If you watched the series premiere of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition last night on ABC, you probably felt one major thing (well, besides the lingering guilt about all the food you consumed over Memorial Day weekend): Déjà vu.
That’s because the series, which chronicles the weight loss of morbidly obese people over the span of a year, felt a lot like another inspiring reality show (and no, not Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, as a screaming Ty Pennington was nowhere to be found). That’s right, The Biggest Loser. While they both certainly have their differences — EM:WLE, unlike BL, isn’t a competition (not unless you count it as one with themselves), nor is there a host to narrate their every move or copious amounts of product placement — there was still plenty of that been-there, done-there feeling.
EM: WLE‘s trainer Chris Powell — seen here with the series’ first participant, elementary school teacher Rachel — was awfully reminiscent of BL‘s Trainer Bob Harper. Good-looking, yet sensitive guru? Check! Also, there were also some familiar fitness challenges with prize incentives (ex. a trip to Greece and surgery to remove excess skin), visits to the contestants’ homes, and strategically planned commercial breaks riiiight before the final weigh-in.
But: Will it matter with audiences? The series premiere pulled in an impressive 7.1 million viewers, proving that folks are still intrigued by this subject matter and, perhaps most importantly, fans won’t have to wait an entire season to see the amazing body transformations, à la Biggest Loser. Was Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition too much like The Biggest Loser, for you, PopWatchers? Or were you inspired to keep tuning in?