Shaq’s Big Challenge debuts on ABC tonight

Shaquille O’Neal helps kids lose weight on ABC’s new six-episode reality series Shaq’s Big Challenge, which debuts tonight at 9 p.m. ET.

Of the six kids, ages 11 to 14, five weigh more than 200 pounds; the other weighs 182. When TV Guide asked how the kids were chosen, Shaq helpfully explains that “we looked for kids who were obese.” For a weight loss show? Really?

In addition to helping them with their diets and exercise, Shaq “swaggers around with the kids, giving them street credibility and making them bully-proof,” The New York Times reports. “Watching this charming hero-giant, who has six children of his own, counsel boys and girls is a novelty on television.”

Shaq’s Big Challenge [ABC]
Shaq Attacks a Most Dangerous Epidemic Facing Kids [TV Guide]
Lighten Up, Overeaters. This 7-Foot Giant Is in Touch With His Inner Child. [New York Times]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.