When Lizzo recently appeared on James Corden’s talk show, he stood on stage doing almost nothing while the Grammy-winning rap sensation shook her beside him.
It was an awkward moment as Corden made it very public how proud he is of his recent weight loss – and Lizzo’s new Amazon series. Watch out for the Big Grrlsis all about the fact that bigger girls can actually throw up a storm.
That might not sound like a particularly radical idea to anyone who’s ever been to a nightclub, but many of us grew up in an era when music video dancers were invariably skinny and muscular, and Noel Gallagher got away with calling Robbie Williams the “fat.” “dismiss dancer” by Take That.
Lizzo begins by explaining that since her industry contacts and dance agencies couldn’t provide her with enough zaffie movers, she turned to the tried-and-true format of reality show auditions to find her. And so the girls – including a trans woman – scoot off for Lizzo while their lyrics (“I’m a Thick Chick I Need Tempo”) blare out over the sound system.
Inclusivity, one of the series’ themes, doesn’t mean everyone is allowed to stay, even those who must endure injuries, self-doubt and some seriously grueling routines to get ready for the stage with Lizzo.
On the one hand, everything is very beautiful – a cheerfully colorful show about body positivity and self-love. Lizzo, who would have grown up at 33 in a culture saturated with reality TV, was born for the camera — a natural hostess who drapes the word “bitch” like a medal around the necks of her adoring subjects.
It’s also refreshing that this series doesn’t follow in the footsteps of shows like Biggest Loser – no one is trying to dance themselves thin – and the inevitably heartbreaking backstories (some of them having experienced extreme poverty) are highlighted rather than how they got to this greatness.
video of the day
It also doesn’t follow the traditional reality format; Contestants can be eliminated at any time, rather than being fired one at a time as would be the norm on shows like this.
But, and I hate to say this, all that positivity can be a bit cloying — like being slapped over the head with inspirational bumper stickers. There are only so many TV trips you can take before a layer of cynicism starts to harden around your heart.
Of course, we live in a world where girls are bombarded with images of “perfect” bodies — but we sure are. If body positivity was co-opted by brands like Dove, a more daring series would have featured tall girls dancing without giving themselves a pat on the back for including them.
There is something obvious about the format. Of course, these distinctly funky American women have clean lines and incredible moves. It would have been more impressive if Lizzo had managed to wrest some spins from some rhythmic Irishmen. Maybe she’ll do that for her next trick.
It feels like the time has come for another great animated series, and human resourceswith its creator Nick Kroll (the hugely successful The Kroll Show and Big mouth) and all-star cast (including Maya Rudolph, Ali Wong, and Tim Robinson) is rumored to be just that.
Overall, it’s a workplace comedy with a ‘real life’ plot of disgruntled employees in an office walking alongside a fantastical hub of bizarre creatures toiling in a parallel universe.
But this setup requires some understanding, as none of the characters really take center stage. Many seem to be just the embodiment of a single recurring joke, and the banter zips back and forth like gunshots in a pinball arcade.
There’s a plethora of pop culture references, a jarring shift in tone between episodes and scenes, and the general feeling that this series was written by hyper-caffeinated Harvard grads trying to outsmart each other in terms of cleverness.
With all the shifts in work culture over the past few years, there’s plenty of fodder for a series like this to make its mark — but the barrage of jokes leaves viewers with no time to catch their breath and feels pulled in multiple directions at once.
After several episodes, the exhaustion from such unrelenting knowledge has already set in. A major disappointment of a series that once seemed so promising.
The Fame Game: Three reality shows with bite & brio
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
…or from somewhere, really. Who would have thought that there were enough leopard-skin-wearing ladies eating lunch in every major American city to cast this franchise credited (if that’s the right word) with the end of soap operas?
RuPaul’s Drag Race
It’s the survival of the best wig stealers in this long-running drag talent show slash make-and-do competition hosted by Mother Superior RuPaul who mercifully leads guest judges – including Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus – to believe that the Show is run as a democracy.
90 day fiance
What’s funny about this show, which follows couples who have to get married within a 90-day American visa window, is the different reasons men and women feel offended by false advertising. For men, it’s women’s looks; for the women it is the (lack of) money of the men.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/television/streaming-reviews-lizzos-body-positivity-is-like-being-beaten-over-the-head-with-inspo-bumper-stickers-41510844.html Streaming Reviews: Lizzo’s body positivity is like getting slapped on her head with inspirational bumper stickers