'The Biggest Loser' Premiere Recap: A New Batch of Big Losers
'The Biggest Loser' Premiere Recap: A New Batch of Big Losers
The Biggest Loser begins its 13th season, but for me personally it's the first one I've ever watched so the supposed twist of partners not being able to work together was pretty much lost on me. Nevertheless, there seems to be plenty of weight for these losers to shed, so what do you say that we meet them, shall we?

Sizing Up the Sized

The contestants gather around the Biggest Loser "ranch," but they're quickly informed that they'll have to compete just for the chance to get in the game. This immediately raised a red flag to me. This show is stretched out to an obscene two hours every week, which in large part is filled with emotionally exploitative pieces about all the contestants' dire reasons for needing to lose weight. But for a show that is so eager to shove the sanctimony down their viewers' throats, what good does it do the people who they send home before ever entering the ranch?

I've never understood why this show is an elimination format at all; they could still hand out a prize to the person who loses the most weight while continuing to help everyone else along the way. Do people really watch for the elimination aspect of this show? The blue team is kicked off right away, seconds after the male team member admits his fears of being in a casket without the show's help. The team (there's no way they were even around long enough to have caught their names) is offered some bogus opportunity to get back in the game by losing 50 pounds on their own in a month; but for people who already struggle with overeating, will the depression of getting embarrassed on national television really serve as the inspiration they need? It was a real uplifting kick start to the season.

It turns out big losers don't have much willpower.

The season's big twist is that the teams will not be losing weight together with their partners, but they were able to select which trainer they wanted to work with. The most interesting part of that process turned out to be the revelation of the number of teams that didn't seem to be able to grasp the concept of Rock, Paper, Scissors. And beyond that was the fact that they all had such difficulty coming to a decision about which trainer they'd want to work with, so much so that one team resorted to flipping a weight in the air to make up for their lack of coin. Have I said yet that this show shouldn't be two hours?

The Weigh-Ins Commence

Bob's team comes out of the gate strong losing over 90 pounds in the first week leaving an uphill climb for Dolvett's team, especially considering Dolvett was worried the entire episode that his team's intensity level was far too low. However, they pull the upset on the wave of Buddy's huge 22-pound weight loss. Ben begs off the show and his teammates respect his wishes. The former athlete angle was really played up a lot for Kim and Emily on each team and because of that pedigree, one of those two is my odds-on favorite to come out victorious. Who are you rooting for?

My first foray into The Biggest Loser delivered a very emotionally fulfilling experience and even gave me a lot of motivation to hop on the treadmill myself after writing this. But I remain firm in my feeling that there's no reason to send people home and I feel like that opposition will always be something that tugs at my overall enjoyment of the show.

Casey Casteel
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of NBC)

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