LOVE – Is it real? What does it take to make it work? The Netflix series Love by Judd Apatow, Paul Rust, and Leslie Arfin raises some important questions. What takes an attraction farther than a romantic fantasy? What allows two people who’ve been hurt in the past to get beyond the fear of being hurt again? Sometimes we don’t know how to ask these questions. Sometimes we ask them after a relationship fails. Yet, there’s always a next time and it’s never too late to find the answers.In ten episodes, we get to know Gus Cruikshank (Paul Rust) and Mickey...

October 2015 is Bullying Prevention Month: Defeat The Inner Bully Lifetime TV UnREAL’s Rachel Goldberg (Shiri Appleby) and Quinn King (Constance Zimmer) are the quintessential bullies. They use, torment, humiliate, tear down, and pit their reality show women contestants against each other for a chance at Everlasting love. Love is the key word here. Because it isn’t love that’s being offered. It’s a trick. The women contestants have sold their souls to do everything and anything to be the one that wins over Adam Cromwell (Freddie Stroma), a rich British playboy. They want to believe everlasting love is possible. The bullies (Rachel and...

I’m not shocked by much – but UnREAL’S Episode 3, Mother, disturbed me. Rachel’s mother is clearly trouble. And, she’s a psychiatrist. Bad combination. I was left thinking about how deeply mothers affect their children. How mothers can make or break a child’s confidence and psychological stability. We don’t have to wander very far to discover the origins of Rachel’s capacity to use, manipulate, turn against, and tear down the women on UnREAl’s Everlasting; and, just as tragically, herself. Yet, in spite of what seems obvious, there are complicated psychological reasons for why Rachel (Shiri Appleby) does what she does. I’ll...

I’ve been rooting for Jon Hamm. As a Mad Men enthusiast and psychoanalyst, I’ve written a number of pieces on the effects of Don Draper’s early trauma. Not only that, I’ve long-admired the way Hamm brings Don’s very real struggles to life. Little did I know that his own early history, in some critical ways, mirrors Don’s.  At least as far as losing a mother at a young age goes, and then being orphaned at 20.  Jon, too, was hit with difficult early losses. Working with actors in my practice, I know how hard it is to enter into and come...

Jon Hamm deserves an Emmy for Don Draper. I agree with Variety’s Debra Birnbaum about that. But, I find it unfortunate that voters would only now consider awarding him that Emmy. As Birnbaum wrote, Hamm likely hasn’t won in the past since “Don Draper … was a cheating husband, a neglectful father, an unapologetic alcoholic … it’s hard to root for someone seemingly so unredeeming.” So now since, at the end of the brilliant Mad Men series, Don Draper apparently finds his “good self” it might be OK? In my opinion, they’ve mistakenly diminished the complex demands on an actor...

The Good: We see exactly who he is – since Donald Trump has only contempt for any kind of political correctness. Most of us are politically correct because it reflects what we believe. Yet, political correctness for political correctness’ sake could hide what someone really thinks. The Donald isn’t self-aware enough to hide. He’s also completely incapable of putting himself in anyone else’s shoes or knowing how they feel. He’s a narcissist and narcissists see no one but themselves. Megyn Kelly was right to ask – is his tactless and misogynistic behavior presidential? We should shudder to think that as...

The women of Litchfield were robbed of their power long before they got there. Piper, with her courtyard pulpit plea for self-respect in Season 3 of OITNB, is the new inspirational speaker on women’s empowerment. Granted, she’s got a lot to gain monetarily from convincing her fellow inmates to go along with her stinky panty plot. Yet, Piper’s (Taylor Schilling) pretty high on the idea of putting one over on the patriarchy and everyone else who has ever made her feel less than good about herself. So, she has quite a lot to say about standing up against self-hate. Self-respect is power -...

It’s Independence Day – and no one in Wayward Pines has any independence at all. In such a situation, paranoia is to be expected. When you live in a world made up of lies, secrets, and threats, you’re left with one big question about what is real and who - if anyone - can be trusted. Everyone in Wayward Pines lives with this kind of fear. Even David Pilcher, that megalomanic man known as Dr. Jenkins to most - the one who’s stolen people’s lives to create his own version of a Brave New World. Apt title, Episode 7: Betrayal. Yet,...

Never stop a depressed person from talking. Never say, “It’s all in your head.” It’s not. There are reasons for every depression. Including Soso’s, in Season 3 of Orange Is The New Black, if Healy cared to listen. Certainly, never say: “No wonder you don’t have friends. No one wants to be with a sad person who mopes around.” That’s cruel - and only makes the self-loathing voice (in every depressed person’s mind) louder. Therapy should be a safe place to talk about anything – to be listened to without judgment. As Berdie Rogers (Marsha Stephanie Blake) says: "When someone's feeling...

The people of Wayward Pines can’t watch out now. It’s too late. But, it’s important to distinguish between an arrogant person and someone who wants to help. Arrogance gives you no Choices. There couldn’t be a more ironic title for Episode 6 of Wayward Pines. No one who ended up in Wayward Pines really had a choice. Did they? As Episode 6 unfolds, we see that everyone in Wayward Pines is a casualty of scientist David Pilcher’s (Toby Jones) arrogance. Either his grandiose ideas about a new “extraordinary life” seduced them. Or, they were strong-armed because they had no other options. Mostly,...