In the Weeds: Top Server
It’s summertime, which is my favorite season. My top five favorite things about summer in VH1 list-like order are:
5. The feeling of pride when an actual tan line is discovered (on me, not in a creepy voyeur way).
4. Proclaiming it “officially summer” after seeing the first lightening bug.
3. Finding no guilt or shame in cracking a beer or pouring a cocktail before noon. Society seems to support the notion that the hotter it is, the earlier you can drink.
2. Loud cicadas. Or locusts. Or whatever those loud bugs are that make you feel all nostalgic.
1. The Fox show “So You Think You Can Dance.”
I know that my No. 1 favorite thing about summer is a little out of left field. If you rolled your eyes, then you’ve never seen this show or you have no soul – it’s one or the other. I don’t watch Dancing with the Stars or America’s Got Talent or even America’s Best Dance Crew, so I’m not just some reality dance show glutton. The contestants on SYTYCD (as me and the kids call it on the discussion boards) are trained dancers who are randomly paired up and assigned different styles of dance to tackle each week with a professional choreographer. The result is dancing that has me crying no less than three times per episode. I even went to see the “Live Tour” a few years ago only days after giving birth to my son. My devotion to this show is hardcore.
But what I really want to discuss today is the new reality show called More To Love. It premieres tonight on Fox, so I’ve seen a few hundred promotional ads while watching SYTYCD. The premise for More To Love is exactly the same as The Bachelor except that the man looking for love weighs more than 300 pounds and all the female contestants are overweight, too. People who do not fit the American ideal in the looks department are hardly ever shown on TV, so I have no issue with what Fox is trying to do. What I do take issue with after seeing all the promotions for this show is how the words overweight and obese are not used but are replaced by words like curvy, normal, and real. “This show is about real women with real curves looking for real love,” says the casting director. One promotion has a contestant saying, “The average size woman in America is a size 14/16. We are normal, we are real, and those skinny bitches need to know it’s our turn!”
Okay. I know I’m a one of those skinny bitches and what I’m going to say therefore has no merit…buuuuuut……..since when does something become “normal” just because it describes the majority? Two thirds of Americans are overweight and 26% can be classified as obese. According to an article published yesterday by Reuters, obesity can be blamed for 10% of all medical spending in the U.S. each year. That’s $147 billion dollars each year.
Whoa…I just went all facts-and-figures on a supposedly funny server blog. Sorry. Point is, in the same month that we are debating how to dig ourselves out of this healthcare coverage mess, Fox is launching a show depicting overweight and obese women as “real normal.” Like mom would say, if everybody else decided to rob a bank, would that make it normal?
To finish up this reality show subject, I have a proposal for the Bravo Network. I am pitching a new show very similar to “Top Chef” but called “Top Server.” Take servers from some of the best-known restaurants in the country and let them compete. Picture a weekly “Quick Fire” challenge that has them being timed while serving 4 very demanding tables that were seated within minutes of each other. Or how about a knowledge challenge where they have to describe rare culinary ingredients? Plates balancing, champagne exploding, chefs screaming, children crying, food missing, drink spilling, ass grabbing, mood reading, and all the other things that are thrown at servers nightly would make for a great TV competition. Bravo, I’ll have my people call your people.