Dr. Drew, the doctor-turned-TV-star who has hosted Loveline, Celebrity Rehab, and the Teen Mom reunions, is getting his own show on HLN. Although his previous forays into television have relied on his medical expertise – Drew, whose workaday last name is Pinsky, is an addiction and recovery specialist – this one will be a more general news and current events discussion program a la the network’s shows with Larry King and Joy Behar. However, I‘ve expressed my dislike for Drew before, and I don’t think I am going to watch his show. If you do, though, here’s what I predict you’ll see:
1. Kissing up to celebrities
One reason that Dr. Drew is an ineffective TV host is that he doesn’t ask challenging questions of celebrities. Several times on Celebrity Rehab he had opportunities to ask really harsh questions and force celebrities out of their comfort zones, but he usually passed. As long as Drew continues to be starstruck by famous people, he will never ask them challenging questions. Then again, this quality probably makes him a perfect Larry King successor.
2. Diagnosing diseases in people he has not met
Since Drew is a medical doctor and a public figure, he likes to go on TV shows or do magazine interviews talking about medical histories of people he has never met and who are not his patients. For example, he said that Lindsay Lohan had a drug addiction (to be fair, we all knew that) and that Angelina Jolie was lying about how much heroin she had used in the past. Now that he has his own platform, count on Drew to pontificate on medical treatments for people who are strangers to him.
3. Assuming all women were molested as children
There was a running theme on Loveline, Dr. Drew and Adam Carolla’s sex advice radio-cum-TV show where Drew would assume most of the female callers had been molested as children. I’m exaggerating slightly, but more often than not Drew would take any sex or relationship question and turn it around to start asking a woman about whether she’d ever been sexually assaulted. While it is important to delve into a person’s history to see if it’s at the root of any current problem, Drew was one of those people who works with a hammer and thus makes all his problems look like nails.
4. Making that weird smushed-up “sympathetic face”
On Celebrity Rehab, Drew did one-on-one sessions with each of the show’s participants. During the therapy sessions, the celebrity would invariably tell some sob story about themselves. Drew had this particular smushed-up, squinty, head-tilting “I’m listening so intently and really feel your pain” face that never failed to make an appearance during these otherwise serious scenes, and never failed to make me bust out laughing and subsequently feel bad about laughing at a drug addict.