My 600-lb Life and its cast have had real struggles, between filming being interrupted by the pandemic to being swamped with lawsuits.
But the at times hard-to-watch reality docuseries is returning for Season 9, and soon!
Season 9 of My 600-lb Life premieres this month.
The new season begins on Wednesday, December 30, and will air between 8pm and 10pm on TLC.
With the new season beginning so soon, it's surprising how little we actually know about it.
There is not yet a trailer for Season 9.
Such a teaser could be coming along any day now, but we have yet to see it.
When that happens, we'll get to know a lot more -- including the upcoming cast.
A lot of reality TV series have recurring casts, where perhaps a few stars are shuffled around between seasons.
But based upon the last 8 seasons, we can likely expect a bouquet of brand new stars who are struggling with their bodies, size, weight, and often resulting health issues.
Season 9 will follow their difficult path as they work against their own biology to shed a massive amount of weight in order to get the green light for weight loss surgery.
My 600-lb Life has come under fire more than once, accused of exploiting people with especially large bodies rather than helping them.
The series has also been said to focus upon dietary habits on a manner that feels voyeuristic or even cruel.
Others disagree, saying that the show helps people who could never afford surgery and weight loss treatments on their own access these potentially life-saving procedures.
However, the ongoing reality series is facing lawsuits from a growing number of unhappy former stars, as well as the family of a deceased star.
The show is accused of not providing adequate support, including mental health treatment, that plaintiffs say was promised to them.
After all, massive weight loss and (let's face it) public humiliation and stigma require therapy, especially when a go-to coping mechanism (food) is no longer an option.
Additionally, there were disturbing reports earlier this year that My 600-lb Life continued to film during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In at least one location, the show was accused of filming until March 26 -- weeks after many shows had halted production.
It has not yet been proven that they continued to film past any official lockdowns, but the sheer irresponsibility has a lot of people asking questions.
Remember, COVID-19 is particularly devastating on people who have preexisting conditions.
A lot of cardiorespiratory issues can be found in people weighing several hundred pounds, especially if they have been that size for a long time.
The novel coronavirus can be devastating even to young, healthy people. Those who are neither need to minimize their risks even further -- not allow a production team into their homes.
Weight is a sensitive topic, filled with intense stigma and a tremendous amount of misinformation -- even within the medical field.
But at the end of the day, we all deserve to look however we want to, even if that is rarely achievable.
We wish the stars of the show the best of luck on their body transformation journeys, and we wish them the best of health.