Network: ABC Family
Original Air Date: June 28, 2010
When It’s On: Mondays, 9 p.m. EST
Production: Alloy Entertainment, Half Full Entertainment and ABC Family
Cast: Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray), Hayley Hasselhoff, Raven Goodwin, Gina Torres, Andrew Caldwell, Zander Eckhouse, Harvey Guillen, Ashley Holliday, Ari Stidham and Paul Dooley
Executive Producers: Leslie Morgenstein (The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars), Bob Levy (Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries) , John Ziffren (Make it or Break It, Greek), Kim Rozenfeld (Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place), Winnie Holzman (My So-Called Life, Once & Again)
Developed and created by: Winnie Holzman and Savannah Dooley
Co-executive producer: Gayle Abrams (Gilmore Girls)
Producers: Savannah Dooley, Dan Dugan (Girlfriends, The Game)
Director: Allison Liddi-Brown (Friday Night Lights)
Nielsen Ratings for Pilot: 2.53 million viewers
Review: This month, ABC Family premiered two new original series, “Pretty Little Liars” and “Huge.” Both are based on bestselling young adult novels of the same name. For a review of “Pretty Little Liars,” check out my previous posts.
As for “Huge,” it’s fantastic with heart and spunk! The writing and acting are both extremely solid – from start to finish.
The first five minutes hooked me immediately. Judging from the pilot alone, it seems Alloy Entertainment and mother-daughter team Winnie Holzman and Savannah Dooley are right on the money. And I’m not surprised, because Holzman developed and created the 90′s “My So-Called Life,” an incredible show that ended far too soon. Holzman also wrote the libretto for Broadway’s smash hit “Wicked.” With that being said, I think “Huge” is in good hands.
So if you’ve read the book, you will see that the name of the camp was changed from Wellness Canyon to Camp Victory for the show. The producers probably felt victory sounded better in hopes to inspire obese kids to lose weight. And if this is the case, I agree. It certainly inspires me to get moving.
“Huge” is filled with teen angst, embarrassing and heartfelt moments, even the possibility of romance at summer camp. Sure there were some cliches and coincidental moments, but “Huge” comes through big time in the entertainment factor.
As for acting, Nikki Blonsky is incredibly sarcastic with excellent comebacks. She does a great job portraying a girl who’s not only uncomfortable in her body, but wants to make everyone else miserable in the process. The role is a total 360 from Tracy Turnblad on Hairspray. This just goes to show she has first-rate acting chops. Although, I have to say, I was surprised by her extreme weight gain.
I immediately connected with all the characters, especially Halyey Hasselhoff as Amber. Hasselhoff, who is one of Ford’s top plus size models and the daughter of famed “Baywatch” lifeguard David Hasselhoff, is truly believable in her first big acting role. I also liked Becca (Raven Goodwin) who’s made a new friend in Wil, but also wants to set her straight about losing weight. And Dr. Dorothy Rand (Gina Torres) is a tough camp counselor who’s been there herself in battling weight issues.
The only character I don’t care for is the fitness coach who seems like psychotherapy coach, Jillian Michaels. Maybe she’s supposed to come off that way. Interestingly enough, Holzman is married to character actor Paul Dooley who portrays Salty, the camp chef. There’s also an intriguing strained relationship between Dr. Rand and Salty.
I hope in future episodes the reason is revealed, because I don’t understand why they’re so mad at each other.
On a Side Note: If you have a show about losing weight, then Snickers, M&M’s and Three Musketeers commercials are a an odd choice for sponsors.
Not only is “Huge” terrific on all fronts, it carries a wonderful theme: to live your life huge by taking care of yourself – physically, mentally and emotionally. After watching the pilot episode, I’m looking forward to next week’s episode: “Letters Home.” I also plan on reading the book by Sasha Paley.
So how do you live Huge? Check out ABC Family’s website on how you can live a healthy lifestyle and inspire others through the “Huge” motto: Live Huge, Think Huge, Act Huge.
I’m giving “Huge” 4 “What’s on the Tube Tonight?” retro pictures for being posi-lute-ly inspirational!
Other Mixed Reviews:
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