Sunday, 6 January 2013

Jessie Wallace – Look at Me Now

A  new year, a new set of resolutions and the return of C-List Celebrity Workout. It’s been a while, I grant you, and while this might not be entirely worth the wait, it certainly is a C-List celebrity working out. And that, quite frankly, is all you can really expect.
Jessie Wallace is best known for her portrayal of Kat Moon (nee Slater) in Eastenders. I say best known, I’m not sure your average man in the street would be able to think of anything else she’s been in?

Love Actually? Those Activia yogurt adverts? No, wait a minute...

The DVD cover shows our celeb looking toned and happy beside the almost obligatory paparazzi shot where she’s wearing a swimsuit looking a bit saggy.
Jess has got no time at all for her old fat self. “Just a few months ago, I looked like this.” she tells us before doing the most enormous eyeroll. “Urggh! What a state! I was fat and out of shape.”

I can’t stress enough how much disgust she manages to convey in that “Urggh!”
She then goes on to tell us how she’d ‘ballooned’ to a size 14, explains that merely looking at a picture of herself from 2 months ago, causes her to be violently physically sick and then proposes that all fat people should be rounded up as a kindness to the rest of us and either forced to do Jessie’s Look at Me Now workout or shot. It’s possible some of this was cut for length.

The video appears to be set in an abandoned warehouse primarily used by criminal gangs to hide stolen Neon signs. There’s a massive neon “Me” behind Jessie throughout her workout. I presume the police arrived before the thieves could make off with the “Look”, “At” and “Now” ones.

There are also some massive lights and some tea-making stuff in the background by the looks of it so it’s possible the whole thing is supposed to be backstage on the Eastenders set. IMDB and Wikipedia both refuse to acknowledge this DVD’s existence, let alone give me comprehensive filming locations. I’ll either have to create or just make shit up.
Jess assures us that her diet and exercise plan are “Not a fad thing and not a passing craze.” I’m not sure it’s the celeb’s job to decide that. I don’t think this workout was any kind of craze back in 2009, even a fleeting one.

The workout consists of Warm-Up, Full Body Workout, Boxercise, ‘Legs, Bums, Arms and Abs’ and a Cool Down.
Jessie’s trainer is Paul Ellis, a buff, tattooed, mumbly sort of chap who doesn’t seem over the moon to be there but is prepared to put in a decent days work. In the Warm Up we get our first view of Jessie’s comedy marching which is marvellous sight to behold. At one point Jessie affects what I presume is supposed to be a breathy Marilyn Monroe voice and says “I call this one the Booty Booter?” Eh? Booter?

The Boxercise session was the most fun. It’s always pleasing to do a workout while imagining you’re taking part in a barroom brawl.  There’s one exercise where you simulate grabbing someone by the ears and then breaking their nose with your knee. Mostly it’s just pretending to punch people in the face. And step to the left. Punch! Step to the right. Knife to the kidneys! And rest.
There are a pretty varied bunch of exercise on this DVD and the instructions are straightforward enough. Jessie was quite excitable at times but not Barbara Windosr levels of crazy. She performed the advanced workout while Paul was the go-to guy for beginners. The camera sticks to Jessie pretty closely for a lot of the workouts making following Paul’s instructions a little tricky. Some of the beginner’s exercises could have involved reading the paper and eating ginger biscuits. I have no idea.

I did all the workouts in the workout section and the whole thing took about an hour. There was a “Killer Abs” workout in the Special Features section fronted single-handedly by Paul the trainer. Does Jessie even know this is on here? I skipped this as I am a woman of principal who refuses to do any exercise not endorsed by a celebrity. My abs will simply have to remain non-lethal.
Best Bit

There are proper songs being played during these workouts! With actual lyrics. Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” and “Poker Face” are included. I’m not a massive Lady Gaga fan, to be honest, but I was hugely excited that it wasn’t just plinky-plonky lift music again. You know what should happen, though? A Lady Gaga workout video with Jessie Wallace doing the music. Who wouldn’t pay good money for 60 minutes of this sort of thing:

Worst Bit

In the ‘Interview; section, Jessie discusses how she was inspired to spread the love and joy of her fitness regime to the world. Basically she was approached by Acme Personal Trainers Inc who asked her if she would like to get a bit fit and then release a celebrity workout DVD. It’s that blatant. She isn’t even pretending that this something she happened to be doing anyway before she hit upon the happy notion of flogging a DVD in time for Christmas. I know this is the way the world works but I feel a bit let down. The magic’s been destroyed.  Another tiny piece of my faith in humanity has crumbled away like when my parents lied to me about taking Tiny Tears to the Doll Hospital.

Why did you stomp on my dreams Jessie?
Difficulty Level
You know I think I was OK with this one. I was following the easy version but I was generally lunging and punching and marching as instructed. I got out of breath in an encouraging rather than scary way and no-one tried to embroil me in a complicated dance routine.

I have to take issue with the lunges though. Paul was very insistent that I not let my knee overshoot my toes. I’m not sure he and Jessie were playing by the same rules.
Would I do this Workout again?

You know what? It’s a new year, a new start and I’m being all positive about things. So why don’t we assume I will.

1 comment:

  1. Honestly, this is my new favorite blog... thanks for all the reviews and insights!