Synopsis by Hal Erickson
In keeping with its policy of serving up TV fare unlike anything else ever seen on any other network, cable or otherwise, the FX network unveiled Starved, the world's first sitcom about eating disorders, on August 4, 2005. The series was created by Eric Schaeffer, a seasoned TV writer and real-life anorexic. Schaeffer cast himself as Sam, a commodities broker suffering not only from anorexia but also compulsive-eating syndrome (his addiction to chocolate had reached ridiculously monumental dimensions), who regularly attended meetings of an eating-disorder support group, the Belttighteners. The remaining cast members likewise carried over their genuine eating problems to the characters they portrayed: Laura Benanti was Billie, an anorexic-bulimic, bisexual aspiring singer, whom Sam alternately despised and adored; Sterling K. Brown was Adam, a NYPD cop whose chronic bulimia had led him to commit minor crimes to feed his ailment; and Del Pentecost was Dan, a writer and overeater who always managed to find an excuse to put off his much-needed gastric bypass surgery. In the tradition of Seinfeld, the four main characters were not terribly likeable or admirable, but all were eminently watchable. Although Starved was positively reviewed in most trade papers, it did not meet with the approval of the National Eating Disorders Association, who disdained the show as "no laughing matter." Ironically sponsored by several prominent fast-food chains, Starved first aired in tandem with another cutting-edge FX sitcom, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
eating-disorders, support-group, anorexia-nervosa, bulimia