There’s no mistaking Disney’s days at TV Press tour. The place is festooned with beefy, clean-cut guys in suits and little wires curling from their ears into their jackets, stationed in hallways and doorways, watching carefully.
Security is tight on Disney days, even when the most clear and present danger would appear to be the TV critics who are also “One Life to Live” fans who descended on “The Revolution” Q&A session.
Last April, ABC announced it would cancel “One Life to Live” after nearly 44 years to make way for “The Revolution,” which debuts Monday.
Each week on “The Revolution,” some woman’s five-month weight-loss journey will time-lapse in just five days; her final transformation will be revealed on Denouement Friday.
The new daily show, ABC has promised, will help viewers complete transformations in all areas of their lives, including physical and emotional well-being, family, fashion, home design, personal finance, food, jobs — and more!
The Revolution-aries include celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, ob-gyn Jennifer Ashton, carpenter-turned-“design expert” Ty Pennington, fashion guru Tim Gunn and therapist Tiffanie David Henry. On Monday, they came to Winter TV Press Tour 2012 to take questions.
“One Life to Live” fans are very angry and deeply committed to bringing down this new show, one “OLTL” fan-cum-TV critic announced dramatically at the start of “The Revolution” Q&A session.
“Any words for these people?” the critic asked. Then, she added: “I’m sure you people are really nice.”
Pennington noted that “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” on which he starred, also got canceled, so he should get a pass.
“Well put,” Gunn told Pennington graciously. “We’re not trying to replace anyone.”
“Speaking for me, but I know for all of us, it’s just a great joy and a great privilege and honor to be part of ‘The Revolution,’ because we are helping change lives,” Gunn added modestly.
The Revolution-aries proceeded to give critics an earful about their mission: They represent Hope — the same Hope that “elected our last president,” according to show executive producer J.D. Roth.
Roth is a one-man fat-farm industry. He also exec-produces ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition,” and the NBC series “The Biggest Loser.”
Women are sitting alone in the dark, the panel said. They’re on the hamster wheel of life. They need help getting “unstuck.” And it’s not just about losing fat — though losing fat is what Denouement Fridays are all about, because fat usually is connected to other issues.
While we wiped away tears, “OLTL” fans/TV critics in the room were sisters and brothers united against “The Revolution.”
“Wouldn’t the first step be turning off daytime television?” asked one TV critic and suspected “One Life to Live” fan.
The Revolution-aries pretended not to understand the question. Or, they’d been put through Art of the Interview 101: Don’t answer the question you were asked — answer the question you want to answer. Because they started repeating their message about this show being sooo much better than all those other fixing-women TV shows, because they are a virtually mini-mall of experts in all the various ways that women have fat-producing problems.
Another “OLTL/TVC grabbed a microphone: “What appeal does this show have for a woman who is fairly happy with her life, who is in shape, and who knows that skim milk has fewer calories than whole milk? Why should she, who enjoyed the aspirational, strong women of ‘One Life to Live,’ watch this show?”
Because, they explained, everyone can relate to misery. Or, as Tiffanie David Henry put it best: “I’m happily married, but I dated a lot of bums.”
Plus, J.D. Roth said, he didn’t think there is a woman on the planet who wouldn’t kill for the chance to go inside Gunn’s magic closet.
Even Gunn giggled over that one.