Bright Wall/Dark Room.
2 years ago
TV MONTH: The Dr. Phil Show

by Almie Rose

Once upon a time, I had a secret shame. And his name was Dr. Phil.

But now, he is my greatest love. Sadly, my love and I are currently separated thanks to Roku, a service much like Apple TV, that allows me to “cut the cable cord” and watch TV via Internet. So my beloved Phil McGraw is now lost to me in the realm of daytime television—no man’s land as far as Roku is concerned. I have been reduced to watch clips of his show on his website. It is pathetic. It is glorious.

I have learned a lot from Dr. Phil. You may scoff all you like, but the man is full of surprising wisdom. His quotes about life, love, and relationships ring true. And they also work as a fantastic drinking game, since he says them so often. Here they are, in case you want to play along:

  • "I don’t care how flat a pancake is, it still has two sides."
  • "It’s better to be healthy alone than sick with someone else." 
  • "The only thing worse than being in a bad marriage for a year is being in a bad marriage for a year and one day."
  • "We teach people how to treat us."
  • "The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior."
  • "Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?"
  • "Sometimes you have to make the right decision, and sometimes you have to make the decision right."
When Phil speaks, I listen. Similarly, when Dr. Oz speaks, like the almighty Wizard of, I listen. And when he stares at me through the screen with his 1960’s James Bond villain look, I feel that he’s listening back.

Yes, Dr. Phil wanders into Jerry Springer territory at times, though no chairs have ever been thrown. Still, guests have cursed, shouted, and walked off the stage. And when the audience hates a guest, they make it known. In one episode on open marriages, the outspoken wife left the stage and returned with a bottle of lotion, because she said her legs were ashy. That did not go over well.
Another guest, in a segment about troubled marriages, randomly admitted to murder. I’m serious. He couldn’t remember if he killed someone. And Dr. Phil wasn’t even shaken. True, he did know beforehand, but the man’s own wife did not, and neither did the audience. It was completely bizarre. As it turns out, through close investigation, the man did not kill anyone. Or if he did, the body was never found.
I am telling you, if you are not watching this show you are missing out.
The variety of fucked up people in this world are prime for entertainment, though Phil always insists that his show is not about watching fucked up people struggle with their hilariously fucked up lives (though not in those words), but that his show is all about helping people, that if one person is in a similar situation to as his idiotic guests and can learn from their mistakes, it’s worth it. He is here to help us.
And you know what? He helps me.

Almie Rose is a writer person from Los Angeles, California. She blogs at and tweets at @apocalypstick. You can “like” her on Facebook but if you don’t she’ll totally understand.
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