Televisionist: 'Heavy' | Rock Candy

Monday, January 24, 2011

Televisionist: 'Heavy'

Posted By on Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Heavy on A&E

'HEAVY'
9 p.m. Mondays, A&E

I was prepared to hate this show — to call it yet another addition to the ongoing Freakshow Channel programming that A&E and several others have leaned toward in recent years (polygamists and hoarders and compulsives, oh my!). Then I watched it, and was genuinely moved. In this show, two morbidly-obese participants per episode — obese to the point of almost being bedridden — agree to participate in a six-month diet and fitness regimen to help them shed pounds and get back on the road toward mobility and health. There's no challenges, votes or prizes, just real people who know that if they don't do something they are going to die and leave their families behind. The pilot episode, which I caught the other day, was intense and emotional, with a former high school football player and a bubbly ex-blues singer in the spotlight. While I normally wouldn't point out something like "Heavy" except to mock the kind of culture that would create it, this time I'll make an exception, if only because: If these folks can do it, you can too.

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