Say what you want about Dancing With the Stars or The Surreal Life. Go ahead and mock that Flavor Flav show and the inane lives of teenage rich kids as seen on MTV’s Laguna Beach. But don’t you dare include any of those shows in the same breath as The Biggest Loser, possibly the most important show to hit primetime in the past 50 years.
If you have not seen Loser, the basic premise is to get 14 morbidly obese people to lose as much weight as humanly possible in 100 days. They are divided into two teams and each team is given a personal trainer that works them like they have never been worked – and many of them really have never worked out. They are also taught important lessons about diet e.g. what is healthy and what is fat-inducing. They are taught how to order at a restaurant, how to prepare healthy family meals, how to count calories and so much more. Sure, there are blatant product placements and shameless ads for everything from low-fat turkey to exercise bikes but it’s all in good fat, er, fun. And the best part about all these life lessons that the losers get is that they are televised and even charted for the millions of obese watchers at home.