Friday, December 30, 2011

Dr. Phil is such a wanker!

Yes, I called Dr. Phil McGraw a "wanker".  I do watch his show, but not because I think he's a font of wisdom.  It's more because his show is like a train wreck.  Every day, troubled people come on his show looking for help.  He gives it to them in exchange for being allowed to condescend to them, threaten them, and basically humiliate them on national television.

Dr. Phil has cute little catch phrases which have unfortunately become part of the American lexicon.  The one phrase that makes me want to puke the most is when he says, "How is that working out for you?"  Granted, the people who come on Dr. Phil's show mostly have some kind of problem.  A lot of their problems are self-inflicted.  Some of Dr. Phil's guests are self-centered and irresponsible.  I get that.  But he deals with them by making jokes at their expense, threatening to "haunt" them, and talking to them like they're complete morons.

One thing I don't like about Dr. Phil's show is the way he panders to women.  Yes, I know that women are his primary audience and he has to please them to stay on the air.  However, I don't like that he patronizes them while simultaneously shitting on men.  He talks to women as if they need pity and protection, while at the same time, he tells them they can do whatever they want to do.  Dr. Phil tells an abusive man not to hit a woman because that makes him a coward.  Why is the man a coward only if he hits a woman?  Because she is supposedly weaker?  Shouldn't Dr. Phil be discouraging violence among both genders?

If I could, I would tell Dr. Phil that there are some women out there who don't want to have it both ways.  We would prefer to be thought of as on par with our male counterparts.  And that means we don't need special protections or consideration.  People who really want respect and equality don't ask for different treatment or favors or patronizing protective measures from Dr. Phil and his ilk.

Another phrase Dr. Phil uses is "I'm going to put some verbs in my sentences."  In other words, he's going to take some action that's going to affect the people on his show.  He talks to them as if he's their father about to give them a whoopin'.  It must be hard to be such a wise man who knows what everyone else should do.  He acts as if he can slip right into his guests' bodies and know exactly where each one went wrong.  Of course, the people who get invited to his show are those who are extreme...

Last year, Jessica Beagley, Alaska mom of six, went on Dr. Phil's show for "help" with her anger toward her adopted son.  The show Beagley was on sparked outrage among the masses because it showed her squirting hot sauce in her son's mouth and forcing him to take a cold shower.  It later came out that Beagley had initially sent milder videos documenting her discipline methods that Dr. Phil's producers didn't think were extreme enough.  They told her they wanted more.  So she sent the one that made her look much worse than she probably is... which led to an appearance on Dr. Phil's show and an investigation by CPS.  Beagley was later convicted of misdemeanor child abuse.

I can't imagine why anyone would want to be on Dr. Phil's show.  It's almost akin to going on Judge Judy's show.  You can almost guarantee ol' Phil will talk down to his guests and outright insult them.  Why would anyone want to set themselves up for that?  Of course, the bigger question is, why the hell do I watch Dr. Phil in the first place?  I'm seduced by a train wreck.

2 comments:

  1. Ah, reality tv shows are taking 'reality' to the next level! :)

    I have an ongoing mini-spat with my current roommie about how I dislike the US version of Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares because it seems so staged and catered to people who like seeing other people getting bullied and insulted and behaving like idiot crybabies in front of the tv camera (my roommie thinks that makes me anti-America). :oP The trouble is that I watched the UK version of the show first, and Ramsay seemed normal and even helpful then, focusing on the food improvement, so I don't appreciate the dumbing down with this US version that seems to turn everything into another variety of 'Judge Judy' show (all with similar sensationalized trailers with sensationalized background music). :o(

    I think I've watched Dr. Phil a few times when he first branched out from Oprah, but got bored with him very soon after. I'm with you, of course, in how it would be so much better for him to treat women equally rather than like some weaker beings that can't take it straight like the guys can. Would love to see him having a chat with Hillary Clinton... Hehehe.

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