Big Women: Big Love, Not a Big Deal

Sabrina, Mar and Jenn star in Lifetime's Big Women: Big Love
Big Women: Big Love (Photo: Emily Shur / Lifetime)

Lifetime kicks off the new year with Big Women: Big Love, a series looking at larger women navigating the world of dating.

Show

Big Women: Big Love, which debuted on Lifetime on Thursday evening but will air Wednesdays at 10pm.

Premise

Five plus-size women from around the country confront their personal challenges with dating. In the first episode we meet four of the women, and all five will eventually cross paths at a self-help seminar.

Lineage

The show comes from 495 Productions, which is behind Jersey Shore and Tattoo Nightmares. Lifetime has signed on for eight one-hour episodes for the first season.

Who is Big Women: Big Love For?

At this time of year with New Year’s Resolutions on the tip of everyone’s tongue, this show seems to be inspired by those sentiments. Weight loss does not appear to be a goal, but those who identify with being overweight may find something to hook into here. Also, anyone struggling with dating will find plenty of content.

What Works

Most of the participants are likable enough—you have no reason to root against any of them and they are self-aware enough to understand why they are participating on this show.

What Doesn’t Work

Ooof, there is a lot that falls into this category. First of all, there’s an overwhelming sense of “who cares?” with the various travails of the participants. For example, we see Jenn on a disastrous bowling date. Yes, the guy is a doofus and boorish, such as giving Jenn the nickname “Juicy” and taking cell phone videos without her permission. We never see her telling the guy his behavior is obnoxious, but she’s telling us about in her interviews. First, it’s supposed to be a TV show, not a TV tell. Second, it would be much more interesting to see the participants engaged in conflict, as that’s typically how drama works. Instead, all the drama and angst is limited to voiceovers and interviews, making the show come across as a meeting of the Itty Bitty Pity Party Committee.

Verdict

One of the lessons I learned in 2014 was that the amount of time and energy required to keep up the appearance that your life is holding together is significantly greater than the time and energy required to actually hold your life together. Big Women: Big Love presents lives that are antithetical to that lesson, with coping mechanisms and charades that mask rather than solve the participants’ problems. Bringing the participants together will probably not improve the situation, if the “This Season On” clips are to be believed. Do not expect any surprises on grand revelations from this series.

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About Mike McComb 654 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv