Hoping to demonstrate that misery loves company every bit as much as pizza does, “DietTribe” details the struggles of five real-life friends as they all try to shed 30 pounds before one of them marches down the aisle. Yet camaraderie among the group — which would be the hour’s lone distinguishing characteristic — mostly takes a back seat to sweating and crying, while building toward the inevitable weigh-in. In short, this is just another version of “The Biggest Loser,” and in terms of originality or flair, well, that tribe has spoken.
Engaged Anna and her friends all tip the scales at more than 200 pounds, with 90 days (and more significantly, five episodes) to slim down a bit before her wedding day. So they’re paired up with fitness trainer Jessie Pavelka and psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser in the latest attempt to tap into the always lucrative diet/workout industry.
Dieting is theoretically easier when you’re not the only one suffering (the premiere’s best moment features one of the women bidding farewell to French fries), but that wrinkle doesn’t add much to what’s otherwise another punny name in search of a series to justify it. The one mildly charged exchange occurs when 232-pound Shawna begins tearfully venting at the trainer who questions her commitment, fleetingly offering hope that she might knock that smirk off his face.
But no, it’s all just filler until the second weigh-in, when the women are again dressed in identical pink tops and forced to step onto the scale in front of their friends. Even the swelling music sounds eerily similar to every other diet show during this sequence — as if somebody is going to register a 10-pound loss or, barring that, something is about to explode.
Granted, America’s struggles with its collective bulging waistline has yielded plenty of marketable products (from a parade of “Oprah” episodes to Style’s recent series “Ruby”), but even sized up against that yardstick, “DietTribe” doesn’t rate as anything worth ranting or raving about.