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Is nothing off limits?

Am I the only one that finds something a bit wrong about the show Starved even existing?

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( 11 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )
rant
Aug. 20th, 2005 05:41 am (UTC)
I personally LOVE that show. ;)
trshtwns01
Aug. 20th, 2005 08:23 am (UTC)
It's funny, but read my other comment in this thread and you'll see why I'm torn.
elbobo
Aug. 20th, 2005 07:05 am (UTC)
It isn't just you...I don't have a problem with it...but there are many that do.
I know a few people with eating disorders and it seems they are mixed on the show as well...
I have seen the first couple of episodes and while the "not a twelve step group" seemed a little harsh the characters in all there extremes seem very 3D...from the constant criticizing of others to the striving to be accepted there is a reflection of the true self ruled by a mental illness.
trshtwns01
Aug. 20th, 2005 08:22 am (UTC)
I'm so mixed on it. There are parts of it that are so funny, and in a way, I think anything that raises awareness (especially by showing that eating disorders aren't simply 14 year old girls who want to look like a runway model) is a good thing. However, there are times when the characters are so inflated they cease to be a character and become more of a caricature. They trivialize the diseases just a bit.

It's been a long time since I've felt so conflicted over a fictional show. The weird thing is, were it a book, I wouldn't feel this way. I often read books where tragic situations are rendered in a humorous mood and it doesn't bother me.
semantique
Aug. 20th, 2005 01:04 pm (UTC)
One of my best friends in high school and through college fought and still fights bulimia/anorexia. I would say that this show is not good for for raising awareness. I think it will ultimately be more harmful. Usually people with the disease or that fall victim to it are very very competitive. If they hear that one girl got down to 98 lbs then they are more determined to get there as well.

I am not even going to watch the show based on principal alone. I am really not high and mighty but when you suffer along side someone who is not feeding themselves...I don't think I can find anything funny about it.
elbobo
Aug. 20th, 2005 04:35 pm (UTC)
Please, watch an episode before placing this strong of a judgment on the show, unless you are a "Nielson family" it isn't going to give them any more ratings for you to watch it.
To protect the identity of the person(s) close to me with ED I won't site any direct examples but while I agree there is a competitive nature to some people with ED and while this show might show the lead character weighing himself 10 times in the morning (before a shower, after a shower, after using the bathroom, etc.) or mentioning that there is no way for a possible date to weigh X amount and be Y tall without being fat the next scene is of his obsession with his and others body type and his binge food and I feel that revealing the destructive behavior in full color does nothing to reinforce a negative behavior.
There are quite a few ED support forums on the web and every time the media does an "expose`" on them they always call them pro-ED websites because a typical post (in some of the areas) is: I limited myself to 500 calories again today and I can feel the weight coming off...have you seen those new slenderize drinks from Fuze? They are great!!! They only have 5 calories for a whole bottle and I've been using them as a meal replacement. Then you see 15 replies to the effect of Wow! I need to get me some of those! and Wow! I wish I could still to 500 calories a day.
And that all looks very pro-ana but you dig a little deeper and people have posted pictures of themselves and you see the rail thin bodies and the disproportions caused by massive and repetitive weight gain/loss and the rotted teeth caused by years of bulimia, as well as the strained look of their necks and the comments are, ok...it is time to stop...you do not look healthy...look at your teeth, look at your neck...you need to get help, you need to check yourself into a recovery center...I'm worried.
Surface level I see how this show can be seen as minimizing the severe issues that come with a ED but deeper than that I think it does a really good job of telling a story as well as saying "These people are normal people...they have the same hopes/dreams as the rest of us but they are stuck on a very destructive path" The laughs (for the most part) do not have anything to do with the ED it is the laughs of people being placed into situations and things happening or dialog. They do not make light of the ED and the only laughs that are attempted in reference to the ED is in the "support group" which is the part of the show I do not like.
I watched the first episode under an almost veil of secrecy...I didn't want it to be a trigger for anyone who I know has an ED...Seeing what it was really like I then brought up the show treading lightly to see if my friend had formed an opinion about the show, she had not seen an episode but there had been quite a bit of talk about it on the ED forums and it seems to be a 50% 50% mix with the younger people being much more offended. She has now voiced an interest in watching the show and I think it will be positive.
Wow...a lot longer than I thought my response was going to be. I respect and completely agree with your view that there is nothing funny about ED but I think if you caught an episode of the show you'll see this show isn't trying to make light of it.
elbobo
Aug. 20th, 2005 04:05 pm (UTC)
I guess I am mixed as well...
looking at it as pure fiction it is easy for me to say it has some of the best writing on television...the dialog flows brilliantly and never seems forced (except for the not a 12 step program...have you noticed I'm not a big fan of the support group aspect of the show) but looking at it as real life people with real life disorders brings in a level of guilt for laughing...and i think that is going to me the reason for its success...or failure. I think people sometimes like that pang of guilt with their comedy...the I can't believe I'm laughing at this type reaction. The end of episode two where the four mains are shown stuck in their daily routine of destructive behavior really drives that guilt into you.
I think the awareness is positive, if for no other reason to show that there are many other eating disorders than ana and bulimia.
genebob
Aug. 20th, 2005 12:37 pm (UTC)
dunno. never watched [Starved].

just watched an episode of [Rescue Me] which stars Dennis Leary and a lot of unknowns. It revolves around an FDNY squad. Dunno if I'll watch it again, since I nearly always need Closed Captions when watching anything with Dennis Leary ... although this episode had him taking some Happy Pills which changed his demeanor dramatically (he was writing poetry, leading the pre- and post-hockey game prayers, etc.) .. mildly amusing.
sweet_pea7482
Aug. 21st, 2005 01:32 am (UTC)
Being a victim of anorexia (and a poor college student), I have not watched the show. However, I also know what some of my triggers are and I chose not to put my self in a position where I know a trigger is lurking.
trshtwns01
Aug. 21st, 2005 01:36 am (UTC)
It's an odd show, as we've been talking about. The humor isn't usually at the expense of the eating disorders, but rather just regular humor. The players just happen to have eating disorders. In one way, it humanizes the issue. In others, it makes you feel like there shouldn't be anything funny even ASSOCIATED with it. Sort of like having a comedy based in Auschwitz - even though they might never mention what goes on there, it still puts a cloud over it that makes you feel like you shouldn't be enjoying yourself.

I'm going to give it one more show and see if the humor and great writing can get me past that cloud. It's so hard to find an intelligently written show these days.
elbobo
Aug. 21st, 2005 02:44 am (UTC)
There was something associated with a Nazi death camp (not specifically Auschwitz) that was a comedy/romance/drama..."Life is Beautiful" and I think the humor made the harsh reality have that much more of an impact.
It is a wonderfully written show and I hope you are able to get past the cloud. But I also am glad that the person you were commenting to is aware of her triggers and works to avoid them.
( 11 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )