I'm watching Excess Baggage. I never watch television. But they advertised it as a feel good show and I was feeling depressed.
It's marketed as a weight loss show but it's more like watching convicts who have eaten their ball and chain run about trying to lose it so they can jump the fence. Everyone feels bad. The Celebrities and the Ordinary Australians all feel like shit. Self loathing is the great equaliser. They've been stuffing themselves with Junk food, soft drinks and microwaved cheese. They all admit to being lazy, fat and loathsome pigs. But between a coach, a shrink and a dietitian they're all going to be whipped and humiliated into shape.
So I wouldn't say it was feel good unless you're into mainstream sado-masochism. 'See Fatty Run. Watch Fatty being screamed at. Watch Fatty weep, Fatty eat, Fatty crawl about in the dirt.' There's dignity somewhere under all those pounds of flesh. But it might take a meat hammer to get to it.
The Camera Person must have had a brief to make everyone look hideous. There is not a pimple, line or cellulite crater that the camera doesn't manage to highlight. The stylist is a prison warden who shops at Kmart. The Celebrities and Unimportant people morph into the same pasty blob.
The experts are full of cliches about how to lose the ball and chain. It's a one size fits all solution. Neat and cheap. A bottom line for big booty. Everyone is told to take responsibility as though we don't all live in a nanny state where we are regulated into submission on a daily basis. We are powerless as children and this show proves it. Junk food fills our emptiness and quells our RAGE and frustration. The dreams we can't live we will eat.
Enter K-Fed. The The man famous for impregnating Britney and sending her nuts enough to show us her puss. He used to be a dancer and now he's a blimp. His punishment is served boiling hot, in the Kimberleys of Australia. where you'll be forced to confess all the pizzas that he gorged on Britney's money and get down and dirty with a pack of Aussie bogans.
That'll teach him!
I can't say his presence adds to the convict mix in fact it's a little ridiculous. He doesn't have to lose his ball and chain because he comes from the country where he has a right to pursue happiness. He is what bliss looks like served back in bulk. Not of these measly Australian portions on America. Their plates could feed an Aussie family for a week. Their cocktails come in jugs and cost six dollars, (ours come in thimbles and cost sixteen.) It takes serious money to get fat in Australia. And serious Chutzpah to know how to swing it....
Bring on Ajay Rochester whose taken fat from the gutter to the red carpet and back to the gutter again. But nobody really cares what size she is because she's most famous for Welfare Fraud. Which personally is I think is a little bit fabulous. I mean nobody else can do it. The peasants will tell you!You earn one dollar extra and alarm bells start to ring and the machine goes ballistic a pile of nasty envelopes shoot through your mail box. Usually it's only the One percent who get to rip off the government? All the girl was doing was trying to Occupy her bank balance. I mean Godfather Bilson has liquidated as often as Ajay's gone on liquid diets. And nobody calls him a criminal. But Ajay it seems will be tarred with that brush for the rest of her life . Which is partly why she's perfect for this program.
Which should be sold as Alcatraz for fat people.
It's terrible to see Christine Anu in the mix. For me it says a lot about how we treat Showgirls over forty. One minute you're a national singing Icon and the next you're scrabbling around the dust earning your dollar! If Showgirls were Polar Bears, Peta would have kicked in by now. But alas there is no rescue. She is paired with a weeping gay bogan and now she must play Fag Mama. Because Mummy is the only role allowed to middle aged women in Australia. Either that or Aunty and nobody listens to Aunty...
Every body's inner child is going nuts!
The rest of the celebrities aren't even worth talking about except maybe for Darren. The gnarly pit bull paparazzi with the fake abs who is partnered with a blonde tank who can't stop crying. He yells, she weeps, she weeps, he yells. Then he gets told off for bullying. Which leaves him looking confused? And to be perfectly frank I don't blame him. The show is a head fuck.
Bring on Doctor Happy. A nerdy vibeless version of Charles Manson who sits the fatties on an uncomfortable rock to talk about Happiness and then forces them to face their fears by swimming in a billabong full of crocodiles.
And by now they have been infantilised enough to believe him.
Part of me wants someone to get eaten just to wake this mob up!
Or at least wake me up.
It's like the narcissistic cycle in reverse. Discard De-value Idealise.
If you don't get eaten by crocodiles or have a heart attack then you'll get to roll in the mud like a pig, be shamed by scales and lectured by bores. If you get through this and lose the bail and chain around your hips, you'll finally be released back into society again. Bring on the stylist. Open the curtains. A Star is Born in the final reveal.
Well that's the way the script is sposed to go.
But like all narcissistic love stories it never turns out quite the way that you imagined it.
Last week the viewers turned off in droves and now Channel Nine is threatening to lose its Excess Baggage before the baggage has been lost. You can't fast forward weight loss, well not without bag of cocaine and a big bottle of weight loss pills. So the humiliation that these fat convicts have endured has no final redemption. They are forever a 'Before', never an 'After'.
The carpet pulled on the 'Make Over'.
They will be cast back to their lives of secret midnight snacks and microwaved cheese and remain forever fat in television memory. Life is cruel.
To call this show 'feel good' is Orwellian.
I'm still depressed.