Pop Culture

“The Dr. Oz Show”: Equal Parts Fascinating and Creepy

Because I primarily work from home, I watch a decent amount of daytime television, which I’ve written about before. But the one show that is equal parts fascinating and creepy is “The Dr. Oz Show.”

Each episode has a theme, and it’s usually about weight loss, women’s health concerns, medical innovations, etc. Despite the show promos making you think otherwise, none of his revelations are ever really earth shaking, but for some reason, if I turn on the television and he’s on, I can’t turn away.

A lot of it has to do with hype. He often does shows titled “The Craziest Questions You Can’t Ask!” and “Your Most Embarrassing Health Concerns Answered!” If you were to go to my Google history, you would know that I am often looking up insane health questions. I find the human body and all of its potential issues interesting, so these kinds of shows are my bread and butter.

The questions aren’t always that off the wall, but with my weird health fascination, I still watch. I have to give kudos to these women (and occasional men) who have the courage to go on television to discuss these matters. I sometimes have a hard time asking my doctor about stuff that isn’t even that odd, and that’s not televised. These people talk about weird noises during sex, problems going to the bathroom, and other matters about which people aren’t encouraged to speak. Dr. Oz gives his answers in a straightforward matter and really does do a decent job of not making the person feel uncomfortable.

Dr. Oz’s segments with props are what really scare me sometimes. Do we need a giant replica of your lower half to show what happens when you have a leaky butt (yes, that was an actual show)? No. In fact, I kind of wish I had turned it off at that point, but if it helped someone at home, then I can’t complain. His props have shown me what causes cellulite, what a uterus really looks like, and so much more. I really hope that has helped women who might not be comfortable with their bodies get more insight; it is so important for people to understand how and why things work.

I know he has a lot of detractors – he got his fame because of Oprah, he touts things that aren’t 100% proven to work, and so on – but I really do think that out of the people Oprah shoved down our collective throats, he’s not the worst (that award goes to Dr. Phil). I admittedly don’t know all that much about Dr. Oz, so if he’s done something especially egregious, please share in the comments, but I really do appreciate having a forum for health concerns on my television every weekday at 3 p.m.

What do you think of the show? Do you learn from it, or is it just too weird for you? Do the visuals he uses help you understand the human body better?

By Catherine

Catherine is a Southern California based freelance writer, whose work has appeared in everything from the New York Times to Entertainment Weekly. The highlight of her life (so far) was being featured on MSNBC for a story she wrote on Hello Kitty wines...she knew one day her love of all things HK would come in handy.

22 replies on ““The Dr. Oz Show”: Equal Parts Fascinating and Creepy”

he touts things that aren’t 100% proven to work

He also touts things that have been 100% proven NOT to work: like psychics, homeopathy, vaccine-autism ‘link’… and presents it pretty uncritically. I wouldn’t trust him as a medical adviser as far as I could spit.

Every time I’ve ever come across DR. Oz, its been on some seriously quasi dramatic episode of how obesity is slowly strangling america. All I can think is, meh, chest hair.

On one hand,  I understand its TV and the concept of Dr Oz is like Dr Phil and Dr. Sanjay Gupta (I think Gupta might have the most cred here) is equal parts entertainment and scripting health to “appeal” to audiences. I think thats where the issue lays- its not ethically wrong but it can get close to snake oil salesman i suppose. On the other hand, you are  ” Doctor” and are dispensing advice which if we have learned anything from Oprah, people will take very seriously. Therein lies the problem.

TV about medical problems has an obligation to be factual, though, including noting where a treatment/intervention hasn’t been properly studied OR where it has and has been debunked. There are ways to be entertaining without being tabloid-esque with the facts. And yes, I agree – just because they have the ‘not medical advice, consult your own doctor’ disclaimer doesn’t absolve them of responsibility.

I catch Dr. Oz when I’m at the gym- I don’t usually have audio, so I just see these bizarre props. Sometimes, I can read the closed captions, sometimes not. I think it keeps it more interesting than you know, JUST a talk show. Nothings super ground breaking, and while I think Dr. Oz was probably attractive when he was younger, he looks oddly pinched these days.

Yep. He’s a “life coach” now. I think he used to be a workout guru or something motivational in the health arena. (I’m too lazy to Google it.) Ashamedly, I get sucked into the OWN channel in the middle of the night and I see what Oprah is selling, which lately is spiritualism-flavored quasi-new-age Kool-Ade. She did a show and a half (why do I know this much about it??) of that “Lifeclass” stuff about not leading with one’s ego, and most of the hour consisted of her, alone, talking to the camera. Oh, the irony.

I wish I slept during the night!

Wow, that’s interesting! Maybe watching TV helps people afraid of the dentist? I would ask to have it turned off, because I always wind up with an 8 a.m. dentist appointment, and having to watch morning TV while getting my teeth cleaned sounds terrible.

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