I can’t help feeling a little guilty that Huge was cancelled.
I liked the show quite a lot; I just never remembered to watch it. And that is exactly why good shows don’t get good ratings. One of the writers, Savannah Dooley, is an out lesbian and her co-writer and mom, Winnie Holzman, created the marvelous My So-Called Life, so I am doubly ashamed for not tuning in regularly.
People who did watch, though, are rallying to try to save the show. The women of Jezebel have started an online petition to get ABC Family to reconsider its decision to end the touching and funny show about teens at fat-camp.
Actually, summarizing Huge as a show about fat-camp doesn’t do the series justice. The show was about overweight teens, true, but it addressed topics that are common to all teenagers: cliques, romance, parents and, yes, sexual orientation. And the approach wasn’t like The OC or One Tree Hill or 90210. The actors seemed like real kids with real problems.
Entertainment Weekly talked this week with Nikki Blonsky, who played the intrepid Will Rader, to get the star’s take on Huge’s cancellation. Here are some of her thoughts.
On what Huge meant to her:
I was really proud to be playing such a ballsy character like Will, who is not afraid of who she is. That’s what kids need to see instead of the typical stuff that’s on TV… I’m just honored that [fans] watched the show and that after hearing the horrible news that it’s been cancelled, they’re fighting for it with petitions and rallies. I can’t thank them enough.
On her reaction to the cancellation:
It definitely caught me off guard. We were so thrilled with the reviews we got … with how the media and the public were receiving it … We thought it was a show that was really helping kids. I still get fan mail and Tweets every day from kids saying that they’re not afraid to go to the beach in a bathing suit now or express themselves through their hair color or whatever it is they want to do. We had a show that was so different. We were the first plus-size cast, I think, ever, in Hollywood history. I just think it’s kind of sad that TV stations are a little scared of having such a different show with such different people.
On why a cast other than “skinny-and-pretty” is important:
It’s so important to see variety on TV, because that’s what America is all about. It’s like if a restaurant always served apple pie. At first it could be very appealing, but after a while it’s going to get boring. When you have all these different-looking people who are talented, why not give them the same opportunity to show that? I know when I turn on a TV show and there’s a bunch of really, really pretty people who are not my size, it can be somewhat depressing and upsetting. I can’t relate.
On the chances of getting another role like Will:
I’ve been very fortunate in my career to have played really wonderful young ladies between Tracy Turnblad [in Hairspray] and Will Rader, who are complete opposites. There aren’t a lot of well-written roles for women of a curvier stature in my age bracket. But if anybody in Hollywood has any guts, they’ll write a new character for a new TV show. I think the business should focus a little more on talent and a little less on looks.
Yeah. What she said.
The rest of the interview with Blonsky is at ew.com.
Did you watch Huge? What do you think of the cancellation? Will you sign the petition to save the show?