First Impressions

Just Jillian

Aired on: E!

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

                I'm not big on reality shows, but there is something about the latest one on E! that had me tuning in this past Tuesday.  I have always enjoyed the sassy style of fitness trainer Jillian Michaels and have admired the way she shares her life with those who need her help, offering them inspiration as she aides in changing their lives.  So, I found myself watching two episodes of Just Jillian, a new reality series  in which we see a side of Jillian Michaels that we never have seen before - her home life.

                In the premiere episodes of Just Jillian, viewers get to know the other side of Jillian Michaels, the side that is just a human being having coped with a rough childhood and obesity problem...the side that still is overcoming issues with family and trust and more.  We meet Jillian's life partner Heidi Rhodes and their two children, Lukensia and Phoenix.  We are introduced to the struggles Jillian faces trying to balance her home life while still maintaining her ever-growing fitness brand. 

                It's nice to see this side of Jillian, even though we know that most reality shows only air what they want you to see.  So, we get to see the funnier moments, like Jillian freaking out over some particularly unfortunate selections of new exercise wear for her Impact line, her cursing tirades, her superstitions, her fun times with friends and family.  It was even a bit funny to watch her squirm when friends asked her when she was going to finally marry Heidi, until you realize what issues lie behind her not wanting to tie the knot.  Michaels fear of divorce and all it brings with it stems from what she has seen in her own life regarding the bitter endings of marriage.  We also learn about issues she has with other siblings, co-workers and more and the hardship of trying to spend time with her family when there are so many other demands pulling at Jillian from all angles.

                Just Jillian was entertaining and bleep-filled, which elicited quite a bit of laughter from this sometimes child-like viewer (think, she said, "#%&@#%$!," followed by peels of teenage laughter coming from a...well, let's just say adult and leave it at that).  I liked seeing the other side of the woman who usually seems so much in control.  This behind the scenes look is revealing, but I wonder how long will be too long for someone who once seemed to be a rather private person and now seems to be airing out all of her laundry, dirty or not.


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