE didn't go in the ambulance with him to the hospital! What?! I know that she said the paramedics said he would be OK, but Jorge, if you ever pass out within the first five minutes of a TV show, I'm with you in the ambulance, unless we're on the LOST island, and then ... sorry! See ya!

One girl, Laura, cried a lot and threw up on the treadmill, which we got to see.

Jillian stands around snarling a lot.

In the end, the teams of two got on separate scales to measure individual loss and then team loss. The team who lost the most was granted immunity. At one point, the black t-shirt team was in the lead, and the guy goes, "We have freakin' immunity!"


The most scary part of all, well, near the scariness of Jerry the Grandpa fainting, was the results portion of the medical testing. On X-rays, you could see fat on internal organs. The doc explained that their skin could not absorb any more fat and thus the organs had to take it on. I felt like crying.

So, is this entertainment? How do you feel about this show?


Elizabeth Bonds said...

I have a different perspective of this new season of TBL, because I have watched every single season since season 1 from beginning to end. I didn't enjoy this season premier at all. I am not feeling anything for this new cast emotionally as I have with the past 6 seasons. They didn't tell us as much about the people as they normally do. There wasn't a lot of candid talk from the contestants. They jumped right into the contest part and left a lot of the human part out. Now, this season is the first season ever that they sent home that many people. It's something new they are doing. I honestly am not into it. I think this will be the first season ever that I don't want. I just deleted the series recording from my schedule list in my DVR. It's make me sad, because it's one of my favorite shows.

Esthermay said...

I'm totally in the dark on the the 'Biggest Loser' Guess I AM a loser. This is television "reality" entertainment - No? I visit my FaceBook page tonight is this is what EV'ryone is doing. What happened to playing Racko or Monopoly with our loved ones? (I see your doggie plays UNO.)

Oh - I belong in another century.
. . . Seriously, Linda -- you are a hoot. Your blog is the greatest entertainment! You make me want to re-think the mission statement of my blog - but I could never match your wit! You are the queen.
Love ya!
... and yes -- too many Bella's out there - but I wouldn't know it. I'm too busy playing Racko.

~esthermay @The Heart of a Pastor's Wife

Esthermay said...

OOPS! I beleive I just sent my comment on my friend's blogger account. Forgot to log her "off" and me "on." Oh! It's late - we're havin' a pajama party and playing Racko! :-)
Ruth: Never heard of "Biggest Loser" either. We don't watch television. We have a radio like the Walton's though.
Good Blog. FunnyFunnyFunny.
Esthermay: SO there you have it: We know nothing of this show. Couldn't care less.

~esthermay @The Heart of a Pastor's Wife

Becky said...

We (My Love and I) loved this show the first season and second and were totally inspired by what we saw but after that the dramatics kicked in and it became more of a soap opera than a encouraging look what you can do weight loss show. Sort of the same thing that happened to Dr. Phil. :-p

R.L.Scovens said...

When they showed the fat on the internal organs it made me want to cry. They may as well have had my picture up there! I am so serious about getting healthy. This show really helps me know that I am not alone!

ann said...

I have never watched it. If they make fun of the contestants and show them throwing up, I think I'll pass. I'm not even sure if I am going to keep going with Lost. I need a show! I don't have a show. Well, except for Dora, Diego, and Yo Gabba Gabba, Emily's favorites.

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

I very rarely watch reality television. I will say that I have never watched "The Biggest Loser" The play on words in the title of the show start of with a negative connotation. I have alway wondered about the people who willingly sign up for shows that seem to want to exploit and humiliate for entertainment.

My two cents worth.


Faith said...

I don't care for the show. I find my self becoming too judgemental of fat people when I watch it. Plus I find it deplorable how our nation is so obsessed with "reality" tv. It's a waste of my time...however...then again I am an American Idol fan and to some people THAT show is a waste of their time....but I LOVE IT!

Smelling Coffee said...

We've been watchers from the beginning - the kind Bob talked about last night - the ones who are sitting at home eating ice cream and watching The Biggest Loser! That's us - except for me, it's cookie dough...

Anyway...I didn't like this season's opening either. I agree with the first comment - the viewers didn't get a chance to "connect" with any of the contestants - so it's hard to care. However, I do hope the grandpa is ok and the kid makes it to his ripe age goal!

sara said...

I only catch this show once in a while, ironically it is when I am at the gym. that is what they play on one of the TVs....scare tactic to people to work harder? i don't know?! Funny, they usually have the food network on too!!!

Mocha with Linda said...

I've always thought this show is disgusting. I've never been able to watch more than about 30 seconds. I just don't get public humiliation and excoriation!

Not that I'm opinionated or anything!

Deven said...

I have become a regular TBL viewer in the last two seasons, and I usually found it to be inspirational, especially as someone who is working off around 50-60 pounds (still in progress - ha!). But I'm with Elizabeth about this season's opener. I realize they need to come up with fresh twists, etc, but last night was weird. I DO like the health profiles they do for people, especially when they tell them their biological age vs. chronological. I think that's a very clear piece of data that lets people see how taking care of your body adds years to your life. Anyway, I'll still probably give it another week or two. Sometimes it takes me a while to warm up to the contestants.

Susan said...

I LOVE THIS SHOW! And I had to laugh because just yesterday we were talking about it at lunch and the fact that they sometimes glamourized the workouts in past seasons...Yeah sure we saw Jillian "killing them" but we were wondering if there "was puke" and such. Because these ARE BIG people and I KNOW if someone put ME on a treadmill and made me RUN on it, I'd puke. So, I thought it was interesting that they "showed a glimpse" of that after our conversation last night.

I also liked that they made it all rather quick. They can draw out those weigh-ins something awful in past seasons. I loved how they did it quicker.

And, the "your real age" is a real eye opener for so many.

I think this show offers hope to those people who are sitting at home saying, "I can't..." And now that there are people AT HOME doing it from the cast, it will be even better.

I like it.

:-) Susan

Beverlydru said...

I didn't watch the season opener. I used to like it - I found it to be inspiring. But the last season totally lost me- it got so negative. I won't be tuning in again. I'd rather read. (Or Blog!)

Barbara H. said...

Last night was the first time I watched a whole episode. I think partly I am looking for motivation. When I saw some of the people who weighed about what I do, I thought, "That's what I look like -- not just what I see from the shoulders up in my mirror." And the sessions with the doctors were downright scary.

I don't like the trainers yelling at the contestants, and if that ends up being primarily what they do. I'll stop watching. Motivating, "pushing" beyond what they think they can do is one thing. I don't know anyone who gets motivated and encouraged by being yelled at.

Re the throwing up -- I really didn't want to see it, but the thing it did for me was make me realize you can go throw up and then go on, and it might be normal for your body to do that when you jump into training intensely. When I throw up, I tend to stop everything and climb into bed.

I didn't like putting the people in the gym alone while the trainers spied on them. How are they supposed to know what to do?

I just hated splitting the teams up for 30 days. If it were me, I would've thought, "This is NOT what I came here for." telling the ones who went home they could work on losing weight there -- if that hard worked for them they wouldn't have come on the show in the first place.

I felt the same way about the wife not going with the husband on the ambulance.

I don't know if I'll keep watching -- we'll see. I was hoping it would be more instructive and inspirational.

Edwina at The Picket Fence said...

I have watched all the episodes and I am the one they talked about who watch and are eating a bowl of ice cream while they watch

Smilingsal said...

I've never watched more than a snippet of The Biggest Loser. I guess it's because I don't want to feel guilty.

Cyndy said...

Blissfully, we are without cable or the new little box that converts a signal so I have never seen this show.
Having said that, and based on your account of the episode you watched...I would not watch this show because I would feel somehow that I was being voyeur, watching the lowest moments of someones life.
And I thought B & J were supposed to be helping these people, not make fun of them.

Dena said...

I can see how a newcomer to TBL would feel as you do. I have watched every single season since it started and I actually LOVE this show. It's the only tv show that I tivo. I agree that there are parts that I don't like about it. But, that's true with any show, especially reality shows. Jillian does yell, but she has done that since day 1. Some of the contestants like that about her. They need to have the drill seargent type of trainer to get through to them. Me? No thanks...I'd cry. LOL But, this past season they really started showing her softer side and she's actually a really caring person. Bob...gotta love Bob. Jerry's fainting was scary. I agree that his wife should have gone, but I think the show told her to stay behind. I would have said "no way", but that's me. I recommend that you keep giving the show a chance. You will find yourself rooting for certain ones and you will also find yourself inspired by some of the obstacles they overcome - and not just those involving their weight.

Susanne said...

I have never been drawn to the show, but if that opener is what it's about I'll keep passing. Besides American Idol starts next week so that'll suck up my tv time. :v)

Stacy said...

I have not watched this show the last couple of seasons. Although I have become some what addicted to a show on TLC called Ruby. It's about a 700 pound woman and her journey to save her life by losing weight. She is one spunky lady! Anyway...

I am not in favor of a show that advertises itself as a "help", but then really just exploits people...although, if at the end, these people are healthier...the end result is still good - I just don't want to watch it.

On a completely different note - you are hilarious!!

Debbie said...

I haven't ever seen it. I am not feeling very deprived, either. I'd rather be on here reading you all.

Merrie said...

Oh, I can't do the reality shows b/c they just are NOT real... sometimes, I watch just to laugh at the absurdity of them...
And I totally did not know about the doppelganger. I thought it was the turkey hangy down thing.
And... thanks for the recommendation of the book... I'm going out to find it.
One of the things I did not mention is that I, at 59, am the YOUNGEST of all and most have little or no education. This is a real mission. They are also very spiritually illiterate. That is one of the reasons I feel the need to teach. Such pressure!!!!!

Debbie said...

This is the only "reality" show I watch. I agree with parts of what Elizabeth, Devon & Dena said. Overall, I wasn't thrilled with this seasons opener but will continue watching. Love Bob - hate Jillian, but every show has a "bad guy" to keep it entertaining. They usually show more of the real age and medical info which I think has an impact on viewers. Could have done without the visual of the puke - although that might disuade the ice cream watchers!

Greg C said...

I don't like to watch it because they make fun of fat people and I may one day be a fat people. I am hooked on The Repo man.

Chatty Kelly said...

I don't like "reality" TV in general. It's like they take the worst of the population and put them on a show. The dating shows are the WORST! I do watch American Idol but I don't watch it during the first few weeks when they showcase the worst. I usually start watching when it gets down to Top 24.

Have a great day!

Kathryn Magendie said...

omg - your blog is halarious! I'm sitting here laughing and reading - except for some of the BL excerpts and then I'm going "eyewww" or "oh no!" or "dang!"

Thanks for stopping by my blog - I'm SO glad you did, so I could come here and visit. And I love your adorable dog - how sweet...the little sweater - awwww...

I'm bookmarking this page, unless you have "followers" - then I'll stalk, um, follow you....

Jeff and Valerie Carr said...

We don't get a lot of American shows. What we do get is usually a season or two behind. And some US TV that's on the internet is not available to be watched overseas...

I was so stinkin' excited to see your Lost countdown and to know that eventually I'll be able to buy the 5th season.....I MUST know what happens next....

RissaRoo said...

Ugh, I don't even want to *think* about what my internal organs look like! The fat on my thighs is absolutely disgusting enough. Sigh.

I am one of those weirdos who doesn't watch much TV. The TV I *do* watch is absolutely UNreality TV...I love losing myself in all those Masterpiece Theater specials that feature unhappy rich people from the turn of the (last) century, with long flowing dresses and British accents. Reality is what I'm trying to *escape from* when I watch TV, I see enough whining, complaining, competing, insulting and vomiting in real life and have no desire to see more of it on TV! I guess that was more like *four* cents worth, sorry. :o)

Tammy said...

Not to be cold and hard, but I see people like this on a regular basis. And even more I have to provide them with anesthesia. It makes me sad that people allow themselves to get this big. It's hard not to be judgmental, but maybe this show is changing lives. I do not watch and probably won't.

Laurie Ann said...

Never seen it...not sure I want to now. Thank you for my daily dose of laughter. I can always count on you!

Heather of the EO said...

The thing about the Biggest Loser is that the dramatic reality TV show style of it wrecks it. I love the excitement on the last show of the season, seeing these people who feel so great and they're so excited. I love that. But I don't love how they make it like a train wreck and needlessly characterize (with editing) these people as something they most likely are not. If that made sense. I can't form sentences today. Oh well, I'm leaving it.

Another great post from you.

Anonymous said...

I don't watch Biggest Loser, but maybe I should. Maybe it would motivate me to do something about my ever-growing backside and tummy. :)

Kim said...

I'm afraid "reality TV" left me in the dust. The first reality TV show debuted the year we were in Africa and coming back from that, we just had no desire to watch any of the new genre. I don't want to sound sanctimonious, but...seriously?! Play-acting reality is not entertainment in my book. And nothing I've heard since has changed my mind. The bits and pieces I've caught just caused me to cringe and quickly change the channel.

Anonymous said...

Loved the 1st season...when it seemed like they really cared. Now it's just dramatics. No thanks.

A Stone Gatherer said...

I have to admit I have not watched a whole episode. I don't like the challenges and other stuff, but I usually watch the weightins at the end. I love to see the people transformed. Actually if I am going to watch any part of a "reality" show this would be the one, just because of the end by product. These people really lose weight! I have a hard time stomaching Juliann though! She snarls way to much for me!

Cindy Swanson said...

I love the show and I blog about it quite often, but it has really disappointed me lately. I barely made it through last season because of the really awful contestant named Vicky. Ultimately, though, the girl I was rooting for won.

I was really disappointed by last night's episode. Unlike one of your previous commenters, I did feel a connection with many of the participants, and I was looking forward to seeing their weight loss journey...only to have nine of them ripped away.

A blogger named Sam Barrington, who actually happens to be a pastor in Indiana, summed it all up PERFECTLY. Do go read his post:

Finally, don't give up on the show. There's a lot about it that does bother me, and things I question...but ultimately, it's extremely inspiring to me, and I LOVE to watch them transform themselves. It really is one of my favorite shows, up there with "Lost" and "American Idol."

Oh and Linda...thanks so much for the compliment! You made my day. :)

Cindy Swanson said...

One more thing after reading the other comments. Bob and Jillian do yell, and Jillian makes a big deal out of acting like a marine drill instructor...but the truth is, they really love these people, and although you couldn't really see it last night, it does show. I believe both of them are actually very loving and supportive, and i you continue to watch the show, you'll see that coming across.

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

I love this show. I watched it. I wish I could go on it, but I'm about 200 pounds lighter than everyone ... OK, maybe 175 pounds. Anyway, I really want Jillian to be my trainer. I love her! And the girl crying just got on my nerves. You're on "The Biggest Loser," girlie. Did you think you'd be "Sweatin' to the Oldies" with Richard Simmons or something. This is BIG-TIME (Funny ... I just typed BIB-TIME ... which is what they're trying to get away from).

I did feel sorry for the people that had to go home though. I would have been pretty upset if I had to go home the first night.

And, what about the 454 lb. guy? Well, now 424. I'm glad he got to stay.

And, I'm assuming the host is pregnant and not just gained a bunch of weight.

Keep watching. You'll find yourself blubbering like a baby at the end.

The only down-side to the show is that the weigh-in takes like one hour. So, DVR it and you fast-forward through all the drama and commercials. I think the show is actually only 30 minutes long.

My ADHD Me said...

Hi. I have never seen this show but have seen the commercials for it. I really don't like reality tv. I wouldn't, however, call it a waste of time. That is such a relative statement.
My husband says my blogging is a waste of time.
If you enjoy it and it doesn't monopolize your life then I don't considerate it a waste of time.

I do think the camera shaking was cruel. Now as I'm typing this I remembered that I watched Wife Swap on tv last night. (ok, so I guess I DO watch a little bit of reality tv) They swapped a homeschooling, farming, money saving, religious, wife and mother of 8 (she spends $500.00 yearly on the entire family clothes budget) with a shopaholic, lingerie party hostess, loud, boisterous, mom of 2 that never spends time with her kids. THAT was probably a waste of time but I watched the whole thing.

HOUSE, however, is NOT a waste of time...just thought I'd throw that in there.

That's all.

P.S. **wink**

Kelly said...

I've seen bits and pieces of the show over the years, but on New Year's Day I actually watched the Biggest Loser Marathon which showed last season all day from beginning to end, and it captured my attention. I'm also on a diet, a never-ending diet, and trying to lose a total of 100 pounds ( have lost 40 so far) and its sort of inspired me a little. I hate reality tv though, mostly, the way the drag things out and say "we're gonna see what you weigh - right after this message" and send you to commercial. And some of those people who try to be just plain nasty, I just want to send them on home. Let the ones stay who show people out there in TV Land how you should treat people!

Cindy Swanson said...

Yep, Allison Sweeney (the show's host) is preggers. And I agree with Bayou Belle--the ONLY way to watch it is on DVR. Otherwise, the dragging out of the weigh-ins for dramatic effect will drive you up a wall!

Brenda Susan said...

I have never watched the show & now I see that I have made a very wise decision! Sounds really sad & disturbing to me.
I'd much rather sit here & read you Linda! Your blog is so funny & intertaining! Thanks for your "interesting" insights! :)

VaQueenBee said...

I'm coming here a week later than everyone else, but I wanted to leave a comment. This is my favorite show...must see for me the past 4 or 5 seasons. Last season was my least favorite because it was so negative. Hopefully you watched last night because it "Might" have changed your mind. The people were so caring toward each other and I cried through a lot of the show. Bob lost his cool with one of the contestants and thankfully the show bleeps out the curse words (at least what they consider the really bad ones -- we have a TV Guardian for the rest).

I get inspired by this show. These people know what they're getting into when they sign up, and it's not easy, I'm sure!

Anyway, I like the show, but sometimes it is better than others.