Self promotion and exploitation are the basic motivators for Dr. Phil’s show. I am not the only one who feels that way, just check out his show’s Facebook page to see complaint after complaint. What’s up now? For those of you who don’t tune in I’ll explain. This year Robin, Dr. Phil’s wife, has “created” a skin care line (and I use the word “created” very loosely). On top of that, Dr. Phil and his son Jay have created a new app called, “Doctor on Demand,” that allows you to connect with a real doctor, who will diagnose you over your smart phone and give you a prescription for whatever ails you for a mere $40, the cost of a co-pay, in the comfort of your home. That is what is on the agenda for this season. Two money making schemes to add to the riches of Dr. Phil’s pockets. That is after all Dr. Phil’s forte, bilking people out of money under the guise of helping them when, in actuality, he is helping himself.
Let me explain why this irks me. I was watching a show about an abused woman. She had little self esteem, the husband was a real jerk who verbally assaulted her every chance he got. He doesn't find her attractive, blah, blah blah. So they are telling their story and half way into the show (or less) Dr. Phil announces that Robin is going to help the wife by giving her a “make-over.” I’m thinking fine, the wife and Robin will go backstage together while Dr. Phil lays into the jerk of a husband and straightens him out. But no, that’s not what happens. Instead, we get to see the entire make-over from start to finish, focusing on Robin’s skin care line which is going to make all the difference in this woman’s life. Insert eye-roll. All the while Dr. Phil and the jerk of a husband are sitting out on stage waiting for the miraculous transformation that is going to save this marriage. The make-over takes about 30 minutes and is basically a self-serving “infomercial” within the show. There is no other way around it. Promoting Robin’s products and the fact she will be appearing on a cable channel after the show to hawk her goods some more. I was disgusted. Many people of the Dr. Phil page were disgusted. Instead of taking care of the problem “husband” they put a Band-Aid on the wife and sent her home with skin cream. In the meantime you can hear the “chi-ching” for orders being placed all over America and maybe even the world. After this show aired, it wasn’t the end of the shameless promotion of this skin care line. Every female guest appearing after that show needed to be treated with more of the same. They didn’t waste as much time, but managed to beat a dead horse promoting their products when they should be helping the guest.
Moving on to the Doctor on Demand App. How long has Dr. Phil been “treating” people on his show? Over ten years I would guess. Never before has he had the need for an medical doctor to define every illness and it’s consequences. Up until now, he has ben able to tell guests the what will happened if they continue to do drugs or alcohol. This isn’t his first rodeo after all. He knows his stuff and what he doesn’t know he can easily find out. But now he is all of a sudden playing dumb. Every guest that is harming themselves with drugs or alcohol needs to hear what a doctor on demand has to say about it. Midway through his interview the will tell us he and his son Jay have created an app that allows you to speak to a doctor about any medical issue. Dr. Phil will whip out his smart phone, that has already connected itself to a doctor from his app, and start asking the doctor questions about the guests condition. He will hand the phone over to the guest as he asks basic questions and then thank the highly qualified doctor for answering. Then he encourages everyone to download the app and gets back to his guest. It really is unethical to use the show in this way. Doesn’t Dr. Phil have enough money without taking time away from guests who have come to him seeking his help? And we all know that he combs through all potential guests to find those who will bring him the highest ratings because this show is a cash cow for Dr. Phil and all his products. He even promotes his son, Jay's, show The Docotrs and his son's publishing company that published the good old doc's lasst book.
He may have started out a tiny bit sincere about trying to help people overcome problems, but now (and for a long long time) his guests have become a means to an end. A way to help his empire grow. Who cares if that woman’s husband, the jerk, continues to verbally abuse her? They gave her skin care products and let her be on the show to exploit her problem as a means to launch Robin’s line. And who better to subscribe to his app Doctor’s on demand than hypochondriacs? They can call in every day! Yes, he did have a woman on there who suffered from hypochrondria and he suggested she use his app. Cha-ching.