Huge

 
Thought-provoking drama has relatable messages for teens.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show promotes acceptance and respect with its look at the struggles of overweight teens. Body image is a recurring theme, and the disparity among the characters’ impressions of themselves invites discussions about society’s perspective on beauty. The show addresses often-emotional issues such as eating disorders.

Positive role models

The teens don't always behave perfectly (they play pranks on each other and, in at least one case, intentionally sabotage others’ weight loss efforts), but they're open about their struggles with weight and self-esteem -- relatable, age-appropriate issues for the teens who will watch the show.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Frequent flirting between teens, and a few developing relationships. The show sometimes addresses issues like sexual orientation.

Language

Frequent use of phrases like "oh my God” and “shut up.” 

Consumerism

The show promotes the “Healthy Living” area of ABC Family’s website.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this drama deals with teen obesity and body image in an honest, thought-provoking way. The main characters' sensitivity to weight runs the gamut, so viewers can expect to see tears, frustration, and even self-directed jokes about being fat. The content also touches on other weight-related topics like bulimia and binge eating (as well as non-weight-related issues, such as sexual orientation). Although Huge is a scripted show, the characters’ struggles with self-esteem will probably be relatable to most teens, so watching the show could be an intense experience. Talk to your teen about how to distinguish the show's positive messages about self-esteem and inner beauty from the more sensitive content. 

What's the story?

HUGE is a scripted drama series that chronicles the ups and downs of a diverse group of teens brought together at a summer weight-loss camp. Sardonic Willamina (a.k.a. “Will,” played by Nikki Blonsky) arrives at Camp Victory against her will, only to find that her peers are far more dedicated to the cause than she is. But the more she rails against the strict rules, the more she’s forced to see herself in a new light. With the help of her new friends, Will must choose her new path -- but the road to victory is a rocky one at best. Still, while the teens' reasons for being at camp might not be the same, the campers all share the basic goal of being at peace with who they are.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Huge takes a big risk by thrusting the sensitive subject of teen obesity into the spotlight without the "safety net" of broad humor or a reality competition framework. Happily, the show’s willingness to take on the emotional issues that accompany this issue offer teens and their families a great opportunity to discuss topics like body image, accepting differences, and healthy lifestyles. From the characters’ impressions of themselves to their tenuous relationships with each other, the show’s messages actually supersede weight and speak to a more general struggle for self-acceptance that most everyone can relate to.

The show benefits from an exceptional cast -- the actors humanize the issue of teen obesity and encourage viewers to really walk in the characters’ shoes before passing judgment. As long as your teen is ready to think (and talk) about potentially sensitive topics like weight, self-esteem, and even eating disorders, this is a worthwhile choice.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about body image. How do you define beauty? How does your definition compare to society’s? Who do you find beautiful? Why?

  • Teens: How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle? What changes could you make to your lifestyle to make it healthier? What role does the media play in encouraging -- or discouraging -- a healthy lifestyle?

  • In general, how accepting is society of differences among people? How do your own sensitivities to differences compare?

TV details

Cast:Gina Torres, Hayley Hasselhoff, Nikki Blonsky
Network:ABC Family
Genre:Drama
TV rating:TV-14

This review of Huge was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 8 years old August 12, 2010
age 14+
 

my mom loves this show but i've never seen it.

I have never seen it but my mom LOVES it.
Kid, 12 years old July 7, 2010
age 11+
 

Its O.K. but not the best T.v show on that channel.

The good stuff: Role models: Will is good role model because she is comfortable with her body and thats a message we all need: be yourself. Yes a lot of people won't what to 'Huge' but still you should be comfortable with who you as a person, and don't change who or what you are. Not so good stuff: Sex: Some of the characters just go to the camp to hook up, and flirt with other 'huge' people. And their is probably going to get really intense with the sex. Langauge: Not that often, but enough to be concerned. Is good?: Not really but its O.K. It seems like more of a reality t.v. which means bad acting. Sure watch it on every monday on ABC Family, its alright, but not that entertaining.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great role models
Parent of a 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15 year old Written bymorganandricky July 17, 2010
age 8+
 

good show

This show was alot better then i tought it was going to be. A big hit for my family. Sweet messages and a fantastic image on being yourself.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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