Saturday, February 02, 2013

Jillian Michaels (and Shauna) made my day

I had not noticed that there was a new episode of The Jillian Michaels Show downloaded to my phone, but when I listened to it I felt like I had been validated for everything I've written in my Biggest Loser Reviews, especially my complaints about the premiere. Jillian backed me up for wondering how someone who had serious problems like Nikki's ever made it past the psych evaluation.  She acknowledged that we never got the story of what was happening with Nate and T.C. She gave us great insight into some of the behind-the-scenes stuff with Danni and Pam. She even dishes a little about Sunny and how she got on the show in the hopes of helping her mom.

Most importantly, she said that she hated that the contestants' stories get so watered down that we never understand why they got fat in the first place or how they get better. If the show's producers have any sense that the show could help people at home lose weight, we have to understand that people don't get the size that these contestants are just because they like cheeseburgers and hate to exercise. And suggesting that dieting and exercising alone are what is helping the contestants change seems a little like suggesting that if you dump an alcoholic's booze down the drain, that will solve the drinking problem.

Jillian says that the reasons the producers give us the watered-down, formulaic version of the show is that they think we're not smart enough to understand more complicated storylines. This explains why NBC is failing so badly as a network -- they underestimate their audience. The one hit show they have, this show, could be a million times better than it is, but they don't care as long as the ratings are good.  They seem to conspire to kill any smart, insightful show that accidentally makes its way onto their network, like "Freaks and Geeks," or "30 Rock." They stick to mostly dumb shows -- go to their website, and there is actually a show called "American Ninja Warrior." That's how smart they think we are. Idiots.

Like Jillian says, there is smart TV out there, and it does find an audience.  "Downton Abbey." "Mad Men." "Breaking Bad." They are usually longer shows with big budgets and few commercials (or none).  Tradtional broadcast TV is dying because it deserves to die. Maybe someday, someone will mine all the film they shot for these episodes, and give us a completely different version. The version that we, and the contestants, deserve.


  1. 6:44 PM

    "Tradtional broadcast TV is dying because it deserves to die. " ooh i love that. fab, fab post Jen :)

    1. 6:47 PM

      Thanks, and thanks again for pointing me to the podcast!

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"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07