'Losing It with Jillian': Like 'Biggest Loser,' only faster and shorter Season 1, Episode 1

Since Jillian Michaels’ name is in the title of her latest reality show, I figured we would learn a little something about the fiery trainer. What were her years like as an overweight child? What drives her to push people to the brink? How does she ease the strain on her voice from yelling so much? Unfortunately, we learn none of that in Losing It with Jillian. Imagine pressing fast-forward through an entire season of Biggest Loser, and you’ve got Losing It, the new weight-loss reality show that NBC is premiering tonight (at 10 p.m. ET) to help tide you over until the next season of Biggest Loser. All the elements of the hit competitive weight-loss series are there: Jillian meets an overweight family in need of aid (in the premiere, it’s the Mastropietro clan, a “larger-than-life” Italian family), looks disgusted after seeing their dinner menu, and works them out so hard she spews lines mid-exercise like: “I will be your worst damn nightmare if I don’t see you commit to this.”

But in this show, Jillian can only be their worst nightmare for so long, since she only sticks around for five days to help change their healthy outlook on life. Perhaps that’s why I grew a bit frustrated with the premiere. Even though Biggest Loser is a heavy time commitment - two hours a week! - you get sucked in because you’re so invested in the characters. You want to see the transformations of the Mikes, Ashleys, and Sams of each season. With Losing It, we are instead mostly privy to the cast’s emotional transformations, watching them literally “lose it” as Jillian helps them overcome personal tragedy and develop better eating habits. The actual physical transformation is hardly at the forefront.

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