'Big Fat FiancÚ' wrong on so many levels
Sunday, January 4, 2004
It is a slap in the face of heavy people everywhere.
I admit, I was watching the "Simple Life" marathon on Fox last week, to see if Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie really were as daft as they are made out to be in the news.
Admittedly, the men of Altus, Ark., seem to have the best time on the show. How could they not, with two model-thin sex kittens running amok in their town?
The show was hilarious if only because Paris and Nicole seem to be the punchline in an on-going blonde joke.
The wonder twins admit in interviews that they were putting on a show, which then puts the impetus of being gullible on the viewers who stay tuned because they want to laugh at someone's expense.
But it was a commercial during "Simple Life" that caught my attention and fueled my anger.
Enter "My Big Fat Obnoxious FiancÚ," the new reality show from the Fox Network debuting Jan. 19 after the new "American Idol."
The premise is this: A teacher, Randi, arrives home and tells her family she is getting married, to an "Average Joe"-type named Steve.
Both are doing this supposedly on the sly as part of a new reality show.
Well, let's be real, the mistmatched duo must convince Randi's family that she is getting married to an ugly buffoon, which is the start of my problems with this show. But Randi is no Jane Eyre schoolmarm, destined to love Mr. Rochester forever, be him attractive or not.
The second twist in all of this is that the show also has elements of Spike TV's reality mess, "Joe Schmo," whereby Randi becomes the patsy during the show.
What Randi doesn't know is that her "Big Fat Obnoxious FiancÚ" is really a big, fat, obnoxious ACTOR, who is posing along with his big, fat, obnoxious family, who are also a bunch of big, fat, obnoxious actors. And this family is out to annihilate their wedding at every turn. I can only imagine what kinds of gems are in store for viewers.
This jewel attempts to merge several reality game shows and pull off what is deemed the cruelest practical joke in reality TV history. The dead grandmother joke on "Survivor: Pearl Islands" apparently wasn't big enough.
About the only thing "My Big Fat Obnoxious FiancÚ" might not have is the Fab Five from "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" showing up to wax Steve's back. We'll see.
You may be asking yourself, "Laurie, what in the world is the point of this train wreck waiting to happen?"
Realistically, I have no idea. Is it to make fun of Randi for being so money-hungry that she would even convince her own family that she is marrying a loser?
Could it be that we are getting closer to the Jim Carrey movie, "The Truman Show" becoming the next Fox reality show?
Regardless, my main peeve with this debauchery is that Fox takes Steve and tells the world that he is unattractive. On a subconscious level, viewers are told that all people of size are irritating jerks.
Is it any wonder that when children are shown random pictures of people of size that they categorize them as stupid and lazy?
I'd venture that those same children would never say that Nicole Richie or Paris Hilton were stupid or lazy, but that's just a guess.
So far, critics admit Steve works very hard at his acting and improvisation craft on the show to convince Randi of who he isn't. I doubt there will be any appreciation of that at all.
Now, the producers have hooked Randi on the premise that she will win $500,000 if she and Steve actually make it through their "wedding." I wonder if, should she and Steve swap "I do's," if the producers intend to give her any money.
Fortunately, this debacle is only six episodes long.
Unfortunately, the commercial spoiled the entire premise of the series, in the same way "Joe Millionaire" did last year.
So much for keeping the show under such tight wraps that no one even knew it was in production until last Tuesday.
Note to the producers of such wild and crazy shows: Why not try shutting up and letting the audience have some fun along with your patsies? Why are you compelled to spoil the whole show? Granted, I'm not convinced that I would be willing to give up an hour on Mondays to watch "My Big Fat Obnoxious FiancÚ," but after being armed with the knowledge that the whole show is a big fat farce?
You can bet your big fat obnoxious show that this big fat obnoxious woman will be watching a different network altogether on Monday nights.