TLC doesn't exactly shy away from headline-generating shows, but one that's coming down the pike next month isn't garnering the best of buzz. Per a press release, Hot & Heavy, a reality program that debuts Jan. 7, shadows three men as they "face judgment due to their mixed-weight relationship" with "plus-size women," as well as try to "prove to their skeptical friends, family, and the public that love is love no matter what you look like." CNN lays out the details on the three couples being featured, based on the release: There's Joy and Chris, who want to advance their relationship, despite the reservations of Chris' loved ones that Joy won't be able to keep up with his adventurous lifestyle; Kristin and Rusty, who start having disagreements when they realize Kristin might need gastric bypass surgery to have a baby; and Adrianna and Ricardo, who face constant public taunting due to Adrianna's weight.
BuzzFeed notes there was immediate backlash online when the show was announced, with complaints on everything from the show's title ("horrible") and the use of the term "mixed weight," to the hard-to-miss fact that all three of the "heavy" cast members are women. "Let's retitle, 'How Can Men Possibly Love Fat Women?'" one commenter snarked. Insider notes even the show's logo puts an emphasis on the word "heavy." One critic thinks the entire concept is "garbage." "We're not anymore uniquely challenging as romantic partners than straight-size people," writes Samantha Puc, editor-in-chief of Fatventure magazine. "We're not fetish material. We're not freak shows. We're not PROBLEMS. Stop treating fatness as if it's a plague until it suits your needs to treat it as entertainment. It's neither." See the trailer here. (Read more TLC stories.)