Friday, April 29, 2011

Plus Size TV: No Wide Screen Needed

Hands up who remembers Gilmore Girls... that sugar-sweet comedy-drama about a 30+ single mum called Lorelai Gilmore and her goody-good teenage daughter Rory, living in Stars Hollow.
The character I liked most was Sookie - she was Lorelai's best friend: a talented chef, a bit scatter-brained and klutzy, controlling in the kitchen.
Sookie was played by Melissa McCarthy, a 5ft.2" cuddly hotty. I was always surprised the scriptwriters didn't have a field day with her weight, but that would've alienated some of the audience the show wanted. I can't actually remember even one 'size' joke at her expense...
"Love me. Love ALL of me."
Melissa's about to start a run here on NZ TV in a romantic comedy called Mike and Molly (TV2, Sun.1st.May 8pm). It's about a couple who meet in a weight-loss support group. And this time, there will be laughs made out of the couple's size - in fact, that's pivotal to the whole show. I'm looking forward to seeing how the issue's handled. Ok, to be totally honest, I'm more anticipating seeing Melissa McCarthy...but that's a whole different story!
Another show I enjoy is Drop Dead Diva (TV2, Wed., 9.30pm): "A vapid aspiring model killed in a car crash gets brought back to life as an intelligent overweight lawyer, hoping to find the meaning of inner beauty..." Another leading lady, Jane Bingum (played by Brooke Elliott), who's not a stick insect! And again, she looks hot!
So why is US TV suddenly relating to larger people? Or are the producers merely using them to gawk at? Are they trying to attract the 60% of Americans classified as overweight? Have they finally realised that most viewers are not model-thin? Is "fat" no longer a dirty word? Is "being normal" now ok? Has "plus size" finally come-of-age?
So many questions. I guess the ratings will tell...


Richard, Canberra said...

We love this show... it's been on over here for a while now, and I reckon you'll love it too!

Writer Of The Purple Sage... said...

You were right.
"Mike & Molly" was good lightweight (no pun intended) fun! The sort of thing that's ideal for end-of-weekend viewing. I like it!