HUGE (ABC Family) Series Premiere Early Review

Zander Eckhouse and Hayley Hasselhoff in HUGE

ABC Family’s new show HUGE will premiere its first episode, “Hello, I Must Be Going,” on June 28 at 9pm. I had a chance to take an early look at the episode and I think it’s a cute, heartwarming show.

There are a lot of new shows to watch this summer and, at first glance, a show about teens at summer camp might not seem that groundbreaking. The twist is that Camp Victory is a weight loss camp for kids struggling with their weight, body image, and all the other issues that come with being a teenager. Huge has a great cast of full-figured actors, which is something you don’t normally see on TV (outside of reality shows like The Biggest Loser).

Nikki Blonsky stars as Willamina, a girl whose parents are forcing her to go to camp and she is not happy about it. She rebels by sneaking in junk food and openly mocking Dr. Rand (Gina Torres), the head of Camp Victory. Blue-haired, sarcastic Will definitely has an edge to her, but Blonsky manages to play her with a touch of vulnerability so she doesn’t come off as a total brat.

Hayley Hasselhoff (yep, daughter of David) is Amber, who genuinely wants to be at camp and works hard to reach her goal weight. Beautiful, blond, and the thinnest girl at camp, Amber is popular with the boys, which is a new experience for her. She and Will are bunkmates, but their very different attitudes don’t exactly mesh well.

The thing I like about Huge is that it shows both girls and guys struggling with body issues, and I think it’s important to show the male perspective too. Weight is a touchy subject, but I was impressed with the honest yet sensitive way they approached it.

The most refreshing thing about Huge is that the characters are just so… normal. This isn’t your average teenage drama where everyone is impossibly beautiful and act like mini-adults. Beyond the weight loss issues, in this episode the characters struggle with shyness, betraying a friend, and crushing on a guy. These are all things that are part of growing up, so there’s something here that almost everyone will find relatable.

Based on the first episode, I think Huge is age appropriate for pre-teens and teens, and would a great show for parents to watch with their kids.

So don’t forget, ABC Family’s Huge premieres on June 28 at 9pm.