Ever since a young age, I found myself sitting around watching home renovation shows with my father. “This Old House” was a show I loved to hate because it always sucked me in when I wanted to be outside enjoying my weekends. I found myself watching these shows not because I really cared about building something – I was about 10 – I just so badly wanted to see the end result. That carried over as I grew up, but really got hooked on the “end result” within the past 10 years or so.
I will watch and get sucked in to any show that involves renovation, especially if I can see the end result before the show is over. Don’t give me a set of “before and after” photos because that will just waste a few hours of my day. I then stumbled upon a show called “The Swan” which aired back around 2004 on of course Fox (the kings of exploiting people for money). Despite the horrible nature of the show, I was completely fascinated watching something other than a house or a car get renovated, this time it was a person!
Never before did I think watching a person completely transform into a living plastic barbie doll in a matter of one hour would become so amazing to me. Of course we got to skip the pain and misery they went through during months of recovery, but that’s the beauty of TV, we didn’t need to see the un-fun stuff, just bring me some horrible teeth and show me a brand new set in an hour and I’m watching that show until I can’t stand myself any longer.
After The Swan, I’d watch anything that gave people visual makeovers such as “10 Years Younger” or “What Not To Wear” to lifestyle makeovers such as “Hoarders” or “Intervention” just to see the last 5 minutes of the show. The sad part is, most of the girls on shows like What Not To Wear looked more attractive to me before they got their makeovers. As far as lifestyle shows, I end up getting more bummed than relieved when like 75% of them seem to have setbacks at the end. I want to see some guy on heroin get better and stay better, go on 10 years younger and get a makeover, then get a promotion because they were lucky enough to run into their boss in “Undercover Boss“. I’m sure the reason I like these type of shows is something I need to save for my therapist, so I’ll continue…
The new fad, and my newest addition appears to currently be weight loss shows. Flip a channel whether it’s MTV, A&E or NBC and you’re going to find a weight loss show running. Shows like “Heavy” and “I Used To Be Fat” are still as exploitative as “The Biggest Loser“, but the latter is just a lousy premise for a show.
To me it’s no different than a show like Intervention lining up a bunch of crack heads, making them run challenges to see who can basically go cold turkey the longest, and the one who breaks first – who likely needs the most help – is cut loose to go back in the world. These people really need help, it’s not like a game show where (usually) very stable mental people (*cough* Phillip) compete for a prize. These are people seeking help for their problems and one show just exploits it majorly.
Aside from the major reason to hate the show, here are some other annoying parts:
- Alison Sweeney is easily the worst host out of any show on TV today, moving Julie Chen out of that spot. It is almost comical how she tries to bring drama whenever she’s on air, even if she’s announcing something like them going home for 2 weeks. I cracked up in the most recent episode when she was narrating the mud challenge channeling her inner Jeff Probst.
- Speaking of being over-dramatic, hello Jillian Michaels! She is just dying for some type of award, isn’t she? Or does she act like that to sell more nutritional supplements, video games, dvd’s, etc? We get it, your shtick is to be a “tough trainer” but yelling every second she’s on air gets a bit old and annoying.
- The weigh-in is so annoying. It literally took about 35 minutes to weigh like 10 people. I mean seriously, does this super high tech scale have to bounce around numbers for 30 seconds before spitting out the right answer? I can get a $10 scale at Target that will give me results in 5 seconds and I can spend the next 25 eating a sandwich.
- This has to be the only situation where someone is made to look like an ass for “only” losing 5 pounds in a week. Sure, other people who train hard do get disappointed with themselves if they lose lower than expected weight after a hard week, but they’re only letting themselves down, not a team full of people. Talk about pressure.
I am usually not one to get offended by pretty much anything, but I just can’t stand this show, yet being able to see the damn before and after shots at weigh in always end up sucking me in, and it’s like the producers know it! Every year I try not to watch this show for the reasons listed above (I also refuse to schedule a DVR recording), but every time I see it on I end up watching it until the end and hating myself when it’s over. Why must they do this to me?
How do you guys feel about this show? Do you have any other guilty pleasure shows like this? Let me know so I don’t feel ashamed in myself lol