April 12, 2006 at 9:54 am
One of the things I love about the TV show The Sopranos is that it has so many fat characters. I’d guess it has more fat actors than any show on television. Granted, they are mostly mafia men with questionable morals who will just as soon sit on your dog as beat a stripper to death in a parking lot. But still, fat people on TV! Awesome! And in reality, both the dog asphyxiater and the stripper killer were thin guys. So there!
This season in particular has been giving this fat girl moments of joy. There was a scene in the first episode where Tony Soprano gets on his scale and doesn’t like the number, so he steps off, takes off his slippers and steps back on again. Seeing the mob boss of New Jersey take part in such familiar fat person behavior warmed my heart a little.
There is another character named Vito who has lost a lot of weight between the 100 year gap between seasons and has now become the typical annoying dieter guy, yammering on about his diet and exercise routines. With all this spot-on fat person behavior, I have to wonder how many chubby people are on the writing staff and are just stealing bits from their own lives.
This week’s episode was also great because the daughter of Johnny Sack, the New York mob boss, got married. And she’s fat! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a fat bride on television. Most TV brides are super skinny sitcom or soap opera actresses. But there she was, a big, beautiful bride in a strapless dress even. It was fantastic! I’ve liked Johnny Sack ever since he put a hit on Ralphie for making a fat joke about his wife. Best. Husband. Ever.
What I like best about the depiction of fat people on The Sopranos is that it’s just another part of the show, subtly entwined with everything else. There isn’t a big episode where Tony has to deal with his issues over being fat. I think this is what made me a bit uncomfortable about the latest episode of Lost which centered around the fat, yet lovable character of Hurley.
If you don’t watch Lost, it’s about some plane crash survivors on a weird island with polar bears and hatches and heroin, oh my! Last week’s episode was about Hurley who (spoiler alert!) was put in a mental asylum after walking onto a deck that collapsed and killed some people. Ouch. I’ve heard of fat people breaking chairs and benches, but causing a deck to collapse is harsh. Throughout the episode Hurley comes to terms with his guilt over causing the deck to collapse, the fact that he eats to punish himself, and resolves to make a change in his life and get rid of his secret food stash on the island.
On one hand, I liked that there was an episode of a television show that dealt with a fat person and all the issues he had with being fat. There are a lot of fat people in the world and we’re underrepresented on television. It was also nice to see him vow to take some control over his life and eat better.
On the other hand, I dislike that Hurley had to be fat because he had deep-seated emotional issues. Can’t he just be fat because he eats poorly and doesn’t exercise? People are fat for different reasons and you don’t need a traumatic past to enjoy dunking your Oreos too much. I had a pretty damn happy childhood and I still got huge. I doubt every fat character on The Sopranos is overweight because of emotional issues.
So I’m torn over the episode, which wasn’t even one of the better ones regardless of the fat issues. I want there to be more fat people on TV, but I don’t necessarily want to be knocked over the head with pop-psychology examinations as to why they’re fat. On a more positive note, it looks like Hurley might hook up with the pretty, thin woman, Libby. Go, Hurley!