New Stories

Stream Your Heart Out: “Phil in the Blanks”

by Madison Jarnot

Dr. Phil McGraw, a clinical and forensic psychologist, is known across the US for his daytime talk show, “Dr. Phil.” Dr. Phil’s show centers on real life people, their families, and their struggles with mental health issues. It’s a refreshing break from all the daytime talk shows covering tabloid drama and memes. In addition to this, watching grown adults have breakdowns on national television over their nightmare marriage or misbehaving kids somehow makes me feel better about my own messy life.

I’ve been dubbed a “Dr. Phil” superfan by friends (I’ve watched every episode of the show since mid-2014. I record it on my DVR and save my favorite episodes to watch over again. Please don’t judge me).

So, naturally, I subscribed to Dr. Phil’s podcast “Phil in the Blanks” as soon as it was released. Surprisingly, I think I enjoy his podcast even more than “Dr. Phil.”

“Phil in the Blanks” centers on the stories of celebrities instead of average people. However, rather than glamourizing them, it humanizes them. Dr. Phil has interviewed figures like Shaquille O’Neal, Kathy Bates, and Charlamagne Tha God on his podcast, and the interviews are like none other. He has the special gift of asking just the right questions to peel back the layers of a person.

By far, my favorite episode was his interview with Steve Harvey, where Harvey tells the story of leaving his family and hitting the road to pursue his passion for comedy. Harvey lived out of his car, showered in gas station bathrooms, and drove around the east coast to find work. Instead of focusing on Harvey’s success, Dr. Phil focuses on the road he took to get there. Each episode is uniquely inspiring; rather than making these celebrities seem like untouchable, larger-than-life millionaires, Dr. Phil shows all of us how they’ve struggled as much as you and I.

If Steve Harvey can go from living in his car and making $25 a show to making $40 million a year (in only a decade!), I think I can survive the spring semester.

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