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TV Review: Losing It With Jillian – The Jones Family

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This week Jillian moved in with the Jones family. Deb lost her overweight husband to a heart attack five years earlier and was left to raise two kids, Izzy (12) and Jordan (10), on her own. The show opens with Deb consulting with a doctor about her weight. The doctor was direct and told her she was at high risk for heart disease, exactly what killed her husband. Deb was told if she doesn't do something about it she will need to make arrangements for her kids; she will eventually orphan them.

Jillian arrived to meet the family at a local gym and gave them a workout. When she got to the house she was mortified by the mess. The kitchen sink was full of dishes, bedrooms overrun with clutter, the mother being the worst offender. The guest room was full of junk, so Jillian had to stay in a hotel the first night. She returned the next day to help the family clean the house.

The house reflected the internal chaos the family was feeling since the death of Deb's husband and the children's father. Jillian had to work with the mom to get her to care about herself again so she would be healthy for her family. This week was a little difficult for Jillian because she didn't want to use her well-known yelling technique in front of the kids. Though she chose to speak in a lower tone of voice, her “don't say you can't to me, this is your only warning” sounded really menacing even if her words were a few decibels lower than usual. I don't know which is more frightening, Jillian screaming or threats made in a normal speaking tone just inches from your face. Scary or not, she's fun to watch.

Deb's daughter, Izzy was having problems because her mom put a lot of pressure on her to help raise her little brother. She felt overwhelmed by the responsibility and Jillian made her tell her mother how she was feeling. Deb promised she wouldn't ask so much of Izzy any longer; she agreed her daughter should be allowed to be a kid.

By the end of the week Deb was finally motivated and set a goal of running a 5K race with some co-workers. Izzy initially said she'd like to lose weight but Jillian stopped her. She said she doesn't like kids to talk about weight loss but rather they just focus on getting healthy. So Izzy said she would join her school's running team. The family then said goodbye to Jillian and she promised to return to check on them.

This is a deleted scene of Deb and Jillian preparing for the 5K run:

Jillian returned six weeks later to join Deb in her 5K run. Deb had lost 32 pounds and completed the marathon. Jillian presented Deb with $50,000 to assist her with expenses. Just like last week, she mentioned her website with the presentation. I have a bad feeling this will be a weekly occurrence. I wish she would just say the gift is from her and put the link to her site in the end credits. I just feel it cheapens the whole thing when she promotes her site, which users must pay to join. I am a huge Jillian fan so it pains me to say anything negative, but I really don't like this kind of self-promotion for financial gain. It turns a great program into an infomercial. Now if the site was totally free, I could see the point of advertising it to get viewers to join and get healthy. But the free sections are extremely limited.

I read a few viewers wanted more excerise and cooking with less drama. I don't agree at all. There are other cooking shows and exercise shows on the air. Dealing with why a person is overweight and helping them through that while teaching them to exercise and eat right is more important. Unless there is a medical condition, most obese individuals have issues keeping them fat. And I think having Jillian moving in with families and discovering what is keeping someone heavy is more helpful to the average viewer than an hour of exercise and recipes. Viewers can get free recipes and diet tips from Jillian by going to her show's official site.

Losing It With Jillian premiered at 10pm EST and was going to be moved permanetly to 8pm EST. A day or two later NBC decided to keep it at 10pm EST, which caused most of us to plug the wrong time on last week's reviews. Jillian just announced on her Twitter that NBC is now moving it to 8pm EST starting with the next episode on June 15. Jillian's other program, The Biggest Loser, which is currently on hiatus, usually airs on that day and time. I hope they make a decision and stick to it. Nothing kills a show faster than time changes — you lose viewers when they have to work to find the show.

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About Ruthie

I'm devoted to animal rescue. I also work in internet public relations for TV personalities. In my spare time I like to sit on the sofa on my front lawn and watch the grass grow.
  • Marie

    Great article. I wanna give you my take on something, I know you don’t like her plugging her site BUT……. As long as the families get things that help them I think it’s ok. The money has to come from some sponsor and as long as end result is someone gets what they need whats the problem? You think its self serving or??? Just curious :)

  • Ruthie

    Thanks glad you like the article. You have a good point. The money does have to come from somewhere. I enjoy hearing how other’s feel. Thanks for posting.

  • J.T.

    Great article ( really like reading your thoughts) maybe think abt giving us your view point on other shows! : ) I think we are all in agreement- that it is great that Jillian shared profits from her site! Maybe this will in courage others to also do what they can for others!

  • Ruthie

    Thanks J.T. I’m working on doing another show for the fall season.

    I think its great Jillian shares the profits. My problem is when you don’t have a lot of money you tend to be heavier because the bad food is cheaper. Fresh fruits and veggies can kill a budget. So I think many people who would really benefit don’t have the money to join. Those with money have options of gym memberships, food plan diets, and here they are with another option.

    I agree its great they share the profits (though it is probably used as a tax write off under buisness expense). But it still makes me think of a infomercial to put it in the show the way they do.

    Thanks for posting and sharing your thoughts. I hope you’ll come back every week.

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