TV Eye: But weight, there's more reality TV

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Dear, oh dear, whatever's happened to the once-rather-wonderful Kirstie Alley? She got fat, of course. But that's old news. The updated old news is: she got fat, endorsed a diet company, did a reality-television show about being fat, got thin(ner), got stalked by the paparazzi stuffing her face at fast-food joints, got fat again.

Now she's doing another reality-TV show, called Kirstie Alley's Big Life (Living, Thursdays) and guess what? It's about how she got fat again, how she hates being fat and how the paparazzi stalk her to get fat pics. She can't even go out with her kids, she wails. Then she admits that, what the hell, it's not the fault of the paparazzi she got fat again. But you believe she thinks it just might be the fault of the paparazzi that she got fat again, somehow.

Come on Kirstie. You accepted the dosh from the diet company, did a TV show about being fat, went on Oprah to crow about how you weren't fat anymore, got fat again and now you're doing another TV show - one which features those very kids.

But you can't expect Alley to live in the real world. Her previous wonderfulness was down to her, er, larger than life personality. She was stroppy, foul-mouthed, bossy, demanding. She was a diva. Now she's a monster.

She wobbles about her big old house, banging on about her big old body and bossing her staff around. Her PA and some young queeny lad she seems to have taken on as an intern, God help him, have to get up at 5am on New Year's day so that she doesn't have to do the big weigh-in alone (except for the camera crew). She is so emotionally demanding that it's obvious that nobody's said "no" to her since she last said no to a burger and fries.

And isn't she a Scientologist? Can't they give her some auditing or something to free her from her fat? And, aren't Scientologists supposed to suffer in silence? Or is that just during childbirth?

That might be interesting to see - or more interesting, anyway - than watching her talk about herself and how fat she is and how tragic it is that she's fat. There's a handyman called Jim who she claims to have employed (he's an exceptionally useless and lazy handyman) because she wanted someone even fatter than she is about the place. Lucky Jim is going to get thin with her, which will give her a project, I suppose.

Other than that, she has nothing to do except keep animals, which she does in a haphazard way. She talks to her lemurs in a high-pitched mummy squeak, which is possibly what has made them dementedly manic. Well, that and being kept in a cage by a fat actress in LA. She also has dogs. "Dirty dogs," said her housekeeper. "Pee, pee, everywhere."

I suppose she'll go on a diet. Quite possibly she'll go for some crackpot LA one like that maple syrup and lemon juice diet.

Guess what? Despite Beyonce having apparently lost 9.5kg in just two weeks on the maple syrup diet, crash diets don't work. I know that Beyonce "fact" from having watched something called Can We Believe the Science? (Prime, Fridays) in which a very thin English woman, called Professor Regan, debunks myths.

In the first episode she did diets. She bravely played guinea pig and had her metabolic rate measured (this was boring), she had her body fat measured (this told us what we already knew: she's skinny). The narrator said: "It's moments like this when Professor Regan can be rather smug."

We saw her looking rather smug. I watched an hour of this to find out the astounding fact that the way to stay thin and healthy is to eat healthily and exercise. At the end, my sympathies were with Kirstie. Better to be a fat monster than a skinny, smug professor.

- NZ Herald

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