Cablevision, my local cable provider, recently did away with FitTV in my area. FitTV had all kinds of great programs like a zillion aerobics workouts, body conditioning with Gilad the Israeli muscle-man, Zen To Go with two yogis who accosted people and made them do yoga on the street, and Low Carb Cooking with the guy who lost a hundred pounds.
They also had reality shows: Reunion, which followed people trying to lose weight before a high school reunion, one that had four weight-control police that I forgot the name of, and, my favorite, The Gym. The Gym documented the ins and outs of running a gym and then followed the personal lives of the trainers.
The day I tuned in to channel 64 and got a blue screen was the day I chucked many a magazine at the television.
And then [u]Bravo[/u] stepped in to save the day. [i]Work Out[/i] is a new show that does exactly what The Gym did, Hollywood style.
The owner of the gym is Jackie, a take-no-prisoners no-holds-barred personal trainer who gets hit on a lot by celebrity clients. The funniest part about her getting hit on is that when guys are on the floor in missionary position being stretched out by her, they ask if she’s available, and she answers, Not really, I have a girlfriend. Heehee. Gaydar apparently doesn’t function inside Jackie’s gym. By the way, Jackie’s girlfriend? A sassy scary little woman. Whoever hits on Jackie should be very afraid.
The trainers are all fabulously gorgeous. The men are muscley. The women are petite. Everyone has a beautiful face with high cheek bones. And they’re all funny. With perfect hair. And straight teeth. The kind of people you’d like to spray with a fire extinguisher just for a few minutes to feel better about yourself when you’re having an “I’m feeling fat and ugly” day.
The gym itself is also gorgeous. It’s in California and has sunlight streaming in on all sides. I am so jealous—it’s the gym of my dreams. In my other career, I teach yoga and pilates and aerobics and body conditioning. It’s all adult education so I teach in a high school to 80 year olds who are hard of hearing, which is completely the opposite of what Work Out is all about. Work Out is very posh.
[u]Semi Celebrity Alert!![/u] So far, some guy from a soap opera came in and sweated a lot. So did Anthony Quinn’s son who is an actor. Notice how I don’t remember either of their names.
[u]Reality Show Cross Over Alert!![/u] Remember Rebecca from The Amazing Race? The one who whipped her semi-ex-boyfriend into a pulp by calling him a girl all the time? The one who was a personal trainer? Well guess where she just got hired. At Jackie’s gym. You may have also seen Rebecca on MTV’s True Life: I’m A Reality Show Celebrity when they documented Johnny Fairplay—she hangs out with him at the bar in L.A. where all the reality stars hang out. She also co-hosted on The Fishbowl on the web. And now she’s back for another fifteen minutes. The actors, I don’t know. But reality show personality, I can tell you the history. Go figure.
Aside from watching people sweat and wince and jiggle, we get to see behind-the-scenes of the trainers. What do trainers do when they’re not training other people? They get drunk, they spray each other with shaving cream, they have fights with their girlfriends, and they take pictures of their boyfriends’ overly large penises. That’s the abridged version of the season so far.
[b]And THIS is why I love reality TV[/b]: The everyday mundane becomes exciting entertainment.
So many people hate working out. They don’t want to look at a dumbbell. But with a show like this, they’ll sit on their couch and watch people do pushups. Maybe they’ll even be motivated by the show to start doing pushups themselves. Or not. Sometimes it’s fun just to watch other people feel the burn while you sit on the couch eating cheese doodles.
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