This season of The Biggest Loser
must be a dream come true for the producers. Not only is it a couples season, which tugs at viewers' heart strings and makes for good TV, but most of the couples are parents and their children. And nothing, as any self-respecting former teenager knows, is more potentially dramatic and heartfelt than a parent's relationship with their children. NBC hit reality TV pay dirt with this season, and I think they know it. Already, there's been both some drama and some moments that have the potential to make you tear up. Here, I am providing a handy guide to help you to tell the good kind of drama from the bad kind of drama.
It's no secret that I absolutely love Courtney. I'm not ashamed to admit it. Bob loves her, too, and it's all because of her attitude. If Jesse and Courtney got together, they could probably take over the world with their combined good humor and positivity. Courtney never complains, never lashes out and never slacks on a workout.
This week, Bob tried to squeeze some resentment out of the Aqua team. He confronted Marci, Courtney's mom, about her guilt. Could said guilt possibly be holding back her weight loss? Marci wept. She revealed that, yes, she did feel guilty. Marci took responsibility for her daughter. She told Bob that she felt like a horrible mother for letting Courtney get to over 400 pounds.
This would have been the perfect opportunity for us to see a different side of Courtney. She, too, could have cried. She could have lashed out, had a tantrum and stormed up to her room to pout. She could have told Marci, "You ruined my life!" like so many daughters have told their mothers before her. But did she? Being Courtney, the answer, of course, is no. Instead, Courtney took full resonsibility for the decisions and choices that lead her to her previous weight. She told Marci that she didn't want her to feel guilty, and that she, Courtney, was the only one who could make herself better. And then she hopped right back on the stair-stepper. What a trooper! Such unflagging positivity does have the potential to come off as saccharine, but when faced with an extreme physical challenge, like this one, it's the kind of thing that will keep Courtney in the game long after the whiners have gone.Jen
On the other side of the spectrum, we have a totally different way of dealing with your parents when on an emotionally taxing weight-loss show. When Jillian tried to get some drama out of the Green team, Jen gave it to her in spades. Seemingly out of nowhere, Jen burst into tears and went off on a rampage about how resentful she felt toward her father, Jay. Poor Jay had to stand there and watch as Jen proclaimed, over and over, that she didn't want to feel responsible for helping her father lose weight. She told Jillian that if she lost weight and Jay didn't, she would feel horribly guilty. Jillian made Jen spar with Jay to get out her aggression, and then stood and supervised while Jen told Jay that she refused to be held responsible for any part of his weight loss journey.
"I have to do this alone," she told him. "And you have to do this alone. I can't help you."
Yes, I understand that weight loss is a personal journey. I understand that the contestants have to focus on themselves more than anyone else. Even though they are in couples, Bob and Jillian constantly tell them that "it is OK to be selfish." And it really is! It's OK
for the contestants to put themselves first. What's not OK is for them to throw tantrums like small children and make their sweet, adorable dads feel bad on national TV. Jen, take a lesson from Courtney. Drop the tears and stop feeling sorry for yourself. Be nice to your dad. Help him feel positive, instead of abandoning him, for all intents and purposes, at what is most likely one of the most vulnerable times of his life.
What do you guys think? Do you think Jen was justified? Do you think she had a right to be angry, or was she out of line?(Image courtesy of NBC)