9 Questionable TLC Medical Shows That Caused Audiences To ‘Nope Out’
TLC has a long history of coming up with some of the most questionable reality shows on television – including some strange medical shows.
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As a network, TLC has gone through quite a metamorphosis over the years. It seems odd to say this now but the network was originally conceived as a channel focused on education and learning. TLC does technically stand for The Learning Channel, after all.
But starting in the late 1990s and into the 2000s, TLC went through a metamorphosis. It left the educational aspects behind in favor of reality TV series that some people have criticized as exploitative at best. In particular, TLC has had more than a few medical-styled series over the years that have caused some viewers to change the channel permanently.
10 My Big Fat Fabulous Life
Debuting in 2015, My Big Fat Fabulous life chronicles the journey of Whitney Way Thore. A medical condition played a part in causing her to suddenly gain an extreme amount of weight. The series follows Whitney as she navigates life.
While the series isn’t for everyone, it is generally positive to watch. No one would suggest that there aren’t some difficult moments, but at least it’s trying to do something positive. That being said, there are more that a few cringe moments that make fans change the channel.
9 Untold Stories Of The E.R.
One of TLC’s more popular medical shows was, and still is, Untold Stories of the E.R. It first hit the proverbial airwaves in 2014, and is still going strong today. During its run, the series has produced 142 episodes.
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The essential premise is that medical professionals tell stories about their craziest Emergency Room ordeals which are then dramatically reenacted. While the series obviously has a devoted following, it’s not for the faint of heart.
8 My Feet Are Killing Me
Once again, the magic of TLC’s unimaginative show naming decisions strikes. As one would expect, My Feet are Killing Me is about people with extreme foot issues who need surgery.
So far, there has only been one season produced, but that season came to an end right when the pandemic was beginning. It’s not necessarily the most disgusting series ever produced, but there are people who find feet to be inherently unappealing. They should avoid this one.
6 My 600-lb Life
This has proven to be a difficult show for some people to come to terms with. My 600-lb Life follows a variety of people with weight issues. Each episode depicts a year in the life of someone weighing 600 pounds as they try to slim down.
While helping people be healthier is always a good thing, some have accused the series of exploiting people with real health issues for television. Regardless, the series is obviously popular since it’s been on the air since 2012 and is still going.
If there’s one subject that TLC likes to lean on for content, it’s addiction. What a person is addicted to almost seems to be irrelevant as they have series that have covered almost every conceivable addiction.
Addicted didn’t seem to connect with fans. It aired one season on TLC in 2011 with a second season on a different network. It wasn’t necessarily gross but the series did feel exploitative at times, which may have been enough to keep people from tuning in.
4 Big Medicine
Before My 600-lb Life debuted in 2012, Big Medicine ran from 2007 to 2009. This series focused primarily on the physical, mental and emotional impacts of bariatric surgery on patients with serious weight issues.
The series didn’t click with fans the same way other TLC weight-related shows did. While it’s hard to pinpoint why it could be because the issues were not handled as delicately and it was a bit more graphic in the wrong ways.
3 My Strange Addiction
From 2010 to 2015, My Strange Addiction partially delivered what the title of the series promised. While they all didn’t have what would be medically classified as addictions, the people featured in the docuseries had a variety of conditions that resulted in some strange behavior.
An early episode featured a person who slept with a running blow dryer and another person who ate a roll of toilet paper every day. It wasn’t informative or helpful to the subjects, treating them like sideshow acts to be gawked at. The series was also accused of falsifying some portrayals.
2 Dr. Pimple Popper
If nothing else, one has to give TLC credit for being impressively on the nose with the names of their series. This one follows dermatologist Dr. Sandra Lee, aka Dr. Pimple Popper, as she deals with people with extremely unusual skin and facial issues.
This series is, at the very least, not exploiting the people who appear on it. But it’s also a tad disgusting, which isn’t shocking in the least. Dr. Pimple Popper has been on the air since 2018 and has a devoted following, but it also isn’t something that everyone is going to be able to watch without gagging.
1 Freaky Eaters
While the idea of following people who have a variety of eating disorders or addictions doesn’t seem strange for TLC, Freaky Eaters was actually kind of unique. It was based on a British series of the same name.
Keeping in mind that there are legitimate mental health issues behind these addictions, the idea of some eating up to 40 gallons of tartar sauce a year is hard to swallow. The series was canceled after two seasons as fans understandably didn’t want more of this.