After hearing a ton of great stuff about that Marvel-Netflix show Jessica Jones, I finally queued it up the other day, only to turn if off less than 10 minutes later. Not even a third of the way through the very first episode, the main character made a pointless joke about a plus-size woman on an elliptical machine (“Two minutes on the treadmill, 20 on a Quarter Pounder”).
I think uncomfortable humor or dialogue is fine/great when it’s necessary to the storyline or shocks with a purpose—but a lazy fat-joke potshot? That’s just hack writing. Which makes me sad, because I love good TV. But this disappointment got me thinking about television shows that actually do some good for body positivity. There are a few, I think. Here’s my list and rationale:
All of the stars of this one-season wonder on the former ABC Family network were charismatic, watchable, and “of size” (as in, average-size or overweight). Yes, the whole plot of the show revolved around these young people being at “fat camp,” but the writers used that as a premise to tackle a million tender subjects with humor and tact. The show was funny, touching, and fun—and the characters looked like two-thirds of the population of the United States does. It was revolutionary! And cancelled. Good thing you can get the whole s…