August 25, 2005

The Dr. Phil Show!

First, the question everyone is asking--"my" episode airs on September 12th, which is the season premiere. Please consult your local listings--Dr. Phil is moving from NBC to CBS and may appear at a different time slot in your market. Second, the other question everyone is asking--will I be seen on TV? The answer in a nutshell is NO, unless by some miracle a passing shot of me in the crowd comes on. And now for the details...

Emily and I woke up at 4:00 am and headed into Hollywood at 5, arriving at about 6:10. When we got there, there were about 200 women in line ahead of us (we were supposed to arrive between 6 and 7). We feared not getting on the show at all, but as the line behind us grew and grew, we worried less. The first step was check in, where we showed our IDs and got a t-shirt. As you may recall, we had to specify which body part we were the least happy with. So Emily and I were thrilled to find that the t-shirts were a dark blue with "Dr. Phil" on the back and our disliked body part in GIANT letters on the front. I spent the rest of the day in a t-shirt that screamed, "EXTRA FLAB" while Emily was sporting the attractive "THUNDER THIGHS." The other shirts were equally as flattering. I just missed a "JELLY BELLY" and was glad to avoid the "BIG BUTT," "BIG NOSE," "TOO BUSTY (or) FLAT CHESTED," and several others that were very complimentary.

It turned out that they had an audience of 1,000, of which the first 200 or so got to be in the studio. We missed that by, no joke, around TEN PEOPLE! Instead we were part of the 700 or so massed outside in on folding chairs in the "tank" on Paramount's lot. Then the torture began. We were H-O-T, hot hot hot. And we were sitting in DIRECT sunlight for over 4 hours. They didn't warn us to wear sunscreen, but we were all wearing dark t-shirts, dark tank tops underneath, dark jeans, and tennis shoes. Good lord it was hot. We absolutely fried. I'm sunburned and my nose took a direct hit--looks practically flourescent today. We had bottled water, but no food or anything and some people were dropping like flies. Nobody had to go to the hospital but it was close.

The first half of the show was actually quite boring. Dr. Phil was inside the studio and we were watching him on a large screen. Every time he went to commercial the cameras panned over us and our screams, waves, and excitement waned as the heat dragged on.

If you've seen Dr. Phil, the show was just the same as every other show. The theme of the show seemed to be "weight issues" and his first guests were a mother and her daughter--both overweight. The mother was horrible and abusive toward the daughter and while the studio audience had been warned (I think) not to boo, the outdoor audience had no such compunction. Then a celebrity with an eating disorder came on and she was quite nice. Her segment went on for a while so there is sure to be editing there. Following were 3 women in the "FLAT CHESTED" category who really wanted breast surgery. Did they get it? You'll have to watch the show and find out! The next story was very sad, about an anorexic woman, and they capped off the show with Bonnie Raitt making an appearance and performing 2 songs for us. The taping portion itself took about 2 hours, which they will condense into the 1 hour time slot.

Mind you this was all taking place in the studio while the rest of us baked in the sun. It was pretty awful for us. We were bored and hot. And to make matters even worse, Emily and I sat in front of the world's biggest complainer. Every time Dr. Phil took a breath on the show or there was a pause anywhere she had something negative to say. She kept saying "It's hot!" which came out sounding like "It's HAT!" and the way she carried on you'd think that the sun was shining on her alone while the rest of us sat in the shade eating ice cream.

Then the gift giving began and all was forgiven. You know how talk shows often give out gifts? We thought we might get a mug and a book--and obviously my attractive EXTRA FLAB t-shirt, but boy, did we SCORE!!! More on that in a separate entry--but as a teaser I'll let you know that we walked away with around $1000 worth of stuff.

Post-gifts, Dr. Phil and his wife came out to greet us, the giant crowd. He immediately started sweating in his suit and you could tell he was uncomfortable, but nobody had any sympathy for him (and the woman behind us took the opportunity to yell out "It's HAT!" and "We've been here for 4 hours!" a couple of times when he paused). He gave a little pep talk and then his weird wife gave us a pep talk too. She can't weigh more than 120 lbs but she felt free to talk to all of us about how "us women" must accept our bodies and our flaws and blah blah blah. Seeing the two of them together was a lot like watching the old Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker.

Dr. Phil headed back inside and Bonnie Raitt performed two songs (in the studio). Then Dr. Phil came back out and we filmed a million promo shots. They even had a helicopter flying over us filming us, and we had several rounds of screaming and hand waving, and a couple of "looking serious" (which I think will be a bit strange). They're using the group shots as promos which should be starting next week. We weren't sitting near the cameras so like I said, the chances of picking us out are quite small.

Then we were herded off to get our goodie bags (which we waited an hour for) and headed home. All in all it was exhausting and hot--we got sunburned and endured 4 hours of bitching from Ms. "It's HAT!" but we got great gifts and it was worth it!

Posted by Shelby at August 25, 2005 03:38 PM

I have been looking and waiting for a site about the taping of the Dr. Phil show that some of us went to!
Was it worth it for the goodie bag?
Let us know.
I wanted to find someone to trade my goodie bag for another disneyland passport....maybe I can find someone that was there to.

Posted by: renee at August 30, 2005 03:17 PM
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