Dietland Series Premiere Review: Time To Fight Back

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There were so many moments happening on the premiere that made me scream out, "I've said the same thing about myself!"

Can we all take a moment to appreciate how well executed the first few minutes of Dietland Season 1 Episode 1, were put together?

The various women from the letters Plum had read describing all of the things they disliked about themselves made it incredibly relatable on a lot of levels. It's rare to see a show, right off the bat, start with a message saying you aren't alone in the feelings you have. 

Here's Kitty - Dietland Season 1 Episode 1

Let's start by discussing just how wonderful Plum is. I fell in love with her within the first two minutes of her being on screen. When she mentioned she was called Plum because of her being succulent, but in the same breath said it's because she was fat – it just got me. 

That's me, Alicia Kettle, but everyone calls me Plum because I'm succulent and round. Also known as fat. It's OK, I'm allowed to say it. I'm telling you this from the future if you hadn't gotten that yet, but don't think this is one of those stories. I'm still fat.


I'll admit I internally groaned when I saw the skinny woman in the waist watchers meeting, but I quickly found myself empathizing with her when she said her husband thought she was fat. It's so easy to look at someone and think they're OK because they don't have the same issues as an overweight person.

Related: Dietland First Look: Juliana Margulies and Joy Nash Play Out Every Woman's Fantasy 

We forget just because someone looks a certain way doesn't mean they aren't fighting a similar battle. The same can be said when Janis came in, being the unicorn she was, and proudly declared she loved her body and only wanted to lose the weight to help her back trouble. 

Weight Loss Surgery - Dietland

There was no denial in how she felt, and there was nothing wrong with what she was saying; she was proud of who she was as a person. When did it become shameful to be happy in your own skin? Shouldn't you be able to express yourself freely no matter your size?

I came here to get help losing weight because I have back problems not because I hate my body.


I could easily identify with Plum when she took out the "goal dress" she wanted to wear when she lost the weight. Anyone who has ever gone through the stages of trying to diet has probably purchased some article of clothing they want to fit into eventually. 

Related: Dietland Trailer: Is This AMC's Version of The Devil Wears Prada? 

What really got me was when Plum said she wouldn't be called Plum anymore but would take the new name of Alicia. It's like being overweight took over her identity. It was also fascinating to see how Plum navigated the world around her. 

Leeta - Dietland Season 1 Episode 1

Plum's comfort zone was so small, but when she went out into the world, she tried to make herself invisible. She doesn't want to be a bother to those around her, so she instantly shuts herself down.

Who else has heard the beautiful eyes comments? It still didn't take away from the entrance of Kitty – Juliana Margulies made me want to worship her, but also smack her within the first few seconds. The all-white ensemble against Plum's dark one made an intriguing contrast. 

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While Plum wants to hide from the world, Kitty wants to attract attention. Bravo to the wardrobe department on the very creative choice in clothing. It was extremely odd hearing Kitty talking about the girls who write to her as "her girls," but what really made me laugh was her telling the story of cutting herself with a razor while shaving. 

I was a little confused when Julia made a big deal about figuring out Plum was the one writing the letters – didn't everyone know? Plum even introduced herself to Dominic as the one who wrote the letters. 

Plum And Dominic - Dietland

Of course, we all knew Plum was going to agree with what Julia wanted her to do. There was no way after everything Plum had been going through, she wasn't going to want to fight back. 

I told Julia I needed to think about it. Even if I wanted to do what she asked me I wasn't sure I could. Fifty-thousand emails, fifty-thousand girls lonely and desperate enough to write to Kitty, and Julia wanted them all.


Thankfully we didn't have to wait too long to see what happened next as we headed right into Dietland Season 1 Episode 2.

Who else was loving Steven's support of Plum? It's lovely seeing a male friend being the voice of reason instead of the typical female character shows usually use. Plum was able to discuss everything she was currently going through without Steven judging her. 

Related: Get HBO via Prime Video Channels for Addictive Dramas, Hilarious Comedies & Hit Movies! 

It was interesting to see the stark difference in friendships when it came to Julia and Kitty. It was clear Julia had been slowly building to take down Kitty somehow for many years or else Kitty wouldn't have been so comfortable talking with her. 

An Offer She Can't Refuse - Dietland

I loved the way Julia essentially told Kitty she wasn't crucial without Kitty realizing Julia was taking a jab at her. To someone like Kitty, the world revolves around her, but she needed to be reminded she's also not the only one in the world. 

What you do is vital, so important, but people don't think it's important. So that keeps you safe, see?


Who else was disgusted when Kitty blew off the allegations against the photographer they were trying to find? It wasn't hard to see why Julia had so much anger when it came to Kitty – she pretends to care about women when she only cares about staying on top. 

I can't be the only one who was enthralled by what Leeta was saying, right? While, yes, some of the ways she kept track of Plum were odd, she mad a lot of great points about the way people see themselves. 

Men Watch Out - Dietland Season 1 Episode 2

It always seems like it's the awful people in the world who think they are doing great because the ones who are out there changing the world don't see all the fantastic things they are doing. Why can't we start focusing on the awesome people instead of seeing everything the awful people do? 

People don't really see themselves, you know. Like some awful people think that everything they do is magic and than people who actually make the world a better place think that they are pieces of shit.


Here are my issues with Kitty – there were moments when I just downright disliked every single thing she did and said, but she'd go and say something that made me almost feel sorry for her. Thank you for such a complex character. 

It's clear Kitty was trying to stay ahead of the game because she knew she would be quickly kicked to the curb the moment she couldn't be the pretty face of the magazine. I couldn't even get angry with her when she told Plum she would be watching the fashion show through the computer. 

Related: Get CBS All Access via Prime Video Channels for Hit Shows, Exclusive Originals & Live TV! 

In Kitty's head, she probably thought she was doing the right thing when it came to the plus-size fashion show; though it would have made much more sense to send an actual plus-size woman from the magazine instead of a size two.  But who knows what is going on in Kitty's head? 

Cheryl And Kitty - Dietland Season 1 Episode 2

I'm still trying to figure out what Dominic is after. I know he has no problem with the way Plum looks, but I was curious why he was watching her at night. I know we'll get the answers, but I am a little bit impatient when it comes to mysteries. 

How freaking insane was it hearing what really happened to the woman who created the Baptist diet? It amazed me how many times the show tackled these preconceived notions of diets but showed the ugly truth to them that no one gets to see. 

We all want to believe the people who create these miracle diets really have these amazing lives, but we never see behind the curtain. Verena was right about the law only requiring the small print stating results aren't typical – when are consumers going to understand there isn't a lot of protection for them? 

Verena Listens - Dietland Season 1 Episode 2

It made a lot of sense why Verena decided to close those clinics – there was no way a person could be able to stay in the program long term. They'd always be told they were the ones doing everything wrong while also being sold a new diet plan. 

What I loved most about this show was the way they didn't focus entirely on the vigilante stuff, but put all the focus on the characters. No one character wasn't fascinating. 

It was awesome the way Dietland screamed from the rafters there is no one size fits all, and celebrating our differences is OK. I wish there were a woman such a Plum Kettle on my screen when I was growing up. 

Now it's your turn to tell me what you think. 

What did you think of the theme of the series? Did you want to see more vigilante scenarios? DId you identify with the various things the women were going through? 

Let me know in the comments below. 

Pilot Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.1 / 5.0 (17 Votes)

Samantha McAllister was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in November 2018.

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Dietland Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

My body was just a thing I used to move my head around. So I missed a lot.


That's me, Alicia Kettle, but everyone calls me Plum because I'm succulent and round. Also known as fat. It's OK, I'm allowed to say it. I'm telling you this from the future if you hadn't gotten that yet, but don't think this is one of those stories. I'm still fat.