Reality Shows, TV

Heavy: A&E Weight Loss Show Takes Reality to a New Level

For regular spunkybean readers, you know we try to keep things “light” around here and, um, no that wasn’t a fat-joke. We like to dance with stars, sing with Ryan Seacrest, and laugh at the fools on shows like Survivor and The Bachelor. But recently our friends at A&E asked us if we might like to help them promote a show about weight-loss, but not the Biggest Loser kind of weight-loss. Instead, what we witnessed in the viewing of the premier was something much more.

A&E’s Heavy is heart breaking and gut wrenching. On the surface, it looks like a show about people losing weight, but it’s actually about people feeling helpless and out of control and trying desperately to reclaim their lives. What will jump out at you is the parallels an eating addiction has with drug addiction or alcoholism. We tend to sympathize with people who fall victim to chemical addiction, but we don’t always do the same for the extreme obese. Addiction is about obeying a master and not being able to tell that master “no.” More than a few shows on cable, currently, want you to look at people with strange addictions or having interventions, but these shows are one-and-done. They show you someone struggling, or a family begging for help, and then move onto the next story.

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