Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rebel Wilson's not just a 'fat girl.'

By Ana CL

So I was pretty excited when I heard that Rebel Wilson was coming out with her own show. She's an insanely fierce funnywomen, blessed with killer comedic timing, and a hulkish on-camera presence, to rival any network front-liner's.  (swoooon!)
Not to mention that unlike many other TV-actresses,  Ms. Wilson doesn't have the dainty limbs, or model-like proportions necessary to mask a weak  performance. (I'm looking at you, Whitney Cummings. That's right, thin+snarky doesn't a comedienne make!)
All in all, a solid start for Rebel. (and a bitchy start for me, amirite?)

But after checking out the first 2 episodes of her sitcom, (Super Fun Night), I was forced to conclude that the new series was not only undeserving of the high-powered feminist anticipation it's been afforded, but undeserving of Rebel Wilson herself.

It seems that like her fellow plus-size comedienne Melissa McCarthy, Rebel's been relegated to the network basement of fat-jokes,  populated by zingers like “The only trophy I ever won was for the ‘guess the weight of your own boobs’ competition." Other such highlights involve scenes of Rebel's character Kimmie,  barreling into a meeting  unannounced--  after hearing jelly donuts would be served. Unsurprisingly, this moment is then followed by a cringeworthy admission on Kimmie's part, recounting a time her hand got stuck in a vending machine. ( On TV, fatness must always be justified with hillariously undignified antics.)

That's right, with all her starpower, ABC couldn't trust Rebel Wilson to carry a show about anything other than weight-gags. It's not even that i'm against 'mean-humor' per se, (yes, it's problematic, but it's also a delicious staple of network Television. ) I just find it disappointing that the creators of  her character, couldn't be bothered to come up with any other traits to goof on, than the obvious size factor.

(Plus, it just seems like lazy writing, to say "hey guys, she's fat" and then coast for the rest of the episode.)

Hilarious! let's turn this into a whole episode!

On top of that, the show  does Kimmie the additional disservice of desexualizing her. (A standard practice on  TV, where fat womens' sexualities are either erased, or played for laughs.) We're acquainted with this impulse early on in the pilot, when a beautiful co worker named Kendall asks Kimmie about her relationship with their boss's son.  The ensuing exchange goes:

 Kimmie: "Richard and I are just friends."
Kendall: "with benefits?"
Kimmie:"is sharing stationary a benefit?"

Really, a grown woman is so clueless about sex, she doesn't know the term "friends with benefits?" Are you kidding me with that, writers?

Sadly, our sassy heroine doesn't fair much better in the second episode, wherein she and her friends sign up for an online dating service (Quick poll: How many people foresee imminent humiliation?) :  And after securing a response from some guys looking for a group outing, (is that a thing?) they discover its only because Kimmie had pretended to be a Russian model.

Get it? Fat women are undesirable liars, who need to trick men into going out with them. How novel. 

What are your thoughts?


  1. Agreed. I watched the first episode to see where it would go, and unfortunately, the easy fat jokes came flying fast and furious. I was hoping for something more.

  2. yep, it was pretty disappointing-- although not unexpected. i feel like its mostly due to laziness-- nobody wants to move beyond the tried-and-tested formula...