"The Biggest Loser" is back for Season 14. We could talk about Jillian Michael's return on sky-high heels. Or the jaw-dropping moment when Nikki said, "I'm gonna take the door." Or the fact that T.C. lost 15 pounds in one week and yet was still sent home for not losing enough weight.
But, really, there's just one thing to talk about: The kids.
The decision to add three teenagers to the cast this year has been fraught with controversy, condemned sight unseen. The National Assn. to Advance Fat Acceptance called the decision "appalling." The show's executive producer, Lisa Hennessy, defended the decision as a necessary first step to start a national dialogue about the growing problem of childhood obesity, and asked skeptics to hold their fire until viewing Sunday night's season opener.
The uproar hit such a fever pitch over the weekend, that the show took the unusual step of issuing a statement Saturday afternoon responding: "As you'll see, the kids are handled with great care, support and encouragement to help them live a healthier lifestyle."
So. You've seen the season opener.
There's certainly an argument to be made that reality TV has no business putting kids in the limelight. There is just no telling how it might impact young lives 20 years from now. (And don't we already suspect that growing up in the spotlight played a role in young celebrities who have gone off the rails, like Lindsay Lohan?)