Saturday, December 26, 2009

One Big Happy Famiily

Have you seen the promo for TLC's latest dog? "One Big Happy FAMILY" - apparently about the travails of a family in which every member is obese. The promo includes a family member sitting down at the dining room table, and the chair gives way and breaks beneath her heft.

WHAT IS WITH the fascination these days with obesity and watching these poor people sweat, flirt with a coronary, and cry and humiliate themselves about their weight problem on national TV? WHAT IS WITH TLC's continuation of the freak show programming? Do these programs really represent the American family? Charles Manson called his cult a family. Will this be TLC's next concept for entertainment? More 'families' comprised of bizarro psychos whose common denominator and membership card into the 'family' is evil and/or psychosis?
Gee, sounds like fun viewing.

Thank you Ohio Buckeye

34 comments:

fidosmommy said...

Not having seen the show, I have to ask why their story is being told. Is it so we can look at them and gawk? Or is it so we can learn something about what triggers overeating in some people?
Will they begin a healthy eating and exercise program and we see the progress (sort of a gentle Biggest Loser, with several years to reach goals) and the inevitable setbacks, or will we just watch them go through their daily activities or inactivities, extolling the joys of their lifestyle?

I don't want to think this family is being used as a punchline for cruel jokes. I wouldn't mind it if they took us through the whole process of what it takes to realize you have an issue with food, to work through it, and to
begin to resolve it in a healthy manner. Frankly, I think Americans
need a more realistic view of weight loss (Biggest Loser is NOT realistic for most). If this show is a step toward that, then I might not object.

I'll just have to wait and see what it actually is.

Ohio Buckeye said...

Amen, Fido's Mommy!

If this were actually The LEARNING Channel, I might hope to find something educational about this channel's portrayal of a family.

However, since the very first promo includes a chair breaking beneath the weight of one of the characters, it seems clear that this is just one more piece of TLC's brand of 'reality' schlock.

Many of us would be polite enough to avert our eyes in real life if we witnessed a chair giving way to a heavy person. Why, then, are we to consider it appropriate and even 'entertainment' to watch what has every right to remain a personal and private struggle?

Watching people scream, cry, sweat, and generally demean themselves on nat'l tv is NOT entertainment to these eyes. It is merely one more exploitation of the misfortunes of others.

If Nat'l Geo wants to present a program about nontraditional characters or families, odds are I'll tune in because I'm relatively sure the program will be done with a bent toward actual education and done with dignity, respect, and integrity for all involved.

Conversely, TLC's brand of 'reality' is simply a done-in-poor-taste peep show and participation by viewing it just feels perverse.

Vince Anido said...

You all may want to give the show a chance. You might be surprised to find that it is exactly the type of show that you all are hoping for.

Unfortunately TLC's page for the show isn't up yet - but the Coles Family will be on The Today Show on Monday at 8am so you can meet them and get a feel for what we've done with the show.

AuntieBon said...

quote:
Vince Anido said...
You all may want to give the show a chance. You might be surprised to find that it is exactly the type of show that you all are hoping for.

Unfortunately TLC's page for the show isn't up yet - but the Coles Family will be on The Today Show on Monday at 8am so you can meet them and get a feel for what we've done with the show.

Based on your comments I assume you have some connection to the show.

While I would like to believe you, the recent history of TLC makes me doubt that this is anything other than a circus act.

TLC has become, IMHO, no better than a tabloid newspaper on televison.

Mona said...

When the Coles family is on Good Morning America I may tune in simply because I'm watching anyway. I don't watch the Today Show.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Well, of course the family will be on "The Today Show". I'd like to know what exactly is the relationship between The Learning Channel and NBC?

The Learning Channel's track-record with these type of shows portend this to be more of the "freak show" variety.

Maggie said...

I brought this over from GWOP,

Hard to Keep Loving Jon said...
I just watched BIG HAPPY FAMILY on tlc. I expected to laugh/howl at a family who tipped the scales -- each morbidly obese.
I did not laugh at anything. They were a dear family who communicated their love and caring for each other despite their adoration of bad nutrition. With dread tlc they are working to reduce their weight in a healthy way. I do so hope they can achieve their dreams!
Let's hope tlc can vindicate itself and actually follow a family into success and good health -- mental and physical!

For the Moment? said...

I saw the family on the Today Show and do plan to watch the show, although I missed it this time. They seemed to be authentic and I hope the show is as well.

lifeoriley said...

As someone who has a personal experience with a loved one with an eating disorder, I wish there would be less emphasis on weight on TV in the US.
Yes, I caught a little of the show and they did seem like a nice family. Yes, there are major health issues with being obese. Yes--there is an "epidemic." However, a person with an eating disorder sees a show like this an internalizes it--they think that if they eat normally they will wind up like people in this family.
We are bombarded with diet program commercials and tips for healthy eating on talk shows and magazines. There are shows about weight loss--the Biggest Loser and Celebrity Fit Club--none of these things has curtailed the obesity problem in this country.
I suggest that there should be less emphasis on weight and appearance and more emphasis not only on eating healthy, but eating well--let yourself enjoy some small portions or a taste of really, really good food. Don't deny yourself--no food "judgements."
The reason I am saying this is because I believe overeating and anorexia are opposite sides of the same coin. I don't believe that emphasis on dieting really helps either group in the long run.

Vince Anido said...

Now that it has aired, what did you all think of the show? I'm interested to hear your all's opinions.

Yes, I am connected with the show, I was the Lead Editor.

Lucy said...

TLC aka the "Use and Abuse" Channel. I don't watch TLC anymore so I thankfully haven't seen this show. Considering the source (TLC) I'm not surprised ... it's what TLC calls "entertainment" for the masses. It's too bad some people have such low self esteem they let TLC profit off of their weaknesses ... though that seems to be a common denominator in all of TLC's "stars".

Lucy said...

Vince Anido said:
Yes, I am connected with the show, I was the Lead Editor.

Ya and I'm the King of England. Anyways Vince...if you are indeed connected with TLC...be ashamed and don't broadcast that you are.

Soul Untouched said...

Lucy said...

Vince Anido said:
Yes, I am connected with the show, I was the Lead Editor.

Ya and I'm the King of England. Anyways Vince...if you are indeed connected with TLC...be ashamed and don't broadcast that you are.

---

Is there a reason you are being nasty toward this person? He hasn't said anything to deserve your wrath. He has a link to his blog and his web site, so there's no reason to disbelieve him.

Not everyone holds the same opinion of TLC that you do. Telling him to be "ashamed" is incredibly judgmental and downright rude.

AuntieBon said...

I did a quick Google search and there is a Vince Anido that is an editor. Whether the person posting here is that person remains to be seen.

Doesn't matter because it's still exploitation and I can only hope that the entire genre of 'non' reality TV dies a quick death in 2010!

Soul Untouched said...

Why would he set up a blogger account under someone else's name and link to that person's web site? What would that prove? He's not claiming to be Brad Pitt for goodness sakes. You think he's impersonating a film editor? Come on.

I'm not sure how you can claim thast every program on TLC is "exploitation." Did you watch the show in question? If not, how can you form an educated opinion of it?

fostersmom said...

Vince Anido said...
Now that it has aired, what did you all think of the show? I'm interested to hear your all's opinions.

Yes, I am connected with the show, I was the Lead Editor.


I'm sure you have realized you probably won't find too many fans of TLC, and by extension anything airing on the network, here. That being said, I did watch the show. It wasn't as exploitive as other TLC shows, but it still ran in TLC's new circus sideshow/freaks direction. That in it's self leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Take the promo for instance. Is it necessary to show a teenage girl breaking a chair? She's still a child who has to go to school in a few days and I'm sure will be humiliated and ridiculed. As for the show, it wasn't as bad as it could be, but honestly? The family is boring and I can't see their ongoing journey being all that interesting in the long run. I don't want to see those children paraded to more water parks so kids can point and laugh at the fat kids, or for the family to jump on the freebie trip of the week that TLC is oh so fond of, and I can't see them being interesting enough to carry a show when they are just hanging out at home. I checked out your site and saw this is slated for 6 episodes. That seems more than enough. Maybe a progress episode in a year or so would be nice, but I wouldn't care if I never found out what happened to them.

fidosmommy said...

I saw that promo, but did not watch the show mainly because of the promo. The chair breaking
was enough for me. I saw it as an attempt to point a ridiculing finger at a young woman who has a serious condition, and assumed the entire show was going to follow suit. Surely there was some other
moment that could have promoted the show, but no, in TLC fashion, they had to draw the people in by making them shocked, laugh or be
disgusted by watching a large girl
tumble to the floor. I was more than put off by that.

Who came up with this show premise?
What was the true (true!) motivation behind it? I am left to wonder, and since it's TLC, I
am not left with much positive to go on.

The girl didn't repulse me, the promotion of the show using her in that way did. While I had hopes that the show would be sensitive and helpful to the family, the promo I saw proved otherwise to me. They are TLC's new joke, apparently. How utterly sad.

my9cats said...

TLC and Discovery were deleted from my favorites list Summer 2008.Haven't missed it at all. Much better shows to watch on other channels and I have much better things to do with my time.
TLC and Discovery....you are sooooo gone.

just wondering said...

Sorry, Vince. TLC is blocked in this house and has been for over a year, now. TLC is no different than the freak shows at the circus and I never enjoyed those, either.

Midnight Serenade said...

Vince Anido said...
Now that it has aired, what did you all think of the show? I'm interested to hear your all's opinions.

Yes, I am connected with the show, I was the Lead Editor.

**************

One can only hope that he's a film editor and not a script editor! "Your all's?"

Vince Anido said...

I've long given up on 'proving' I am who I say I am on every site I comment on. Thank you to those who have defended me, there really is something about the internet that makes people feel entitled to say things they would never actually say to a person's face - I've come to terms with that.

I knew exactly who I was engaging when I posted here, and simply wanted to thank those who were going to give the show a chance, rather than make a snap judgement based on TLC's history and some admittedly misguided ads. The advertising of our show is completely out of our hands.

All that said, I can understand why many of you aren't fans of the overall network. That sentiment was exactly something we talked about extensively during the production of this show and were extremely careful to avoid. The Executive Producer, and creator, Mike Duffy had his own struggles with his weight and that of his father, so the goal of the first few episodes was to show how society views them counter to the wonderful people they really are. I think we were successful in that, and was curious to see if anyone that actually saw the show agreed.

Tetotomom said...

Vince Anido said...

You all may want to give the show a chance. You might be surprised to find that it is exactly the type of show that you all are hoping for.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Why in the world would anyone want to give this or any other show on TLC a chance. They have already ruined too many lives so they go after a big family...and I don't mean number of kids either. It's just disgusting. TLC is disgusting

Lucy said...

Vince:
I doubt you will get any support from the majority of our bloggers. If I, personally, seemed harsh at first response it is because I used to watch TLC and Discovery Channel exclusively. I had a lot of respect for both and it ticks me off to see how tabloid journalism bucks have become the driving force in forming the type of programming TLC now airs. As you said "many of you aren't fans of the overall network". TLC has a challenge ... to re-build its past fan base by primarily returning to the original "learning" concept as mirrored by the Discovery Channel. Hopefully TLC can do this, wants to do this, and regains the respect it used to enjoy from some of the viewing audience such as myself. Soul Untouched said I was being judgmental (I have a right to judge as a viewer) and downright rude (mot my intention...I was being reactionary...if it came out as rude I apologize as that was not my intent). So Vince I probably won't watch your show ... by the way ... you mention Mike Duffy. Was he a former broadcaster in Toronto cause his name is very familiar. If so ... he's one of the best.

For the Moment? said...

Vince.....

When does this show air? I will watch it and post an objective opinion if you would like. I think I am unjaded enough to do that still. Since I don't keep the channel on all the time like I used to I am not really sure when to catch it. I do appreciate the effort that you/TLC appear to be making to amend itself with some of us diehards that pulled away.

dustilies said...

This might be slightly off-topic here, but since this has been a thread where we are talking to someone who actually works on shows for TLC, I thought I might post this here.

Last night, I was desperate for something to watch--New Year's Eve is such a graveyard for tv! Anyway, I was flipping through channels and hit what turned out to be TLC's Forbidden Love: Polygamy. I'd seen that title in the listings and thought "ewwwwww." But actually it, and the episode that aired after Forbidden Love: Geisha, were really great tv! Dawn Porter is a really good interviewer and journalist who sort of rises above the premise of the show (that she's a thirty-something who hasn't settled down and "needs" to experience all forms of "extreme love" to understand herself). In my academic work (I'm a college prof), I've read and studied a lot about Mormons in the USA and US perceptions of Japan, and I really felt I learned something from both shows. Despite the provocative titles, both shows really respected the groups they presented. Again, part of it is the smarts of Dawn Porter, who just refuses to take the low road (which is not to say that she's not a heck of a lot of fun).

Oh yeah, what's my point? Ummmm, that TLC as a network may scrape pretty low in the barrel in programming and promotion, but there are some perfectly decent programs, produced idependently, floating in the mix.

So Vince, I take it for real that you have no control over the marketing and press-packaging of your show. (Same deal in the book world.) If all the episodes aren't already edited, please fight the good fight against including the bits that may be highlighted by TLC for marketing, but deeply scar the very real people in this family.

I admire your hanging in with us--we do play pretty rough, but there is a lot of wisdom here, as I've found from hanging out at GWoP since last June.

Peace, and all best for the New Year.

fidosmommy said...

I agree. The show on polygamy was exceptionally well done. I used to live next door to a family I later discovered was polyamorous (multiple wives and/or husbands). I admit to being quite shocked at the notion, but this program helped me understand their thinking a whole lot better. It's not a lifestyle for me, and I would not recommend it to anyone I know, but at least I understand it better now.

And I never saw a promo on it, so I have no idea how that few seconds presented the people involved.

Yes, Dawn Porter is excellent at her job.

fidosmommy said...

"Your all's" is a regional saying.
I grew up saying it. Like "Yous"
in New Jersey, where I also used to live.

In casual writing (blogs, for example, or between friends) it is quite commonly used.

For the Moment? said...

fidosmommy said...
"Your all's" is a regional saying.
I grew up saying it. Like "Yous"
in New Jersey, where I also used to live.

-------------------------------

In the south we say y'all or yall, short for you all/your all's. I love our country in that every region has its own flavor. I luv speakin Suthen but yens might not understanit so hafta to watch my ps and qs when I type. Still leave the g offa 'ing all time but try to ketchit.

Can't See Sheep said...

Kudos to you being here Vince, I am glad that you are. I apologize, because I cannot say anything on this show, as I missed it, it couldn't be helped, but I have been watching for a repeat (please tell me it is on again soon.). I have relatives with similar problems, so I was very interested in seeing how this was handled.

Back when I lived in Toronto is was very hard to not know the name Mike Duffy, he is so very well known. I'm am always curious as to what fellow Canucks are putting out there, whether it is good bad or somewhere in between, it's always interesting to see. No, Mike Duffy being Canadian will not colour my thoughts one way or another. Does anyone know when this program next airs so I can set a reminder?

Gina (Mannyed) said...

TLC is like a Coney Island freak show, except on TV.

fidosmommy said...

Is this show still on?

Jean said...

Vince,

After watching seasons of the Biggest Loser, and seasons of Big Medicine, and then my favorite on style T.V. Ruby --- it's like Yawn!

Biggest Loser -- I'm really bored with. It's not reality. We all can't go to the ranch and stay there.

Big Medicine is interesting if one is able to get the insurance money or funding to actually get bariatric surgery. It's very candy coated -- you don't see anyone in pain after the surgery or barfing when the food doesn't agree with someone post surgery.

Ruby? Wow -- that show is really starting to grow on me. It was okay at first. But now that Ruby is getting into her mind on why she is over-eating, and growing stronger on a mental level -- Wow it's great.

So now there's one big happy family. I probably won't watch it. It seems redundant. TLC has gone downhill

Kitty The Dog's Blog said...

I have seen this show and the thing that sticks out to me the most is that this family loves each other so much. The husband surprised the mom at work with a loving gesture and the mom works with special needs people and is very loving and caring. The kids are fun and respect their parents. I completely saw past their weight and just saw great people. I credit the family of course, not TLC.

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