When it comes to tackling the big issues on the small screen, there is no shortage of shrinks looking to lend a hand. But few TV therapists (sorry, Dr Phil) are as powerful as LA-based Dr Siri Sat Nam Singh. In The Therapist, Dr Singh sits down with some of biggest names in music for one-on-one sessions. But what may sound like a gimmicky TV show is actually a half hour of healing. Here are the reasons why you need an appointment with The Therapist.
Dr Singh’s voice is like honey
Let’s get the first (and most superficial) reason out of the way. Dr Siri Sat Nam Singh – Dr Singh for short – speaks like he’s slowly reading an audio book about floating in clouds. Every word is measured, as if it’s being coaxed out of his mouth and slowly massaged into your mind. Seriously, try closing your eyes and listening as Dr Singh does his thing – if you don’t feel relaxed then you’re dead inside.
Famous faces being honest
We live in a world where it’s hard to get a true read on our favourite artists. Sure, you might follow Katy Perry on Instagram, but how does she feel away from the stage, without the filters, when she’s just being Kathryn Hudson (her real name). Aside from simply being voyeuristic, The Therapist is actually kind of cathartic, even as a viewer. Learning that people whose lives seem flawless from afar are dealing with the same troubles as you... well, that’s comforting in a way.
It’s raw and real
No reshoots, no retakes, no messing around. Dr Singh doesn’t require bells and whistles to make his show compelling viewing. Each episode simply sees Dr Singh sitting one-on-one with his subject. There is the occasional bit of footage for context, but for the most part, it’s just the interview. In a world of overproduced game shows and fake "reality" TV, watching two people talking is refreshing.
It treats mental health with respect
There’s no denying commercial TV will mine almost anything in the search for ratings – mental health included. But while shows like Dr Phil may trade in pseudo-psychology for a six-minute segment, The Therapist really gets into the nitty gritty. When Corey Taylor of Slipknot fame sits down with Dr Singh to talk about his history of sexual abuse and the issues that arose from that period, it is both uncomfortable and unmissable.
The wonderfully awkward vibe clash
Throughout the series, Dr Singh meets with some of the biggest names in rap, hip-hop, rock, metal and dance music. We’re talking Waka Flocka Flame, Katy Perry, Freddie Gibbs and the late, great Prodigy. Keeping in mind Dr Singh is a softly spoken psychiatrist from suburban California, it’s like watching your Nan spit real talk with your favourite rapper.
There’s actual take-home advice
At the end of the day, The Therapist is still a TV show, designed to entertain you for the duration of each episode. But the good thing about this TV show is that you might actually learn some lessons which will be of some use down the line. Every so often Dr Singh drops a truth bomb so powerful it requires a pause and rewatch.
The Therapist airs Fridays at 10:25pm on SBS VICELAND. Watch the Katy Perry episode - and a lot more - at SBS On Demand: