lesley crewe


I’ve had my fill of Dr. Phil

on April 13, 2010


I have to admit I used to watch Dr. Phil when he first came on the air…probably because Oprah told me to.  I do everything she tells me. It’s thanks to her I now know my true bra size. (Who knew bras come in J’s, K’s and L’s??)

Dr. Phil struck me as sincere and personable. I liked the fact that he and his wife were married the same year we were. Why I liked that, I have no idea. He was usually right, which is a good thing when you’re trying to help someone clean up the mess they’ve made of their lives, so I concede he’s done a lot of good and he’d be fun to have over for dinner. I like the man.

But I don’t like the show anymore.

The first time I became uncomfortable with the format was when he made two people either sit or stand in front of each other and look each other in the eye. Then he told them what to say and they said it.  Then he moved on to having families confront each other on opposite couches. That was hard to watch.

What was even harder was the boot camp or whatever he called it, that had a group of people partake in sessions over a few days, with cameras recording every sordid detail. Then these people moved into his house….well not his own house, but a place where couples could scream and curse at each other in a “homey” atmosphere.

Oh yes, I forgot he also had people agree to put cameras in their actual dwellings. And that’s when I started to turn it off. If this is really how people live, we’re doomed as a species.

But yesterday was the final straw. I can hear you say, “For someone who doesn’t watch Dr. Phil, you sure keep turning him on an awful lot”, but I swear on a stack of Bibles I was channel surfing. When I turned it on, there was the Dr. Phil Family, or at least the mother and one of the daughters. Now I remembered these people from years ago, when Dr. Phil was going to “help” this particular couple whose young daughter was pregnant. Fair enough. Lots of people need advice about that.

But because I haven’t been watching the program, I didn’t realize this family was STILL ON THE SHOW. What is this? Four years later?? And from the five minutes I watched, I learned that this child is now on her THIRD baby, with a couple of husbands or partners thrown in, who have been to jail and custody battles and court dates and injunctions and her own mother declaring her unfit and now the sisters don’t speak to each other and heaven knows if the mother and dad are still together. I didn’t want to find out!

I have a feeling Dr. Phil’s help is not helping them anymore. At this point I don’t think anyone can help them. I’m sure they’ve become addicted to being on television. And someone is making money off them, or they wouldn’t keep putting them on the show.

So there’s my dilemma. Dr. Phil should give them a name of a good therapist in their home town and say goodbye. His show has turned this troubled family into drama junkies. 

And it’s turned me into some kind of a goon. All I wanted to do yesterday was slap both the mother and the daughter. I also wanted to shake Dr. Phil by the lapels….because he’s bigger…..and say “Enough! Stop talking to them!

But since no one ever listens to me, I have a feeling we’ll be watching this family feud forever. The very idea makes me shudder.

2 responses to “I’ve had my fill of Dr. Phil

  1. Sarah says:

    Dr. Phil = Jerry Springer

    That is all.

    • Paul says:

      At least on Springer something is accomplished when the hillbilly’s get to punch eachother in the face. Springer doesn’t try to pretend to be more than what it presents.

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