It’s fair to say that many Americans are news addicts, obsessed with the self-destructive behavior of our favorite stars, most famous athletes and business and political leaders. And while pundits may weigh in with their opinions, many a viewer would like to hear an expert discuss Lindsay Lohan’s multiple rehabs, Tiger Woods’ sex addiction or why teen idol Miley Cyrus would let loose so publicly.
Enter Dr. Drew Pinsky, America’s foremost expert on extreme behavior, to explain it all to us in the new HLN series Dr. Drew, premiering March 28. Each week, Dr. Drew — the physician and the show — will dissect the newsmakers, revealing what makes them tick. And, he says, there are plenty of newsmakers to cover. “We’ve gone from a fascination with the physical freak to the behavioral freak, the emotional freak, the extreme behaviors. It does not seem to have a net negative effect on people’s behavior, that fascination. I think it speaks volumes about the American psyche.”
Pinsky hopes some segments of his new series make him uncomfortable. “Whether it’s the point of view of people that I bring on with me or the kinds of material we need to get into in order to get to the bottom line, to get the record straight on the story, I get uncomfortable, but I’m going to keep going. What doesn’t make me uncomfortable and I think what makes most interviewers uncomfortable — is asking certain kinds of questions. … I’m like a prosecuting attorney. I kind of know what the answers are before I ask,” he says. “I’m not afraid to go into territory that I can handle very respectfully that others would instinctively avoid. That doesn’t make me uncomfortable.”
He’s a firm believer that doctors need to be getting the facts to the public and that means becoming part of the media. “We need more of me and Oz and Sanjay,” he says. “I want to make a difference, and this is a way to do it.”
And so he is adding Dr. Drew to an already busy schedule, including his private practice, hosting the series Celebrity Rehab and doing two hours of live radio broadcast each weeknight for Loveline. When asked where he’ll find the time, Pinsky responds, “That’s the magic of television. That’s three intensive weeks of my life [filming Celebrity Rehab] and then that’s it.” As for Loveline, Pinsky says, “The crazy thing about radio is I look forward to it every night.” He adds that he doesn’t go on the air and start talking about sex until after his family is asleep. That might seem a little creepy if it was anyone else — but as anyone who has heard his voice late at night knows, this man is a doctor and he may not have all the answers, but just having him try can be soothing enough for those befuddled by love.