Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bad television (by Liz)

Sometimes media consumption can really get me down. Last week was one of those weeks. There was the focus on surgeon general nominee Dr. Regina Benjamin's size. There was the peephole video of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews. There was the character assassination of the woman who accused an NFL star of rape. And then, I heard about Fox's new reality show "More to Love."

Most so-called reality shows are pretty awful to begin with, but this one seems especially awful. I have not seen an episode, nor do I plan to. The marketing alone is bothering me. The premise, according to Fox Broadcasting, is one "regular guy's" search for love among a group of "full-figured women", a "brawny prince" searching for a "curvy Cinderella." Ugh. Some of these women will go on their first dates on camera. Ugh ugh. More exploitation. More emotional manipulation. More focus on size as an "issue." Ugh, ugh, ugh.

This fatigued, feminist blogger has had enough. She needs a break and she will get that break tonight watching "Drop Dead Diva" on Lifetime. Yes, this show also focuses on size. But it is not one-dimensional. The premise is this: a thin, model wannabe dies and comes back to life as a plus-sized attorney. Deb, the main character, is not the stereotypical pretty, thin woman. Nor is she the stereotypical larger, smart woman. She is all of that and none of that and everything in between. What makes the show so compelling is Deb experiences life from multiple vantage points. And that, the ability to appreciate more than one point of view, (along with some witty banter and a few fashion references) is precisely what I need at the end of a long week.