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TLC's 'One Big Happy Family' is about a clueless clan

Shayne, Tameka, Norris and Amber in TLC's "One

Shayne, Tameka, Norris and Amber in TLC's "One Big Happy Family." Credit: TLC

A six-parter about the Cole family: a man, woman, boy and girl dangerously obese. But they don't seem to mind. This clan never seems to have tuned into a single episode of "The Biggest Loser," so blissfully zaftig are they. Each of them bends and creaks the scale at 350 to 400 pounds, and they are packing on more pounds - visibly, as you watch them inhale platters of fried chicken and other spectacularly caloric monstrosities. "We've always called ourselves the fat family and if you don't like it, don't look at it," says mama Cole, Tameka.

Easy for you to say, Tams, not so easy to do. First of all, there's a TV show, and, in the pilot, they do visit a water park where opportunities for various unfortunate pratfalls arise. Things get serious, though, when the Coles' kids go to the doctor, who warns Shayne, 14, and Amber, 16, that they're at serious risk of contracting diabetes or other life-threatening illnesses. Thus, the Coles get down to biz and try to lose the pounds.


There's nothing funny about obesity - duh - but "One Big Happy Family" is so loose and bouncy that it verges on playing the Coles for laughs. "The Jersey Shore" for the horizontally challenged. They seem like a nice clan, but almost improbably oblivious. When Shayne's doctor tells the parents that the kid could get diabetes, they seemed shocked, shocked. I have one little question for you, Coles: Ever watched "Oprah"? "Dr. Oz"? Do you even have a TV set?


This family needs help, not a reality show. And for viewers similarly afflicted, there's little helpful counsel here, at least in the first two episodes.


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