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Posted at 02:23 PM ET, 03/20/2011

Read this: “Ruby” provokes thought, but does it enable? The rise and fall of D.C. nightlife titan Marc Barnes

Ruby Gettinger of “Ruby" (Style Network)
“Ruby,” a series about a woman trying to work her way down from 700 pounds, is the rare reality show with the depth of documentary filmmaking. No cheap transformation thrills here: At season four, Ruby’s still stuck at 335. Hank Stuever appreciates the nuance — and appreciates that viewers appreciate it — but wonders if the show has caught its star “in a cycle of neediness”:

Does she sabotage her diet in order to prolong the attention she gets from the show? Does she avoid the abuse issues because of the reliable hugs from her support group? … With as many as a half-million viewers per episode; many post emotionally supportive notes to Ruby on the show’s Web site. Ruby now luxuriates in a marshmallowy cocoon of affirmation.

Barnes at The Park nightclub. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)
How did Marc Barnes, D.C.’s top club owner, end up in bankruptcy? The pioneer of urban nightlife (secretly a stodgy suburban dad) plots his comeback while his rivals predict his demise.

TV Reviews: ‘Ruby’ and ‘Too Fat for 15,’ patiently exhibiting reality’s rare virtues, 3/20/11

Magazine: The rise, fall and what’s next for Washington nightclub king Marc Barnes, 3/20/11

By  |  02:23 PM ET, 03/20/2011

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