Another Little People Show? Really?

Time for a rant.  What’s up with TLC and their obsession with little people.  I understand the why people are drawn to such shows — morbid curiosity.  They want to stare at little people on TV.  TLC obtained initial success with the reality show “Little People, Big World” that chronicled the life of the Roloff family.  That show explained the daily difficulties of little people.  However, it also showed that little people are just people.  Their families are just as average as every other normal family (needless to say I am not too impressed with the Roloff’s parenting skills).

Then comes the show “The Little Couple.”  To be fair, I like the couple in this show a whole lot more than the Roloffs.  Bill and Jen (aka “the little couple”) are very normal, well-adjusted, loving people.  My biggest problem with this show?  It majors on the mundane.  The producers spend time following the couple on benign vacations and birthday celebrations while failing to explain all of the triumphs and successes that had to occur for Jen to become an intensive care pediatrician!  Essentially, this show follows very normal, intelligent, average people who happen to need a step stool to cook dinner.

I am not trying to minimize the difficulties of little people.  I understand life is more difficult for someone with dwarfism.  I just think we’ve turned disabled people’s lives into a carnival freak show.  We pay the network our money and stare at the “Little Couple,” “The Little Chocolatiers,” or the “Little Parents.”

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I saved my TLC rant about shows featuring morbidly obese people, or families with 20 kids, or anyone who is getting married…

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16 thoughts on “Another Little People Show? Really?”

  1. “…My biggest problem with this show? It majors on the mundane…”

    LOL, then it sounds like they have succeeded in showing that their life isn’t really any different than someone who is taller.

    For alot of folks, the only place they’ll see someone who is a dwarf will be on television. When they do see them on the television or in the movies it’s like the Munchkins or a stereotypical “reality”. If you think of the people who’s opinion of what folks are like is formed by what they see on television, maybe it’s good to see real vs “real”.

    LOL Just wondering. Have you ever seen the movie “Ed tv”? It’s alot like The Truman Show in plot. Both are fictional accounts of “reality” televison. Also interesting is the credit card ad campaign that shows how stereotypes can be problematic. (The “Harley” guy who’s got good credit vs the “clean cut” guy who’s an idenity thief.)

  2. How about TLC’s “Strongest Boy in the World” about the toddler who, get this, has alot of ENERGY! AND…he doesn’t sleep well at night because he likes to play! And he would rather jump on the couch than watch TV! And he wears his parents out! He has a muscular frame for certain, but I’m willing to put my own little guy face to face with him in an arm wrestling match, because to me, this kid was obscenely NORMAL.

    Good grief.

  3. Unfortunately it’s supply and demand, they are doing another show because of the ratings of the previous shows they had on the same topic. I personally feel like they should stop, I love the insight I’ve gotten from watching a few episodes but after a while it feels like we don’t take their difficulties seriously or its not focused upon because the show is made exciting for TV.

    Well, as long as Octomom doesn’t get her own show…

  4. Im in Montana and just helped with a tv shoot for a pilot. It’s about a little person in town that manages a car lot and shoots crazy commercials. It can always be worse!

  5. I’ve seen a few episodes of “The Little Couple” and after the initial interest wears off, it seems to just be ordinary and mundane.

    My wife and I do catch an episode of the Duggers occasionally and enjoy that, but we seem to relate to them since we have nine kids.

    We have a pretty unique story as well, but I can’t imagine TLC coming to knock on my door, and I would send their cameras away if they did. Can’t imagine living that way!

  6. Enough of little people! How about some other groups that have challenges to surmount?? I like the little couple, but other than being of shorter stature and searching for a surrogate–the interesting thread–they’re pretty much like most young marrieds.

    I do love the wedding shows, however. Both the creative design aspects and how friends and family members react to the bride make for very interesting social and psychological dynamics.

    I’m also sick of the enormous families strain in TLC. ‘Can’t stand the Duggars!!

    I’d like to see some shows about older, never married people like myself, living in a society designed for couples and families with children. We’re part of American society, and unless we hoard, kill, etc., are totally unrepresented in TV programming.

  7. I love watching the Little Couple. I think the husband is one of the sweetest men on earth.
    He’s such a doll. The doctor wife giggles a wee too much but I think its nervousness that makes her laugh so much.
    AND it has made me realize how their life is and appreciate what they go thorugh. WE saw a little couple in lowes the other day and my husband assumed it was the same couple on TV. As if there is only one little couple in the world….
    Without sounding harsh if you don’t like it don’t watch it. lots of shows bother me and so I don’t TIVO them or watch them….

    1. You are correct. If I do not like it I can watch something else. However, if it is a form of cultural exploitation then it is immoral.

      If I see something immoral I don’t have to participate or “watch” but I also have an obligation to speak up!

      The reality is, I think these shows, networks, and people are exploiting a disability rather than shedding light on the “lives of little people.”

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