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‘The Biggest Loser: Couples’ recap, episode 1

biggestloser.wadeonbirmingham.com
By Ginny

It’s a new season of “The Biggest Loser,” and in case you haven’t heard, this time it’s couples. (Next season: people and their pets).

One of the couples (which is maybe not how they refer to themselves, I’m thinking) is a pair of former Crimson Tide football players. Roger Shultz of Enterprise and Trent Patterson were something called a “center” and a “guard,” respectively. Together, they’re just 16 ounces shy of 800 pounds.

How did they fare on the two-hour season premiere New Year’s Day spectacular?

Two-hour ep in two-plus minutes.

We begin with a quick retrospective of the first four seasons of “Loser” that includes the awesome voiceover, “Millions of overweight Americans have tried out for the chance to leave their friends and families behind.” And really, why wouldn’t they?

After this awkward lead-in, we’re introduced to the new couples gimmick and the 10 team concepts:

  1. best friends,
  2. brothers,
  3. our former teammates (sporting some bitchin’ pornstaches),
  4. mother/daughter,
  5. father/daughter,
  6. mother/son,
  7. husband/wife,
  8. newlyweds,
  9. divorced couple,
  10. and complete strangers from the show’s online weight-loss club (who at the very least have the common experience of failing at Internet dieting).

The Biggest Loser

‘If I couldn’t get a prime number, I was hoping for a multiple of 13.’
‘I think I ate my sideburns.’

We’re all in this together: “Can two people who have gotten fat together lose weight together?” That’s a good question, which won’t be answered here, since many of these people did not gain weight together. But I’m quickly distracted from that when we’re given beauty shots and clips of trainers Jillian Michaels, who I have a girl crush on, and Bob Harper, who I have a friend crush on.

(I like Jillian for the same reason that I like Gordon Ramsay: She’s mean and hot. I would totally call Bob and whine about how bad Jillian was treating me. And he’d be there for me.)

Finally, the players announce their reasons for losing weight with a montage, complete with swelling Avril Lavigne music. No aspect of this is any less generic than you think it is. I cry anyway. Then, I’m over it.

The Biggest Loser

It’s no Super Bowl Shuffle.

We’re introduced to the teams, again, the day before starting. They must’ve shot 20,000 hours of footage for this episode, because I have never heard so many soundbites in a row.

The Biggest Loser

Everything that annoys me about baby boomer women
can be summed up in this photo.

Bottoms up: Roger and Trent introduce themselves as the Bama Slammers, which is not even remotely the first thing in this episode that’s made me want a drink.

Roger, who sounds like Coach Taylor but looks like Buddy Garrity, says they’ve been through hell on the football field, “workin’ out and trainin’ and bein’ competitive and havin’ to rally each other and lift spirits.”

Trent completes the sentiment, asserting that he doesn’t think any other contestants will be able to “relate on that level, like we’re going to be able to.” He finishes, “We’re going to win ‘The Biggest Loser.’ ” Honestly, I don’t doubt it for a second.

The teams meet for the first time in a grassy field behind a dandelion.

The Biggest Loser

Behold the giant dandelion.

Climb ev’ry mountain: Host Alison Sweeney gives them their first challenge, to race up and down a big hill for their choice of trainer. (No, it doesn’t make sense to me either.) But then, we switch to Jillian talking about her training style: “aggressive,” “violent” and “uncomfortable.” Then she says she needs to be my brother, best friend and wife. Preach.

All our Jacks and Jills head up the hill. With so much family drama already between the related couples, I’m worried it will take some challenge wins to get our boys onscreen. Trent confesses that his heart was pounding immediately and that his hamstrings were incredibly sore. Maybe today, but I think the linemen will get back in shape much quicker than the others.

They don’t finish first, but they do come in third and choose Jillian, earning Roger a hearty smack on the rear. He says that this may be the last time she’s so encouraging (I like that he sees Jillian spanking him as “encouraging”); from now on, she’ll be “cussin’ them.”

Bob is a little upset that most of the teams are choosing Jillian. Bob, I’m there for you.

Pitching a tint: The trainers hand out the T-shirts. The Bama boys get gray. Apparently, Michael Scott assigns the rest, because the girl teams get either pink or purple, and the black married couple gets brown.

All dressed, we have our first weigh-in. Couples will be weighed and judged together. Thank God. I don’t know if I could endure the number of suspenseful commercial breaks they’d be able to fit with 20 weigh-ins.

The average team weight is around 550, which seems pretty impressive until the grays push the scale to 799, with Roger at 363 and Trent at 436. I don’t know how anyone will beat these two. Unless they introduce an Auburn team. Hey!

Roger says they need to lose at least a guard to get back into the competition. Which is good, because it’s time for beatings.

The Biggest Loser

I’m this close to being gay for Jillian.

I guess the grays take their beatings like men, because we see lots of bellyaching, toppling over and vomiting, but the Bama Slammers don’t re-appear until the next segment.

Reality check, stat: It’s a scared-straight trip to the emergency room with a fun detour to the morgue. The contestants should take comfort in the fact that none of them would fit in those drawers.

Roger tearfully relates that being in the morgue makes him think of his wife and child. Grim. He says it’s like a little ol’ kick in the groin and a swat in the ass, but he’s probably just talking about Jillian again.

At the hospital, the ladies visit a former contestant/fertility specialist. The divorced wife (yellow, Kelly) says that not being able to have children with her ex-husband (yellower, Paul) makes her feel unfeminine, which makes me feel like slapping her in the tulips.

You feel unfeminine, you buy stilettos — you don’t make new people. I’m just sayin’.

Up, up and away: The next challenge involves racing around a field dragging giant helium balloons. The winning team will have 2 pounds added to their total loss at the weigh-in, while the losing team will have 2 pounds subtracted.

Fortunately, background music provides the aural drama, because otherwise it looks like a bunch of fat people walking slowly around a field. If this event doesn’t end up as a crowd participation event at a Barons game, I will eat my shorts.

The Biggest Loser

‘The winning balloon’s section wins
$5 coupons to Papa John’s Pizza!’

Gray comes in fourth, I think. They definitely don’t win (the brothers repeat) or lose (the 22-year-old fat-camp counselors, which begs the question: Is this a camp where you get fat?).

Behind the green boor: Time for the green team’s Lynn, maybe the biggest, whiniest asshole I’ve seen since Ron on “The Amazing Race.” His daughter Jenni makes plea after fruitless plea for his support. I wonder why she gained weight …

The Biggest Loser

‘We haven’t been down 49 since the Iron Bowl! Hey!’

The weigh-in: The Bama Slammers lose 49 freakin’ pounds, 6.13 percent, placing them third for the week.

Jenni loses the least weight, thanks to Dad’s jerky attitude, putting their team in the bottom two. The purple team, fat-camp counselors/best friends Jenn and Maggie, join them.

Thankfully, the green jackass is sent home, though not so thankfully along with his long-suffering daughter. He promises to be better when they get home. He also says he only hits her because she cries.

“The Biggest Loser: Couples” airs at 7 p.m. Tuesdays on NBC 13.

Next: Maybe I decide whether to call the teams by their label (i.e. former teammates) or their color (i.e. gray) or their names. Or their nicknames. Eh, maybe I’ll just talk about Jillian.

Also:

Ginny, pop culture and fashion maven, dares you to read her blog, whiskey. tango. foxtrot., at blog.myspace.com/whiskeytangofoxtrotblog.

• • •

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