Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Skin-deep TV

If you've watched five seconds of FX the past three months, you'll know that "Nip/Tuck" (FX, 10 p.m.) kicks off its fifth season tonight.

Unfortunately, I've seem to have caught all 6,000 commercials FX has aired to promote the show, reminding me why I never started watching it in the first place - it really creeps me out.

Maybe it's because I've never gotten into the whole plastic surgery thing, or maybe it's because the show's promos usually display the series' most vulgar moments, but "Nip/Tuck" has never appealed to me.

But it has a devoted legion of fans, who know, no doubt, that the series has shifted stars Julian McMahon and Dylan Walsh to Los Angeles after four years in Miami. But after being star surgeons on the East Coast, the two docs are small fish in the big pond of L.A. So they hire a publicist (Lauren Hutton) to help them establish themselves.

FX is pretty hit or miss with its series. For every "Rescue Me" or "The Shield," there have been a lot of duds. "Nip/Tuck" seems to be that rare show - not great TV, but very popular.

TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: "Bones" (Fox, 8 p.m.) is all-new and usually at its best when it goes for humor. It also does well with holiday episodes (remember the Christmas show from Season 1, when everyone was stuck in the lab?) So I'm looking forward to tonight's Halloween-themed episode, especially with Bones going as Wonder Woman and Camille dressing as Catwoman. It's followed by a brand-new "House." (Fox, 9 p.m.) I already miss "Bosley," but am glad "13" and "back-stabbing bitch" have survived House's job interview for another week.

As I alluded to yesterday, the classic "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" (ABC, 8 p.m.) airs tonight, followed by "Dancing With The Stars" and "Boston Legal."

CBS is all-new with "NCIS," "The Unit" and "Cane."

Finally, I never watch this show, but I have to say I was disturbed by this week's promos for "The Biggest Loser" (NBC, 8:30 p.m.) in which one of the candidates gains weight in order to help himself in the overall competition. It disturbs me because the show was supposed to be this sort of feel-good, root-for-everyone kind of show, and when it devolves into reality-styled backstabbing, it becomes an unseemly, carnival-styled sideshow, with the viewer gawking at these people with weight problems. A few months back, I praised ABC for teaming up with Shaquille O'Neal to target childhood obesity, because that show seemed to have noble intentions. Perhaps NBC should remember that.


hotspur said...

re "The biggest loser"
Saw the show. It is idiotic. If the idea is to lose weight then it should reward those who do so. It is just disgusting to see the competitor gulp down high calorie treats.

Competitors do better once they are kicked off !!!!

Why pretend it is a show aimed at helping the overweight. No wonder no one is watching the networks

Jonathan said...

I just can't figure out why they have the gall to call a show "The Biggest Loser." I realize it's supposed to have a double meaning, but still, for the uninitiated while watching the promos, it has always come off as crass to me. I've never watched it, and I truly believe most of the people who do are wanting to laugh at the fat people. I don't know; maybe I'm putting too much thought into a stupid reality show. It's not like the people are forced to be contestants or anything.

zodin2008 said...

I am the wrong person to comment since I loathe Reality Television altogether and wish it would all vanish, but I have always found the title, "The Biggest Loser", extremely crass as well as the show. I have NO interest.

I also have no interest in a show like "Nip/Tuck" - YUCK. That's OK...the 1 friend I have who actually likes "Nip/Tuck" is the same friend who is mentally unstable, likes the "Saw" movies and professional wrestling.

You do the math.

Edge said...

I know I have not commented in a while (but I still read this blog everyday) but regarding 'the biggest loser' I have watched this show for all it's seasons. And I find it to be very inspiring. It actually makes me want to eat right and exercise. I think it gives many people hope that they too could lose the weight. Sometimes you need to see others, to realize "wow if that person can do it, so can I."

Yeah last week where the guy gained weight was not ideal, but these people have to stay in the game somehow, and if he did not do that, his team would have been up for kicking someone off. So he was smart. And because none of you watched the show, he drank 2 gallons of water before the weigh in, he did not stuff his face. I still don't agree, but hey, he's still in the game. As for the 'temptation' challenges, this is designed to HELP these people, so when they leave they know how to cope in the 'real world'. If they chose to break down and eat, well they will most likely be the next to get kicked off.

I truly believe this show changes lives, and if you watched it, you would see that. Check out the last episode and see what I mean.

Jonathan said...

Like I said before, Edge, I haven't seen it. And like I also said these contestants are engaged in these events because they want to be. The title itself and the promos have just always turned me off. I think that's great that you can find inspiration in it; when anything like that comes along I am all for it. Inspiration is a nice thing to get out of something no matter what type of format it is.

Phillip Ramati said...

Here's the thing, Edge. I think you and a lot of other people can get a lot out of the show the way it was originally conceived - telling the stories of people trying to lose weight.

But when they turn the show into a version of Survivor or The Apprentice, where the contestants use strategy to advance rather than just lose the weight, that's when the show comes off the tracks.

In addition to the guy deliberately gaining weight to get one of the stronger competitors thrown off, I'm told by someone who watched the show where the contestants played poker and were forced to eat Oreos equal to the bets they made. How does that help them lose weight?

I have no problem at all at a show designed to help people lose weight, both on the air and at home.

But I have a big problem when the show takes on a sideshow-like air. That's when it becomes unseemly.