The Saddest, Biggest Loser Ever

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Obese people are sad. There is no way around that. They're precariously unhealthy and typically miserable about themselves and a show like The Biggest Loser capitalizes on that sadness to make popular, uplifting television. But this particular season of the show (which premiered last night)? Holy clams was it a weeper on a whole new level.

There were your typical people who couldn't do their jobs properly, who worried that they would die and leave their children alone. But there was also one nice lady named Abby whose entire family -- husband and two small children -- was killed in a car wreck. Sheesh. Oh and there was Shay, a formerly homeless 29-year-old whose mother was a heroin addict and who is the biggest contestant the show's ever had. So, yeah. Sad stuff. Shay was also sad in a different way because she kept spouting out all these little sound-bitey mantras ("I have 476 reasons why I'm here," 'cause she weighs that much, etc.). It was a strange reminder that while these folks are certainly damaged and fighting for something real and good and true, they're also still on a reality show and may, at times, be jockeying for camera attention.

Definitely fitting into that mold is Daniel from last season, who was brought back for some reason. He encouraged his new contesta-friends, which is nice, but it was also kinda showy and angled toward the cameras. Anyway! That is cynical and not what this show is about (well, not really). This show is about people losing themselves some pounds. And lose they did! The poor woman who lost her family did well and said inspiring things and the scary lady-trainer wept and said something self-important, because everyone has to weep and say something self-important on this show at some point. I'm eagerly awaiting hostess Alison Sweeney's weepy "look at meee moment."

In the end, the show, as so many reality shows do these days, turns mean and sends someone home. The black team, a family man named Julio and a college student named Alexandra, were in the bottom. They both lost 15 pounds, but Alexandra rightly figured that given Julio's much larger size he could have lost a bit more. Ah well, it didn't matter because Alexandra was voted off. Which I guess is fair. She's only 20 and doesn't have children like Julio does. The good news is that she's kept up with the pound-shedding and has so far lost 60 pounds. So yay for her!

And yay for happy things. Everything else though? Yeah, pretty sad and miserable. This show is such a roller coaster of emotions! I guess that's why people like it. Me, I just watch and wait for Alison's big breakdown.

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