Jillian Michaels, the brusque Biggest Loser trainer known for using her profanity-laden intensity to whip contestants into shape, will soon have her own spin-off, Losing It with Jillian Michaels. I’m cautiously optimistic. Jillian is consistently the most interesting part of Loser besides the contestants, and if NBC wants so badly to expand the franchise, you have to admit that Jillian is the only person who makes spin-off sense (unless you’d prefer Happy Hugs with Bob Harper or Dr. Huizenga’s Medical Mystery Tour.)
But can Jillian carry a whole show by herself? On Loser, Jillian is entertaining because her personality sticks out from all the inspirational kindness. She’s like a rabid fox in a henhouse, except the fox is making the hens do push-ups. But she can definitely be controversial, particularly when she’s generously throwing around some censored F-bombs. I know that some people on the comment boards feel like she’s been playing up her badass persona this year – will you be able to stomach her when she has a show all to herself? Moving in with families and taking over their lives?
NBC said that there is no definite premiere date for the show but confirmed that Michaels will continue to be a trainer on the original Loser (sorry, haters). And the network did confirm that Jillian will indeed be moving in with the families for a full week; refrigerator hijinks ensue!
The spin-off’s press release offers the tantalizing possibility that the show will be about more than just weight loss. Says Jillian: “When your health is out of balance everything else suffers — finances, relationships, work and family dynamics. I’m moving in with families across the country, getting down and dirty and rooting out bad habits in every corner of their lives that are preventing them from health and happiness.”
The possibilities are endless! Relationships? I’m visualizing Jillian helping a nerdy teenaged boy through his first date by feeding him directions through an ear mike. (“Open the *#$@ing door for her!” “Pick up that bill, and tip heavily, you useless *@#$!”) Finances? Jillian, hunched over the family’s income tax report files, sternly explaining the difference between capital gains and tax exemptions while Mom and Dad sit with their eyes held open, Clockwork Orange style.
The real question here is: how much Loser is too much for you? The show’s already on two hours per week, and that includes all the in-show product placement infomercials. The last time NBC tried to spin off a successful reality franchise, Martha Stewart ruined Donald Trump’s Apprentice mojo.
What do you think, PopWatchers? Are you excited to see Jillian let loose on average Americans? Do you think The Biggest Loser should expand like this, and if so, would you prefer it go in a different direction?
Photo Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC