Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Review of Live Big with Ali Vincent: Transforming Jorge Sierra
I just watched the second episode of Live Big with Ali Vincent last night. This episode featured Jorge Sierra, a big man who has already lost more than 100 pounds and is now just under 400. I found Jorge very likable and sympathized with his plight. Ali is also really charismatic and entertaining. So why don't I love this show more? I enjoy watching it but it isn't really grabbing me the way "The Biggest Loser" always did. There are a few problems with the show. The biggest one is that it really doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. It would be hard to describe the producers' (and/or Ali's) vision for this show in a few sentences. For "The Biggest Loser," The vision would be something like "Use a boot-camp style format to create dramatic physical and emotional transformations in severely obese contestants." "Live Big" seems to have the theme of "You have to start living big to get smaller," but that's not the show that I saw last night. Jorge and Ali do some workouts together and cook healthy tacos. Ali admonishes Jorge to measure out his sour cream. But I am guessing that a guy like Jorge, who seems intelligent enough, doesn't get to 500 pounds because he never thought to look up healthy recipes online or use measuring spoons. We don't hear anything about how he is currently "living small" and how he wants to "live bigger," except the whole story about the roller coaster that he is too large to ride. Riding a rollercoaster is fun, but it isn't something that makes or breaks your life. What "Big" vision does Jorge have for the life he would like to lead if his body wasn't in his way? I also was annoyed that though the show was fairly short, a lot of it was repetitive. There is that typical reality-show format where the assumption is that you went brain-dead over the 1 minute commercial and need to be reminded of everything that has already happened on the show. We see the same clip of Ali and Bobbi Sue giggling over the roller coaster at least 4 or 5 times. We also saw some of this footage in the intro, which was the same intro we saw in Episode One. I'm not sure if it is because this show was made on the cheap, but by the time you trim out all of the repetitive clutter, there isn't a lot of new tape in this 22-minute show. There are a lot of voiceovers where we might have gotten some useful interaction with Ali and Jorge, too, which feels frustrating. We don't need yet another cute, giggly shot of Ali every five minutes. I think she has a lot more to offer than that. I have another frustration that may just be my own situation: Because this show does not provide episode summaries for DVR recordings, even on the "Record New Episode" setting, I get every single rerun recorded and have no way to distinguish between new shows and old ones, and I have to get through the full intro just to see the show. That makes me want to give up on recording the show and just watch it online instead. Despite my disappointments, I will probably watch the rest of this season because I want to give the show a chance. I do think, though, that people who really want to learn to live big while getting smaller will need to seek out other sources of information and inspiration, because so far this show is falling woefully short.
"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07