Jackie Warner “didn’t want to exploit” Doug’s death on Work Out

Tuesday night’s episode of Bravo’s Work Out will apparently include the death of trainer Doug Blasdell, even though it occurred less than two months after another scene in the episode, when Jackie tells the staff that he’s in a coma.

“The first thing that crossed my mind was how do we deal with Doug’s death,” Jackie told the AP. “I didn’t want to exploit it, but we had to address it. This was a reality that we had to deal with — and we’re still dealing with it. But this is a reality show. He couldn’t just disappear.”

While she doesn’t say directly, it seems that they decided to compact it into one episode. With the tragedy airing as part of the third episode, Jackie says this season remains “the sexy season.” Part of that is because of her new relationship with her trainer and former Amazing Race cast member Rebecca Cardon.

Jackie says that her staff’s reaction to that relationship was unexpected. “I was really surprised. I mean, a gym is not a Fortune 500 company,” she said. And a Fortune 500 company is not a place where camera crews roam in search of interesting stories now that main character’s girlfriend Mimi, who liked to bite and throw things, is out of her life.

By the way, the AP story includes an idiotic comment from TV Guide’s Rochell D. Thomas, who criticizes the show for not being engaging. “Most reality stars seem to come from shows where people are competing for a prize or a goal. But this is a show about a woman, a lesbian, who started a gym and what it’s like to be a female boss. It’s not as sexy, it’s just that simple. There are some shows that people are drawn to because there’s something at stake. There’s nothing at stake here.”

Most reality stars? What about every cast member ever from The Real World? What prize are those cast members competing for, besides who can be the biggest skanky asshat? And what’s at stake in most docudrama shows–the very series that launched this genre? While I’d agree that shows with clear stakes have tended to draw large audiences over the past seven years, we don’t need prizes and an artificial competition to be engaged by someone’s life.

‘Work Out’ pumps up Season 2 with death, love [AP]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.