Image credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC
Maria's fear of the balance beam led to her bloody fall, but hopefully her Jillian-led baptism will help with all that
Dr. H. is on the scene to take the teams to task, one contestant is injured, and another goes home| Published Jan 13, 2010
Hey, kids! I'm filling in for Kate Ward on recapping duties this week. Last night was the second episode of the season, so all that anyone could talk about was the dreaded ''Week 2 Curse'' — the semi-mythic notion that Biggest Loser contestants always suffer a terrible second week as their bodies adjust to losing a megaton of weight in week 1.
Bob noticed that Michael was lifting heavy barbells like they were balloons. ''How in the world did a man as strong as you are get to be 526 pounds? ' Michael had to admit that he had no idea, and then he said something that practically sounded like an epitaph: ''I'm not married, I don't have kids. I'm not even close to it. The only thing I'm close to is dying because of my weight.''
Meanwhile, Jillian took lonely twin John out to the ol' Gigantic Tire for some Tire Hammering, which is my new favorite therapeutic exercise after Styrofoam-punching and Skateboard Yoga. Jillian: ''You use the gym to break down their defense mechanisms, until they're so physically exhausted they can't hold back their emotions anymore.'' John became physically exhausted, and then let it all out: ''My dad. My grandma. My sister. My aunt. My best friend. My brother-in-law. They're all dead. I'm cursed.''
Viewers, after this, were you pumped for an epic night of grand melodrama? I was. Tears were already in my eyes. The stakes felt high. The Week 2 clock was ticking. But then, an unwelcome guest suddenly emerged from his subterranean hyperbolic chamber to sap all the life out of everyone.
Dr. Huizenga's Neighborhood
Dr. H. is like Nyquil: works well in small doses, but if you have too much your life becomes a droopy semi-conscious acid nightmare. ''This is the sickest group we've ever had,'' he said. He held out a bundle of folders: ''I have here in my hand a group of individual medical tasks for each team.'' Because nothing tackles life-threatening obesity head-on like twisted reality show activities!
Carry That Weight
Michael and Maria's task card said, ''Watch a normal weight man simulate your weight.'' I had a horrifying image of a thin person doing a poor-taste Chris Farley impression, but the truth was so much more deliciously cruel. The White team found Bob and Dr. H. hanging out in the garden. On the table were weights totaling 303 pounds — representing Michael's excess hydrated fat. ''I'm gonna be the guinea pig!'' Bob explained. As Bob slowly dressed in his armor of fake obesity (henceforth ''fauxbesity''), the trainer complained. And complained. And complained. ''I feel miserable. This is normal for you?''
I understand that embarrassment is built into this show from the ground up, but for the life of me, I wanted to slap Bob after awhile. Michael, who seems like a pretty laconic fellow, seemed to take all of this in stride, but I thought I saw him raise his eyebrows at one point, as if he were watching a crazy hobo from the park explain his theory about how Jesus was a Martian.
Dr. H. presents... Dr. H.!
Stephanie and Patti had a simpler task: ''Watch a special message about how your health is hurting more than just yourselves.'' Dr. H. sat them down in his office. I want to show you a video, he explained. It's important that you see this. He turned to his television. The TV turned on… and there was Dr. H! I was hoping that the two Dr. H.'s would engage in some back-and-forth banter, but instead the one on the TV went and talked to the Purple team's family: a stern-looking father, and a daughter who looks like Ann Coulter.
Money, money, money
The Red team had to ''find out the true cost of being overweight.'' An armored truck pulled up the driveway. There were piles of money in back. Using a scientific combination of math, astrology, and sexy guesswork, Dr. H. had decided that Lance and Melissa were losing $3 million over the course of their lifetime.
For some bizarre reason, that was the last we saw of the gigantic pile of money. I think there should be a law on reality shows: If you show a truck-sized pile of dollar bills, those dollar bills must be used in a reward challenge involving heavy-duty fans and/or zero gravity. At the very least, I was waiting for Melissa to race out into the driveway, pick up a stack of bills, throw them in the air, and yell, ''Make it Purple Rain!''
NEXT: Maria has a bloody bad time