Movieline Counts the Empty Calories in Kirstie Alley's Big Life
If you've ever longed to watch an overweight Cheers alum and her pudgy handyman sweat it out on a Wii Fit and then cuddle lemurs, Kirstie Alley has designed (and stars in!) a reality show for your cultivated taste. Kirstie Alley's Big Life premiered last night on A&E and proved to be more than anyone here at Movieline expected -- in other words, there were issues explored last night that did not involve carbonara cravings, pesky paparazzi and delusions born out of an early '90s Emmy. After the jump, join me as I cull the most thought-provoking moments from last night's plus-sized Kirstie Alley's Big Life premiere.
1. Kirstie's Plays Hot/Cold with Jim the Handyman a.k.a. Kirstie's Chubby Foil
If there is one victim in Kirstie Alley's Big Life, it is not Kirstie or Kirstie's soft-spoken daughter who is continually bulldozed by Kirstie's larger than Big Life personality -- it's "good ol' Jim," her handyman. As legend goes, Kirstie imported Jim from Florida three years ago because "I just wanted someone that was fatter than me around the house. Jim fit the bill." This sounded a little suspicious, especially since Kirstie continually rails on Jim about how slowly he works and how disgustingly he eats (Jim is shown biting into a steering wheel-sized burger while Kirstie drinks juice). And then, out of left field, Kirstie accosts Jim and forces him to be her chubby buddy. Before you know it, Kirstie is demanding that he rip off his shirt so that she can take "before" pictures of him. Jim, this constitutes harassment in the state of California. Save yourself!
2. Kirstie Discusses How Cameras Have Deprived Her of Self-Esteem -- While in Front of Cameras
In possibly the most meta moment of the night, the actress described at great length how paps have destroyed her own self-image. She is only a bloated shell of the 118-pound actress she once was. Ironic, because she is moaning about this thievery in front of cameras that will ultimately convert this footage into a new form of A&E time suckage? Your call.
3. The Only Comparable Fat Actress That Kirstie's Family Can Think of is Rosie O'Donnell
During Kirstie's self-pity summit last night, she and her children tried to figure out why tabloids would spend so much time exploiting Kirstie and not other "fat actresses." The reasoning: "It's sad but my face just sells magazines." That, or you've made yourself an easy target by speaking out about your weight struggles, starring in a show called Fat Actress, signing on to be a Jenny Craig spokeswoman, losing a truckload of weight and showing off your new bikini body on Oprah, gaining it all back, and then talking about the cycle again on Oprah. Either way, Kirstie's son supported his mother the only way he knew how -- by dissing another actress: "Like Rosie O'Donnell. They don't rag on her like they do you for example. It's kind of messed up. And she's way more of a bitch."
4. Kirstie Demands To Hear Her Weight In Stones, Not Pounds, Causing Ten Minutes of Conversion-Related Confusion
It was 5 AM and Kirstie's perpetually bedheaded assistant and sleep-deprived apprentice arrived early so that Kirstie could weigh in before breakfast. If any viewers were unsure why Kirstie required two assistants for an early morning weigh-in, the reason was soon revealed when Kirstie revealed that she did NOT...WANT...TO...HEAR...HER...WEIGHT...IN...POUNDS! The team of assistants then spent a few frantic moments calculating 230 divided by 14 and then 140 (goal weight) divided by 14 and then splitting the difference.
5. What Scientology-Related Diet Plan?
Remember how Kirstie appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show a few weeks ago, made out with Jamie Foxx via flat screen and then revealed that her new A&E show was actually a way to promote her sketchy weight loss plan: Organic Liaison? Well Organic Liaison was not mentioned once last night -- maybe because after seeing the footage of herself laying on the floor, laying in her bed and laying around the kitchen staring at tabloid magazines, she realized that the show would not be the best way to promote a weight loss plan.
Kirstie's Darkest Moment: After seeing an unflattering photo of herself in a tabloid (taken when she was playing with her lemurs), Kirstie laments to her daughter and assistant: "I look like I'm thirty months pregnant. I look hideous. I'm going to kill myself." Kirstie's daughter and assistant remain silent.