Quick Take: My 600-lb Life, "Donald's Story"
The second subject from TLC's My 600-lb Life slips into a coma.
Review: My 600-lb Life, "Donald's Story"
For the most part, I can bash reality shows guilt-free, knowing that most, if not all, of what the producers choose for us to see is scripted or manufactured in some way. It also helps to know that these people know what they're getting themselves into by letting cameras follow them around to document and embellish their every brain fart. My 600-Lb Life is no different -- though I imagine that we're supposed to feel sympathy for the morbidly obese while TLC exposes the very real suffering and humiliation of a sub-culture largely incapable of helping themselves. Pun not intended.
And I totally would feel sorry for the 600-lb Donald Shelton and his slipping into a coma... if he hadn't been hopped up on cocaine and crystal meth. Despite a lifetime of medical complications, despite his self-acknowledged weight crisis and the ensuing progress he made in turning to a healthier life, he gave up, relapsed, got sick, and is worse off than he was before.
I guess some people will argue that he was "sabotaged by his mother," but it takes a certain kind of person to lay that kind of blame. And really, what 34-year-old leaves enough of his life in his mother's hands to sabotage? Check out the reaction from Donald's parents, and you tell me if they are capable of ruining the life of someone they love.
It's hard to even feign some sort of sympathy towards the subjects of these documentary-exposés. Despite the medical conditions that plague these individuals beyond their scope of control, I can't help but feel that a majority of these individuals are simply looking for a quick pay for their heavily overrated fifteen minutes of fame (pun intended) and may be making themselves worse simply for the attention. Cynical? Maybe, but then again, I have to wonder: Would the production team come across enough people weighing 600 pounds to be able to skip over someone for not being unhealthy enough?