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It's Fat Wife!
July 31, 2009 9:55 AM   Subscribe

Sitcom Idea #2 from the folks at The Blogulator.
posted by dersins (35 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh hell yes.
posted by DU at 10:02 AM on July 31, 2009


Heh. The GF and I refer to those (shows they're riffing on) as "Fat Guy/Hot Wife." Our theory is that it is an accurate depiction of what it's like to be a Hollywood Exec, so it seems perfectly natural to the guys who greenlight that stuff.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:10 AM on July 31, 2009 [5 favorites]


I still can't believe "2.5 Men" lasted more than 2 episodes. It staggers me. I am staggering around, weak in the knees that people continued to watch it AFTER figuring out it wasn't some sly pomo critique of the genre. I reel. I grope in vain for a settee.

Also: this post was fun.
posted by everichon at 10:11 AM on July 31, 2009 [5 favorites]


Most excellent.
posted by jquinby at 10:13 AM on July 31, 2009



I still can't believe "2.5 Men" lasted more than 2 episodes. It staggers me. I am staggering around, weak in the knees that people continued to watch it AFTER figuring out it wasn't some sly pomo critique of the genre. I reel. I grope in vain for a settee.

I take it you've never seen According to Jim?
posted by dortmunder at 10:17 AM on July 31, 2009


I still can't believe "2.5 Men" lasted more than 2 episodes.

I've never seen 2.5 Men, but it's not a "Hot Wife/Fat Husband" sitcom, is it? I thought it was about two guys raising a kid or something.
posted by yoink at 10:25 AM on July 31, 2009


MetaFilter: Dock 48
posted by DU at 10:28 AM on July 31, 2009


I can't decide if the fact that I wrote this idea down on an index card and added it to "The Stack" about two years ago is an indicator of worth or obviousness.
posted by xod at 10:33 AM on July 31, 2009


Well, from what I've seen on the previews it looks as if 2.5 men is about a barely-closeted homosexual and a raging man-whore attempting to raise a fat kid. I've never actually watched an episode, but the commercials for the thing seem to give off that kind of a vibe.

So, yeah. Family values and all that. Single parents, gays, male chauvinism, and childhood obesity, all in convenient half-hour episodes.

I feel the same way about hot wife/fat guy shows as I do about Disney commercials: Exactly what ChurchHatesTucker said. Greenlighted by execs with trophy wives who can't see why it looks weird to anyone else.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:34 AM on July 31, 2009


My 2.5 Men rant wasn't likening it to the "Oafish Husband" genre so much as it was an attempt to say:

Jesus fuck, tv has become very, very stupid.

I apologize for my lack of clarity.
posted by everichon at 10:40 AM on July 31, 2009


So, is Fat Wife the TV show version of hipster-bait, that they would watch ironically?
posted by graventy at 10:40 AM on July 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Fat Guy/Hot Wife phenom is only a fraction of the genius of Fat Wife. The sexism/condescension is the real killer here.
posted by DU at 10:42 AM on July 31, 2009


He forgot the Oaf-spouse-hatches-wacky-scheme-despite-Hottie's-warnings-then-scheme-fails-but-Hottie-forgives-realizing-scheme-shows-how-much-Oaf-loves-Hottie-which-leads-to-a-Deeper-UnderstandingTM element.
posted by vapidave at 10:42 AM on July 31, 2009


And can we pls not derail about the gems pouring from the spigots at HBO et al? I own a tv and appreciate those just as much as the next MeFite. The fact that shows like According To Jim (cheers dortmunder) sell any advertising at all says something irredeemably grim about "ow my balls".
posted by everichon at 10:44 AM on July 31, 2009


I loved this -- thank you.

Fat Guy/Hot Wife has been around since at least the Honeymooners, or possibly as long as the Beauty and the Beast story has been circulating... the old idea that it's the responsibility of a good woman to look beyond men's imperfect exteriors while always maintaining a perfect exterior herself.
/rage

This was funny though.
posted by Ladybug Parade at 10:45 AM on July 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Honeymooners vs I love Lucy
posted by xod at 10:46 AM on July 31, 2009


He forgot the Oaf-spouse-hatches-wacky-scheme-despite-Hottie's-warnings-then-scheme-fails-but-Hottie-forgives-realizing-scheme-shows-how-much-Oaf-loves-Hottie-which-leads-to-a-Deeper-Understanding element.

That's in "Fat Wife" ep102.

Ep103 is the handcuff episode.

There is no ep104.
posted by dersins at 10:47 AM on July 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Thesis: The Honeymooners

Antithesis: I Love Lucy

Synthesis: Roseanne
posted by xod at 10:50 AM on July 31, 2009 [7 favorites]


Sorry, but to me that King of Queens couple are not a mismatch.



Well, from what I've seen on the previews it looks as if 2 1/2 men is about a barely-closeted homosexual and a raging man-whore attempting to raise a fat kid.

So, it's a reality show then.
posted by Zambrano at 10:58 AM on July 31, 2009


it looks as if 2.5 men is about a barely-closeted homosexual and a raging man-whore attempting to raise a fat kid.

La Cage aux Folles: the difficult years.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:59 AM on July 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


I am a fat guy with a hot wife.

I'm not a Hollywood Executive, either. I was just lucky to marry up.
posted by Cookiebastard at 11:32 AM on July 31, 2009


The Fat Guy/Hot Wife basis of "King of Queens" is overshadowed by the excellent "crazy old man" performance of Jerry Stiller, which almost makes up for his son's "Night in the Museum" movies... almost. In fact, the character so closely resembles my crazy old Father that it makes it very uncomfortable to be in the same room when he's watching it. (He also watches "That 70s Show", unaware that he WAS Mr. Foreman when I was growing up... my Sitcom Dad)
posted by wendell at 11:56 AM on July 31, 2009


And the Jon Cryer character is not "a barely-closeted homosexual", he is a Hopeless Nerd type who provided Chuck Lorre with writing-nerds practice before he sold "The Big Bang Theory" to CBS.
posted by wendell at 11:59 AM on July 31, 2009


If I want to make my wife angry for "kicks" all I have to do is reminder her that Charlie Sheen earns $800,000 per episode. She starts frothing at the mouth in rage. Very cute.
posted by Paid In Full at 12:01 PM on July 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


I Love Lucy, as referenced above, is basically Fat Wife, but instead of fat, she's Ditzy Wife.

And also, all the condescension towards Lucy in the show is almost mitigated away by the fact that Lucy is such a brilliant, flawed, complex, human character.
posted by incessant at 12:47 PM on July 31, 2009


So, this is Dharma & Greg?

Also, I grope in vain for a settee is my new catchphrase. Thanks, everichon!
posted by CaptApollo at 12:54 PM on July 31, 2009


D&G is also Ditzy Wife. Which is as close as they get to Fat Wife.
posted by graventy at 1:45 PM on July 31, 2009


Charlie Sheen... makes.. a purported.... $800k... per... episode... in... 2.5... men....?

*froth* *froth* *froth*
posted by cavalier at 1:50 PM on July 31, 2009


TVTropes: Ugly Guy Hot Wife

(Also: Standardized Sitcom Housing)
posted by Rhaomi at 3:49 PM on July 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I Love Lucy, as referenced above, is basically Fat Wife, but instead of fat, she's Ditzy Wife.

Isn't this like saying chalk is essentially cheese except that instead of chalk it's cheese? I mean, "ditzy" has never occupied the same kind of cultural space as "fat" (especially not for a woman). Hollywood (and TV) are littered with ditzy-but-hot (or, rather ditzy-and-hot) women. Lucy's ditziness isn't meant to make us wonder "how does he put up with that clown" it's meant to make us think "oh, ain't gals the funniest things ever? The ideas they will get in their pretty little heads!"
posted by yoink at 4:37 PM on July 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Chalk is a kind of cheese that comes from rocks.
posted by DU at 4:58 PM on July 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah I think yoink's got it. It's nice in our own little idealized progressive mindspace to compare "fat" to "ditzy" as both being comparable character "flaws"... but in television reality, ditziness on women is supposed to be an endearing quality (see also). Fat is just used as shorthand for ugly.
posted by Riki tiki at 9:38 PM on July 31, 2009


I love this sort of stuff. Adam Carolla does this sort of thing with fake movie pitches. For a taste, listen to Adam's pitch of Pedif Isle. It's hilarious.
posted by reenum at 7:52 AM on August 1, 2009


I Love Lucy, as referenced above, is basically Fat Wife, but instead of fat, she's Ditzy Wife.

Isn't this like saying chalk is essentially cheese except that instead of chalk it's cheese?


Yes, except it's not like saying that at all. Fat Wife storylines and Ditzy Wife storylines are exactly the same. Both make fun of the wife, both are about stupid things that women do, and while Lucy was revered for her comedy, she was never presented on the show as being 'hot.' A common trope on the show was having Lucy interact with traditional beauties who Lucy felt inferior to, and we were all meant to be amazed that Ricky didn't leave Lucy for these hot women who orbited him. You only need to go so far as the first few episodes of the show to find a story about Lucy being fat, ironically enough -- early in the first season, an episode features Lucy trying to lose the 25 pounds she put on after marriage. She does, but ends up in the hospital at the end of the episode. I guarantee you that'd be one of the first episodes in "It's Fat Wife!" except now, she wouldn't lose the weight and the husband would declare he loved her anyway. Ditzy Wife actually more accurately equals Fat Husband, I suppose, from a cultural standpoint; ditzy wife is something the culture seems to embrace, as is fat husband. Ditzy husband and fat wife are probably less culturally acceptable.

it's meant to make us think "oh, ain't gals the funniest things ever? The ideas they will get in their pretty little heads!"

And that's EXACTLY what Fat Wife sitcoms would really be about, except instead of, "The ideas they will get in their pretty little heads!" it'd be, "The food they will get in their pretty little mouths!"

I think you guys are missing the key point here -- this isn't lampooning society's inability to deal with fat women, it's lampooning sitcoms and the fact that if you change the genders in the popular sitcom form, they go from being funny to sexist and cruel. Does that say more about our relationship to fat women, or about our willingness to poke fun at fat men? Or is it somehow a victory for fat men that they can star in these shows but fat women can't? Are we holding up fat men as the heroes in those shows or are they just the butt of jokes? Whatever your answer is to that question will inform how you react to an actual Fat Wife sitcom. She'd be the reason we watched the show. She'd be the star. She'd be the one to get the biggest laugh lines and she'd get paid the most. The one problem with this searing indictment of sitcom culture is that the fat husband sitcom form is roundly ridiculed and despised by everyone in this 'progressive mindspace.' It's not exactly a revelation that sitcoms are mean and Hollywood doesn't have a great track record portraying fat women well.

That being said, I still love "It's Fat Wife!" and think it's great satire.
posted by incessant at 10:14 AM on August 1, 2009


Fat Wife storylines and Ditzy Wife storylines are exactly the same. Both make fun of the wife, both are about stupid things that women do,

But this is just wrong. For a start, there are no "Fat Wife" storylines (except where both husband and wife are fat); the whole point of this spoof is that a sitcom like this would never get made. There are plenty of "ditzy wife" storylines, because the "ditzy wife" is a comedy staple. A fat wife of a hot husband would be seen as sad and pathetic, not cute and endearing. (In fact, that's exactly the point that Vivian Vance made about her character: "If my husband in this series makes fun of my weight and I'm actually fat, then the audience won't laugh . . . they'll feel sorry for me. But, if he calls me 'Fat old bag' and I'm not heavy, then it will seem funny")

and while Lucy was revered for her comedy, she was never presented on the show as being 'hot.'

Well, she was a touch past her prime, I suppose, but Lucille Ball was a famous beauty. She started out as a model, after all, and consistently played roles which hinged on her being considered sexy. The show emphasized her comedic skills, of course, but we were meant to understand her as being a strikingly attractive woman--in sharp contrast to her frumpy neighbor who was meant to be read as "ordinary."

A common trope on the show was having Lucy interact with traditional beauties who Lucy felt inferior to,

Every US sitcom about a married couple from the beginning of the genre plays on sexual insecurity in this way. Barbara Eden would get jealous of other women in "I Dream of Jeanie"--surely you're not suggesting that we were meant to regard her as a frump?

You only need to go so far as the first few episodes of the show to find a story about Lucy being fat, ironically enough -- early in the first season, an episode features Lucy trying to lose the 25 pounds she put on after marriage. She does, but ends up in the hospital at the end of the episode.

You skip a crucial couple of points here. First, the awful, elephantine weight she has arrived at in the show is 132lbs (which for someone of Lucille Ball's height, 5' 7.5", is on the low end of the ideal BMI). Second, she not only manages to lose the weight, she manages to get on Ricky's show and is a big success as a dancer before the final gag of being wheeled away on a stretcher. So, sure, part of the point is that she's a grown-up wife now and no longer the slip of a thing she was when she and Ricky first knew each other. But the other part of the point is that she's still "got it" when it counts. And, no, none of this is imaginable in the "Fat Wife" version of the comedy.
posted by yoink at 11:00 AM on August 1, 2009


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