Imagine my excitement when I read that the family on the ABC comedy “Man Up!” was going gluten-free. What a great way to raise awareness about gluten intolerance, if not celiac disease itself, on national television. Unfortunately, the episode turned out to be quite a disappointment.
When the mom (played by actress Teri Polo, who I enjoyed seeing in the “Focker” movies) comes home from the doctor with her son, she tells her husband that they discovered that he has a “gluten allergy.” Perhaps they meant “wheat allergy?” The family then decides to go gluten-free, discarding all foods in the house that contain gluten. Soon after, they find themselves cheating on the diet. While this is certainly not heinous in and of itself, the fact that the characters ate out of the garbage can was ridiculous. And not just the kitchen garbage can but the ones outside of their house. Who does that? Perhaps a midnight run to the local convenience store for a bag of pretzels would have been more in line.
The most disappointing part of all, though, was when the mom attempts to serve gluten-free pizza for dinner and puts something that could only be described as slop on a spoon on her husband’s plate. ABC lost me here. They had a perfectly good opportunity to show how great-tasting gluten-free foods could be and instead added to the misconception that gluten-free foods have no taste.
If a network wants to incorporate real-life medical conditions and situations into their shows, perhaps they should consider hiring consultants who have experience dealing with the things about which they are clearly uninformed.
I’m available, ABC, call me.