Kirstie Alley's Big Life

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Kirstie Alley's Big Life TV Poster Image
Reality show sells iffy messages about weight, self-image.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

There's at least a hint of a positive takeaway: that you can lose weight and improve your health if you put in the work (and if you've got enough money to hire a professional staff to help you do it). But there's also the implication that, if you don't, you're just "fat" -- even "too fat for f--king fat dresses."

Positive Role Models & Representations

It's admirable that Kirstie wants to get in shape, but she admits that it's got nothing to do with health: "I spent my whole life thin; I hate the way I feel fat." She also makes frequent, self-deprecating comments about her size, calling herself "fat," "f--king fat," and "Miss Piggy Legs," and says of her weight-loss journey, "I'll help millions of other flabby f--kers just like me."

Violence
Sex

Some sexual innuendo and sexual humor. Kirstie is openly attracted to her male personal trainer, giggling while looking at pictures of him shirtless, etc., and making jokes about him "straddling" her.

Language

A good amount of bleeped swearing (including frequent use of the word "f--k" to punctuate sentences), plus audible words like "hell," "damn," "vajayjay," etc.

Consumerism

Alley is developing her own weight-loss plan, Kirstie Alley's Organic Liaison. Over time, the show functions as a long-form commercial for the program and its products. Other brands mentioned include Wii and Google.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some social drinking. Kirstie mentions that, in the past, she curbed cravings by smoking cigarettes and using cocaine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality series functions as an ongoing commercial for Kirstie Alley's weight-loss plan, Kirstie Alley's Organic Liaison, by shadowing Kirstie and one of her employees on their joint weight-loss journey. There's also a surprising bit of swearing (albeit bleeped) for a TV-PG program, including sentences like, "I'm not doing the weigh-in on the f--king Wii. I have little guys outside my house every day that tell me I'm fat; I don't need some little f--king cartoon telling me I'm f--king fat." There's some sexual innuendo, too, along with some references to Kirstie's checkered past, which includes a cocaine habit.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bykirstieally May 29, 2010
I Lov3e this show but I am a 48 yrs of age female who is a Kirstie Alley fan. As far as children go, it would depend on the individual family to make that judg... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byAnimeGirl-Nikki April 8, 2010

Typical celeb reality show is meant to entertain rather than educate; is alright for ages 12+

This show is all about award-winning actress Kirstie Alley's quest to lose weight and be thin again. The show's overall message is positive (getting i... Continue reading

What's the story?

Golden Globe-winning actress Kirstie Alley (of Cheers and Look Who's Talking fame) thinks she's got a pretty BIG LIFE, and it isn't just because she's put back on all the weight she once lost -- and then some. She's also balancing her acting career with the everyday challenges of being a mom to two teens, Lillie and True, and she's got a growing list of personal staff to manage, including two assistants, a handyman, and a housekeeper. On top of that, she 's launching a weight-loss company and just hired a personal trainer to help her and her overweight handyman lose a combined weight of over 200 pounds.

Is it any good?

Kirstie Alley has built her career on being funny -- and, lately, on being "fat," with a much-publicized campaign for Jenny Craig and her short-lived Showtime comedy Fat Actress. But her latest attempt to stay relevant with her own reality show about losing weight (again) might leave a pretty bad taste in your mouth. For one thing, there's Kirstie's negative talk about her "Miss Piggy legs" or asking her kids to weigh in on whether she's just "fat" or "circus fat."

For another, there's her odd and borderline-uncomfortable quirks, like her love of domesticated lemurs, her fondness for sending staff through inexplicably tiny doors, and her decision to tell her new African-American trainer that, because she's from Kansas, she kind of has "a problem with black people"...only to reveal after an awkward silence that it's a joke. And a not very funny one at that.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about consumerism and to what extent this show serves as a long-running advertisement for Kirstie's weight-loss company. Do the company and its products play a key role in Kirstie's weight-loss success? Would it be easy for consumers to connect Kirstie's success with her products?

  • What do Kirstie's negative comments about her weight say about her body image? Why does she call herself "fat" even though it bothers her when others (including the tabloids) do it? Do you think she's a role model?

  • In terms of reality television, how "real" are the things you're seeing? To what extent do you think episodes are planned out or scripted? How can you tell?

TV details

For kids who love reality television

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