This is the cheesiest show I watch. It's my guilty pleasure, even more than any other reality TV show. I wince at its cheery forced infomercials for overly processed foods, the sound of the Scale of Doom beeping during its hour-long weigh-ins, the way the camera shakes when heavy contestants walk or fall, the prolonged close-ups on big bellies striated with stretch marks.
That said, watching people losing weight healthily would be as entertaining as watching paint dry. And while I wish I could see more scenes of contestants learning to cook & eat healthily, I think the producers are afraid someone channel surfing might see that part & confuse the show with one of the apprentice chef shows.
But I still value its message about getting out & moving. If I hadn't been watching this show, I would have missed the inspiring sight of Tara turning herself into an athlete. When I was intimidated by free weights, I remembered the heavy people on the "Biggest Loser" & their struggles. This is the only show I've ever seen where the entire exercise class or the whole population at the gym isn't already svelte & sculpted. These are not actors & actresses & fitness models & professional athletes trying to sell an infomercial device. I had never before seen so many fat people on machines, trying to get healthy, sweating hard, giving it their all. I remain thrilled by that sight. If the show has done anything, it's taken that from a laughing matter to something "heroic," as the trainer Bob keeps saying. I find there to be something of value in those images.
My concerns for the show mostly stem from how hard & how soon they push these contestants. I don't like the injuries. They keep getting bigger. I worry someone will die. That will end the show completely & undo a lot of the good I see it as having done.