Monday, September 26, 2011

The Biggest Loser


Last week in the United States (I’m ignorant enough to not know anything much about TV in other countries other than those Japanese reality shows where everyone gets punched in the crotch) the reality show The Biggest Loser started.  In the show they take 15 morbidly obese contestants, scream at them for 8 hours, have a 10 minute choreographed heart to heart to talk about feelings, have a cheesy 30 second product placement for gum or zip-loc bags, and then scream at them for 4 more hours.  It is reality TV at its FINEST.

A lot of people poo-poo the show as setting a bad example – people losing 25 pounds in a week, Bob Harper not telling anyone if he is gay or not, the level of activity that the people are put through (e.g. running a marathon).  Honestly though, I love the show.  It sets a great example for what can happen to anyone given the right support structure, the right training, and the right focus.  Honestly, this not only applies to weight loss, but also running.  In a previous post, I said that I believed that probably 80% of people could be top 10% runners**.  Honestly, for myself included, this would take some sort of Biggest Loser type intervention.  But, it could happen.

There are, however, a few things that I do not like about the show.  Specifically: Anna Kournikova.  The resident militant female, Jillian left the show and the producers decided to replace her with an easy on the eyes tennis star.  The fact that she hasn’t won any majors notwithstanding, I’ve yet to see anything that is particularly awe inspiring or jaw dropping from what she is able to do with the contestants.  Four pounds lost in the first week by two of the contestants!? Where is the screaming a-la Jillian?  What about the cozy bear hugs a-la Bob?  Granted, she has some big shoes to fill, but either Anna is going to have to start punching people in the face or grow a beard – fast.

Finally, the thing that I am  most excited about is the fact that every single one of the 15 contestants will be running a full marathon at the end of the season, even if they get kicked off before that time.  Some people will piss and moan about how unprepared the contestants are or how dangerous it is.  However, to those people I say, “Pound sand.  No one is fully prepared to run a marathon.  They are prepared to their best abilities and they execute on those abilities.  Maybe seeing someone who is 300 pounds will convince someone that they can run a 5K – and THAT would be a great thing for the sport I love.


**Nerds: I do realize that this is a statistical impossibility.  Go back to your abacus

28 comments:

Chad said...

They should bring back Kim.

http://bobjillalison.blogspot.com/2011/05/could-kim-lyons-replace-jillian-on.html

ltlindian said...

I love the idea of The Biggest Loser, however, I stopped watching it a few years ago after all the product placement crap and the crying and cheesy talk. gag. I really just want to see the finale--where people started and where they end up.

Katie said...

i'm so glad the marathon is back. LOVE IT. anna is a mess, ugh. can we bleep her out?

Wym said...

I have a love hate with the show. I dvr and contemplate where the commercials stop...anyway Anna was just a silly choice. And I always cheer for the big black dude, and he always disappoints.

chandy said...

I'll admit it, I love the biggest loser. My husband refuses to watch it...he says if he wanted to see fat people sweating, he'd just go to walmart. But my kids actually like to watch it with me. During the premiere, they kept asking where the girl from 30-day Shred was.

Heather said...

I feel like Ana "faked" tears as well

Caroline said...

ah BL....I like and dislike it but I watch. Anna..no thank you for me. Jillian also no thank you actually. I like Bob.

I like that they brought the marathon for all! that is great.

I hate the strategy part a la survivor. that goes against the main purpose of the show and in the end the biggest looser is the one who yes lost a lot of lbs but also "played" well? makes no sense to me to call it Biggest looser than. Also I hate the product placement BS

Beth (i run like a girl) said...

I've seen the show once or twice. I'm not hooked, but I do love the "you can do it" message. We have a national obesity epidemic. So I agree wholeheartedly. If the show convinces people that they, too, could run a 5k, then it has had a positive effect.

PS - I *heart* my abacus, and I'm not ashamed to admit it!

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Dan Marino disagrees with you about Ana.

Karen said...

yeah - Anna kind of underwhelms me right now... I like that they brought the marathon back too. Wondering if the fact that they told them all about it in the beginning was partially a way of getting the marathon naysayers off their back (you know, the ones who said the contestants didn't possibly have enough time to safely prepare for that distance).

XLMIC said...

Does she wear the gold ...ummm... shirt (?) on the show? I would think that the promise of a shimmy or bend-over would motivate most of the male contestants.

I find it interesting that there has been no mention in this blog of DOLVETT... aka D-Train... aka ... okay, I won't go there. But I find it interesting that all the women's blogs kind of went on non-stop about the guy.. with pictures and fantasies, etc. No mention here. Why do you suppose that is? He motivated me to write my post about the cox. Maybe he can make up for Anna. I have never watched this show so I am basically talking out my ass here.

James said...

Well said about the marathon. I'm not a fan of the show, or any other reality tv, but it does have one glaring advantage. It get's people off their butts and motivated. "If a 350lb guy can do it, I can too!"

Carolina John said...

I would much rather look at a still picture of Anna K than see anything else she has done. I love BL too, and fought hard against the lying they put forth the first few times they had people running a marathon. But now it's getting really interesting, and I can't wait to see all of these guys do it.

But yea, Anna better start hitting the old people harder. They deserve to be beaten down too.

SlimKatie @ Runs for Cookies said...

I was so psyched about the marathon they'll all do!! I think it's a really cool twist this season. Not so cool? Anna. As soon as they announced her name as the new trainer last season, I started screaming at the TV. I'm SURE she'll only be around for one season before they give her the boot.

Seeing them run the marathon IS inspiring, no matter what anyone says. When I was fat, I never dreamed I'd be able to run or lose 100+ pounds--but seeing them do it made me believe I could lose the weight and be a runner someday too. And I did! ;)

Jamoosh said...

I have never watched TBL (?) and have no desire to. Sorry, couldn't really think of anything snarky to say.

Melissa said...

Yay for marathon! Nay for Anna!

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

My previous issues with the marathon was the "oh, by the way, you're running a marathon in three weeks, fatty!!"

They're on the ranch for what, 20 week or something retarded? This is ample time for each and every one of them to be prepared.

About Muriel said...

oh, the melodrama...

Connie said...

I LOVE Biggest Loser! I agree that some of the product placement and cheesy cry sessions are getting a little much but, I am SO looking forward to the marathon!

Runners Fuel said...

I love this show, too!! I agree, Anna sucks on this show. She's a horrible trainer.

BrianFlash said...

Anna is on Biggest Loser?! I think I'm going to have to start watching it.

Make that recording it and fast forwarding until we get gratuitous shots of her in tights...

Jess said...

Don't you have to forfeit your Man-Card for saying that you dislike Anna Kournikova? I'm pretty sure it's law.

Nitmos said...

This is a tired old untruth about Anna that is oft lazily repeated - that she "never won any majors". Not true. Her forte was doubles and she won a few doubles majors, reached #1 as a doubles team. As a single, it is true she never won any majors but was consistently ranked in the top 15 for several years. Which, I know, sucks. Everyone wins majors.

Take the beauty and the posters and all that away - still a pretty accomplished career that most tennis players never achieve.

I'm not a big Anna fan either but....think I'll give a second episode to see what she can do with the old bitties.

Rock on.

Chris K said...

My kid and I always watch this show. Somehow it didn't record last week, so I'm glad I stopped by some Loser Chief Fan's Blog today.

Anna K? Puh-leaze, what a joke. I liked that Boxer girl from last year. She was cute and good.

Cheryl said...

I used to watch BL, but I decided after last year I was done. Why? (a) I was happy for the two sisters losing all that weight, but all the Hallmark moments between them got to be too much; (b) the announcement of Anna K. as the next "trainer." WTF? She's not a trainer. She's their attempt to try to pull in the 18-35 male viewership; and (c) Bob and Jillian hocking their own name brand diet pills and other assorted snake oils. Double WTF!!!

Kate said...

I've seen BL a couple times. I don't watch much TV, but the times it's been on as I passed the TV I've gotten sucked right in. It's both scary and inspiring.

also, you must feel pretty important to have sparked a manly runner comment after his withdrawal from the blogosphere. If I had only known posting cleavage pictures would do the trick I'd have been all over that. :)

Glenn Jones said...

What? Kournikova was a tennis "star"? Well - if being tall, blond and attractive makes you a star....

Laura said...

GREAT post, and I second Rose's comment. I believe anyone can do a marathon if they really put their mind to it.