In the Sunday Herald Sun, they had a double page about ratings and the likelihood of success of certain shows on free – to – air TV. One show mentioned was Australia’s “The Biggest Loser”. The article went on to say that the last season of TBL last year, featuring contestants from Victorian town, Ararat, went down in ratings than expected. Is TBL a “loser” in terms of ratings? Will they be able to pick it up for this season?
The Biggest Loser originally started in 2004 in the US. It’s aim was to, at least theoretically, to tackle the obesity problem flooding the US, which is a battle that still goes on to this day. The show hasn’t gone without fierce criticism from trainers, dietitians and former contestants and winners have slammed the show for using unhealthy methods of weight loss and accusing the trainers of being unprofessional (see the first link).
The show has also been slammed for it’s editing, with former contestants saying that they’ve been portrayed in a bad way, resulting in public ridicule. It’s obvious for anyone who has watched any of the episodes, either of the Australian or American series, will know that the show is severely manipulative. The show focuses on the drama, rather than the weight loss journey that the contestants are supposed to be on. It’s supposedly original aim to shine a light on the obesity epidemic facing the West and to promote healthy weight has had its mix of success and failure. Even critics do commend the fact that the show has shone a light on these issues.
I have got to say, in the past, I have watched it religiously, probably from the second Australian series onwards. I particularly liked the weigh – ins, just to see how much people had lost. It’s really starting to lose it’s appeal on me, though. Health concerns aside, I’m starting to really have a problem with the emotional manipulation on the show. It’s really become ridiculous how it’s done. Drama in reality Tv, including “The Biggest Loser”, has completely lost its spark for me. Same old, same old, who cares anymore?
I’m not really looking forward to this year’s TBL. I may skim through an odd episode, but don’t hold your breath. With all it’s drama, manipulation and questionable pratices, it just doesn’t seem worth it.
Will you watch “The Biggest Loser” if/ when it airs this year?