Cameras in a Rehab! What a great idea.
Monday is a day where we desperately need to refocus our attentions and pinpoint our addled brains on a topic that will fascinate and spark insight as to the issue of human relations. Sure, we’ve thought about doing weeks on feather top versus memory foam (neither of which we actually use) and Coke versus Pepsi (easy, Coke). Neither of these topics elicits ranting or even a contemplative moment. So this week’s topic was brought about by watching TV and the glut of Reality Programming that we are forced to watch to just escape everyday life. This week we salute the Reality TV program and discuss how it helps or hinders our understanding of human relations.
Lee says: Personally, I watch Reality TV for the sheer rubbernecking aspect of it. As a psychotherapist, I see most reality shows are merely a thick gruel of pettiness, pathology and soft pornography. I love sitting there and predicting the whacko just in the first few minutes of the first show. No, I can’t watch a whole season of most shows. However, I will admit to some, which I just adore.
I love Dr. Drew Pinsky! There, I said it. His shows Celebrity Rehab, Sex Rehab and Sober House have been incredible examples of rehab and the addiction process that I must commend him on doing such a great job. Unless you have been in rehab or worked in a rehab center, you may think that the drama is fake ala ‘The Hills’ or exacerbated due to celebrities acting like divas, but you would be wrong. In my experience as the Clinical Director of a Rehab and Director of Programs, I can tell you with complete certainty that this shit is real.
My favorite so far has been Sex Rehab. Comcast is currently showing it On-Demand so you should catch a few episodes if you can. The show demonstrates some deep level therapy taking place with the bonus of great insights. I know that most of these people are unrecognizable and the term celebrity is extremely loose, but that takes nothing away from their work. In my opinion after their treatment, they were all rock stars (except for the Borderline that got kicked out). Dr. Drew even showed how they had to discipline a staff member (terminated) when she lost control and let the bitch of the season get to her. All of the drama was nothing compared to the realizations that the participants had. They did anger release, art therapy, group therapy and individual work that helped them work on issues such as sexual, physical and emotional abuse, abandonment and deep grief. And the best part is that it isn’t this bullshit ‘They all lived happily ever after’ stuff. Dr. Drew stresses the very present possibility of relapse which to the general public is just another reason to think that rehab is crap. What he shows is that relapse is real when you stop working your program. I loved that! Finally, some real television!
O.K., I know, I’m weird. The reality of reality TV is that most of it isn’t. I know you know that much is scripted and set up for drama but these shows and others such as Intervention and Hoarders show some real emotions and provide us with an education to real human relations. Everything else out there is sensationalized, hyperbolic shit that shows the worst of relationships. Even Super Nanny shows children who for the most part should be tested and medicated. I’m sure some shows aren’t even aired when they find the 4 year old terror just killed another neighborhood cat or the Nanny gets treated for tetanus after getting shanked by the 5 year old girl who fashioned a shiv out of Barbie’s left hand.
Paul says: Ok, so we are writing about reality TV. Is Battlestar Galactica real? No? How about Star Trek? No? Damn! I got nothing. How about Mythbusters? Yes! Great I love them because they blow stuff up.