MONDO EXTRAS

A Dr. Phil Primetime Special: Family First

If the point is making me wish Dr. Phil would freaking show up, they are doing their job. Mrs. H calls Daddy out, swinging a knife around on their (you know it) cedar deck with built-in picnic table. Nicole, the hoss, gets everything she wants from Dad, says Mrs. H, and also was caught once with alcohol. Nicole comes clean: "Sure I drink, wouldn't you?" I admit I'm paraphrasing. Cut to Mrs. Horvath and some martyrdom shit, of course, which we're done talking about. Youngest daughter screaming in terror and running in front of the Couch That Ate Newark for reasons unknown. Derek getting screamed at while clad only in white socks and some hideous board shorts (just like Daddy!). Mrs. H threatening to kill everyone in the (you know it!) built-in cedar above-ground pool. "I am very willing, and able, at any minute, to just pack my bags, and get the hell out," threatens Mommy, scaring no one, and causing not a few sets of fingers to cross. Including mine.

Cut to (I know! I keep cutting to things, but it's not my fault! I think Dr. Phil has ADD! It's like a Britney Spears video up in here!) Dr. Phil and his fifty thousand TV screens, looking just devastated as he watches the whole Horvath Smackdown. He tells us "what we are dealing with here is a family that's lost its rhythm," which I gather is a Dr. Phil-coined phrase that seems more innocent than it really is, because apparently it means "a family that's lost its fucking hold on reality," which sounds a bit harsher, I guess. "You've gotta have a rhythm, you've gotta have things that are flowing. And she's defined it here. Chaos." So wait, do they have one? Or not? Do I have to buy the book, or the diet or whatever the hell it is, to find out what this "rhythm" is about? Things that are flowing, huh? Is that like blood? Or self-hatred, or complete lack of a father, or like bulimia? What is it exactly? Dr. Phil won't tell you. Your family is just too messed up to know about it. So we'll keep watching and we'll BUY THE BOOK.

"Why's Daddy being such a [horrible expletive I can't decipher]? Does anybody have an answer for that?" she screams at all of their children as they queue up to get into the (you know it!) Winnebago. Big Brother Phil hits pause on their lives and I think he's going to look out at us and say, "What the fuck, people?" but instead he says, "Active communication is a critical factor to your successful family I guarantee you that's not communication that's just noise." Just like that, with no pauses or breathing, just talking right at you like it's all your fault. For somebody I thought was going to be all in your face he's certainly pulling his punches, like saying they've "lost their rhythm" instead of just saying "Child Protective Services" or "that's just noise" instead of "This is the part where I got in my car and drove to Jersey and punched this bitch in the face for talking like that in front of her children, or anyone's children, and then I made the dad wear a dress to teach him a lesson." On the other hand, maybe that would be unprofessional for a therapist. Which I am not, and that's probably best. ["I disagree, but my point in interrupting here is to mention that, usually, he's, like, staring into the camera and laughing speechlessly at people like this -- but that's on the daytime show. Maybe he has to be less snide in primetime." -- Sars]

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A Dr. Phil Primetime Special: Family First

If the point is making me wish Dr. Phil would freaking show up, they are doing their job. Mrs. H calls Daddy out, swinging a knife around on their (you know it) cedar deck with built-in picnic table. Nicole, the hoss, gets everything she wants from Dad, says Mrs. H, and also was caught once with alcohol. Nicole comes clean: "Sure I drink, wouldn't you?" I admit I'm paraphrasing. Cut to Mrs. Horvath and some martyrdom shit, of course, which we're done talking about. Youngest daughter screaming in terror and running in front of the Couch That Ate Newark for reasons unknown. Derek getting screamed at while clad only in white socks and some hideous board shorts (just like Daddy!). Mrs. H threatening to kill everyone in the (you know it!) built-in cedar above-ground pool. "I am very willing, and able, at any minute, to just pack my bags, and get the hell out," threatens Mommy, scaring no one, and causing not a few sets of fingers to cross. Including mine.

Cut to (I know! I keep cutting to things, but it's not my fault! I think Dr. Phil has ADD! It's like a Britney Spears video up in here!) Dr. Phil and his fifty thousand TV screens, looking just devastated as he watches the whole Horvath Smackdown. He tells us "what we are dealing with here is a family that's lost its rhythm," which I gather is a Dr. Phil-coined phrase that seems more innocent than it really is, because apparently it means "a family that's lost its fucking hold on reality," which sounds a bit harsher, I guess. "You've gotta have a rhythm, you've gotta have things that are flowing. And she's defined it here. Chaos." So wait, do they have one? Or not? Do I have to buy the book, or the diet or whatever the hell it is, to find out what this "rhythm" is about? Things that are flowing, huh? Is that like blood? Or self-hatred, or complete lack of a father, or like bulimia? What is it exactly? Dr. Phil won't tell you. Your family is just too messed up to know about it. So we'll keep watching and we'll BUY THE BOOK.

"Why's Daddy being such a [horrible expletive I can't decipher]? Does anybody have an answer for that?" she screams at all of their children as they queue up to get into the (you know it!) Winnebago. Big Brother Phil hits pause on their lives and I think he's going to look out at us and say, "What the fuck, people?" but instead he says, "Active communication is a critical factor to your successful family I guarantee you that's not communication that's just noise." Just like that, with no pauses or breathing, just talking right at you like it's all your fault. For somebody I thought was going to be all in your face he's certainly pulling his punches, like saying they've "lost their rhythm" instead of just saying "Child Protective Services" or "that's just noise" instead of "This is the part where I got in my car and drove to Jersey and punched this bitch in the face for talking like that in front of her children, or anyone's children, and then I made the dad wear a dress to teach him a lesson." On the other hand, maybe that would be unprofessional for a therapist. Which I am not, and that's probably best. ["I disagree, but my point in interrupting here is to mention that, usually, he's, like, staring into the camera and laughing speechlessly at people like this -- but that's on the daytime show. Maybe he has to be less snide in primetime." -- Sars]

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