Last night's episode of Huge — the fat camp drama from My So-Called Life's Winnie Holzman — dealt with Parents' Day, giving us a chance to see painfully embarrassing parents, and how weight plays a part in the family dynamic.
For starters, we learned that Will's parents wouldn't be showing up for Parents' Day. We also found out that her mom and dad own a luxury fitness franchise called Core. No wonder she's been adamant about gaining — not losing — weight: Her parents have this other baby, their company, and Will probably feels like Core gets more attention than she does and is more important. That they didn't bother to visit just proves this point. It's as though they want their goals to her hers, without considering that she may have other ideas. In addition, Will may be going through a if-my-parents-are-into-it-then-I-hate-it phase, which afflicts many a teen.
Trent's dad seemed like a typical alpha male, and Trent didn't have the guts to introduce him to his crush, Chloe. When Trent's dad assumed that Trent was into "the blonde," Amber, Trent didn't bother correcting him. It seemed like Trent didn't want to disappoint his dad, but it wasn't clear if he was embarrassed of his father, Chloe, or both. Later in the episode, Chloe was forced to sit through a dinner in which her family and Trent's family shared a table; she dealt with the difficult situation by ordering fettuccine alfredo and eating until her stomach hurt.
The conversation Piznarski had with his mom was sooooo familiar: "I can't get over how good you look," she says. "Thanks," he replies. "How bad did I look before?" In that 11-second exchange, there's awkwardness, insecurity, embarrassment, pride, shame, forgiveness and earnestness. The writers really know what they're doing!
Amber's mom arrived late, talked to more than one random stranger about her tipped uterus, brought cookies (to a fat camp) and begged, like a child, to spend the night in her daughter's bunk. Amber was anxious and yearning to see her mother, but when Teal showed up, it became clear that while Amber loves her mother, she gets flustered and distressed by her wacky, free-spirit style that borders on flaky.
Most interesting? The fact that the parents on the show were a fairly realistic portrayal of what the parents and families of overweight teens look like: Some were slightly heavy, some were svelte, some were dysfunctional and on the verge of divorce, others were completely harmonious. Because, despite what you might see on some other shows, overweight people aren't bacon-obsessed lazy asses. They're complicated human beings, like everyone else.
FYI: Next week is the finale…
Earlier: Huge: Eating Disorders, Ribs And Recovery
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