Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Shaq Attack On Obesity

Normally, we tend to diss on the bulk of reality programming the networks offer here at The TV Guy, but hopefully the genre's newest offering can actually make a bit of a difference.

"Shaq's Big Challenge" (ABC, 9 p.m.) gives us NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal helping a group of obese children both learn the medical dangers facing them and lose their excess weight.

It's not the first reality programming devoted to weight loss - NBC has had "The Biggest Loser" on for a few years now - but rarely are these shows aimed at children. Childhood obesity is one of the fastest growing health problems in the U.S., leading potentially to later issues such as heart problems and diabetes.

Tonight's show hopefully has a decent chance of reaching kids because of the involvement of one of the biggest athletes in the world, in both a figurative and literal sense.

Some critics have publicly questioned whether Shaq was the right choice for this program, since he has battled weight issues before. Shaq himself has pointed that he has never had more than 14 percent body fat during his career, but even if that wasn't the case, I think it makes it more relevant, not less, if the athlete himself knows first-hand about battling weight problems.

"Shaq's Big Challenge" isn't the sort of program that's going to draw a wide audience, like other reality programs do, but it could be one that does some lasting good.

PLEASE, ISAIAH, JUST SHUT UP: Embattled ex-"Grey's Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington, who seems to have the worst advisors ever, will tell his side of the story on "Larry King Live" on Monday. If you didn't check in last week, Washington is now saying T.R. Knight is the guy who should have been fired.

Yeah, Knight, how dare your sexuality cause someone else to utter a derogatory slur against you! How dare you cause Washington to attack co-star Patrick Dempsey physically, even though you weren't in the same room! Geez, what was ABC thinking?

Please, let's move on to something else.

TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: Like Mondays (and seemingly every other night) Tuesday is full of repeats and reality. The only reality show I'm currently recommending is "On The Lot," which gets down to its final dozen tonight. Some of the choices America have voted for and against are mind-boggling, but so far, most of the people who have deserved to advance have done so. I'm kind of worried about the guy who directed the crappy soap opera film from last week, because he usually has been one of the best, but that so-called horror movie by the girl was so bad that it's almost unthinkable that she will advance. But who'd have thought she would have advanced the previous round after that stupid movie about the light bulb?


Hotspur said...

It blows my mind that they have skilled professional judges yet the audience decides. It becomes a popularity contest.

Why have the judges ? Obviously looks, clthes etc are more important thn talent

zodin2008 said...

It's interesting that you mentioned something I had been thinking about this Shaq series, about him having his own weight issues.

On one hand, I side with the critics that should he be doling out advice? On the other hand, if it were another basketball player, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, who have always been perfectly fit and skinny, would they be able to relate as well to the difficulties of saying no to certain foods or binge eating. Probably not.

I agree--childhood obesity is a scary issue and I am truly amazed when I walk around and see obese children. Let's hope this little show sheds some light on this scary problem.

Phillip Ramati said...


In the movie industry, it's the audience that decides the success of a movie, not the critic. A movie is judged more on how much money it makes than awards it wins, so I don't have a problem with audiences voting. They vote every weekend at the box office. (My problem is the appalling taste in general of the American public).

Look at American Idol. Judges praise or blast a singer, but it may bear little weight as to how the public votes. Again, success in the music world is judged by albums sold rather than critical praise. What I find interesting is that many Idol runners-up, like Clay Aiken, Jennifer Hudson et. al., have had more success than some of the winners.