Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dr. Loveline

In the early nineties, I was a young twenty-something who loved to go out with my friends, dig my music, and watch certain shows on MTV. One of my favorites at the time was Loveline. I don't know if anyone remembers that show. I think Adam what's his face hosted it--the guy who used to hang out with Jimmy Kimmel--and there was some female host too. There was a studio audience, average guests, and callers, and everyone would discuss love, relationships, and sex. It was a twenty-something's version of Dr. Ruth. And of course, with a show that had such potential to go awry, there had to be a voice of reason. Thus came the intelligent, attractive, kindly Dr. Drew Pinsky.

The first time I saw Dr. Drew, I was distracted by his prematurely gray hair, his glasses, and his classy suit and tie. Way too old. Then he spoke. Aaaahhh. Only a man of sheer genius could understand women the way he did. Only a man who was in touch with how women thought and felt and experienced the world could say the things he did. And thus, a love affair was born.

Poor Detective Goren. Yes, there were men before you. And (I shudder at the thought) there will probably be ones after you as well.

I watch Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. I don't think he gets nearly enough screen time. He puzzles me with some of the things he does--for instance, I don't understand the need for a stethoscope while you're having a group or individual therapy session with a person. Kind of goofy. But one thing I'll say for the guy--he GETS women. I have the feeling he gets all people, but he REALLY gets women. If I were some rich spoiled person who lived in Pasadena and needed a doctor, I'd look him up. I think I would probably trust this guy with my life. If you've ever heard him talk about addiction or relationships, and you've ever experienced either (or known someone who has-that should include everyone out there!) then you can understand his ability to translate complex information about these ideas to the average person.

I've had a lot of doctors in my life. The doctors I have had who came close to understanding any of my physical or emotional struggles are few and far between. I know TV is a limited outlet. Sometimes I like to imagine that Dr. Drew really lets loose on some of these people and tells them exactly what kind of spoiled losers they are. Sometimes I think about what it would be like to be his wife and if he's real at home or kind of a ninny. Does he ever yell at his kids or tell his wife he's had enough already? Regardless, I think Dr. Drew has done a tremendous amount in educating plenty of Generation Xers (and Yers, for that matter) about the nature of addiction and the nature of relationships...and the nature of people.

It's always interesting to imagine what people are like off camera. That's one of the reasons I so very clearly LOVE the character of Bobby Goren versus the actor Vincent D'Onofrio. Don't get me wrong--I think D'Onofrio's an amazing actor. But what do I know about D'Onofrio's real life? Enough to know I wouldn't want to be in it! (No offense to D'Onofrio, but you've got issues like most of us, dude...and you're not as sweet as Goren! Plus you're married and so am I, so it would never work out. Sorry.). Dr. Drew may be the same. He's human with his own issues and whatnot. But I love, more than anything else, the idea that somewhere out there is a man who GETS how I think, and doesn't think I'm pathetic for thinking that way. A man who gets the fact that our humanity is not necessarily a negative thing--our vulnerability can be lovely when it's not used against us.

Go, Dr. Drew! Now if you could only convince these whackjobs that treatment for addiction should last longer than three weeks...

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