Dr. Phony

I never watch daytime television, so tonight’s Dr. Phil’s special “Family First” was the first time I have seen this guy in action.

He trotted out one horror story after another. One woman let her 2 year old watch 9 hours of TV a day. Another woman bought her daugher four rooms of stuffed animals. He sternly told these women to mend their ways. And shared his wisdom. If a child only colors in the lines [dramatic pause], she is containing her spirit within those lines as well.

On the other hand, he had good things to say about limiting the importance of material possessions and concentrating on your kids before other distractions in one’s life.

So, what’s with Dr. Phil? Is he a fat, bald phony or a rather smart guy whose priorities are in the right place?

10 thoughts on “Dr. Phony

  1. My $.02…
    I think Dr. Phil’s a big, loud, bully. He speaks in these absurd faux-homilies in telling women what to do with themselves, instead of addressing the underlying issues (because that wouldn’t fit into his show’s format). I think the guilty pleasure a lot of people get watching him is the same as that of a kid watching the teacher chew someone else out–a sort of “phew! Glad that’s not me!” along with a little pat on the back for being smarter than whoever’s getting busted. If these families don’t really have problems, then the whole thing’s pointless; if they do, Phil isn’t helping them.
    Mostly, on a purely visceral level, he makes me want to punch him in the face. He reminds me of various sweaty, balding, fake-laughing bosses who advised me “wear more makeup–men like that!” Grr.

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  2. There is definitely something gross about big tall Dr. Phil chiding all the little women. He actually tells them all that they are bad mothers. Like he ever stayed home full time with a two year old.
    The only time that he didn’t scold some woman in that special was when he was sucking up to a female celebrity.

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  3. He annoys me to no end. Especially his dieting book, which is unfortunately popular. I do not understand why people, particularly women, are drawn to him. I’ve never watched his show, but from the commercials, the situations people are in almost seem to border those of Jerry Springer or Riki Lake. It’s like a toned down version for the stay-at-home-mothers set. Just not my cuppa.

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  4. yeah, not my cuppa, either. Which bring me to another question. Why is this guy so popular? My theory is that his parenting stuff seems to be feeding into some deep insecurity that people have about raising their kids today without turning them into serial killers.

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  5. I think you may be right–Dr. Phill is probably the most easily accessible source of parenting advice for the majority of the population. The only other parenting advocates I can think of are the Sears couple and Dr. Laura (not fans of either, really). Personally, I like Miss Manners book on children and parenting: Miss Manners’ Guide to Rearing Perfect Children. It acutally has some practical advice in it.

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