Confront your phobias this month with the ‘Face Your Fears’ season on SBS VICELAND and other programs at SBS On Demand.
Dann Lennard

2 Dec 2021 - 1:58 PM  UPDATED 2 Dec 2021 - 1:58 PM

There’s so much to be afraid of in the world in 2021: climate change, COVID, reality renovation series… the list is endless. But maybe it’s time we stopped running from the things that scare us, turn around and confront them. That’s what the ‘Face Your Fears’ season this month on SBS VICELAND aims to do with three documentaries, Fear Of Dancing, A Cure For Fear and Rhod Gilbert: Stand Up To Infertility.

There’s also plenty of helpful related programming to be found at SBS On Demand that focuses on scary things and how people deal with them.

Hopefully, viewers can watch these shows and pick up some handy tips… unless they suffer from televisiphobia, a fear of watching TV, in which case they’re in trouble.


Fear of Dancing

Canadian filmmaker Michael Allcock is chorophobic. In other words, dancing terrifies him. In his documentary, Fear Of Dancing, he travels the world to find out how he went from a confident child happily doing the Twist – with the film footage to prove it – to an insecure adult horrified at the thought of shaking his booty.

Allcock interviews fellow chorophobics including British comedian Stephen Fry, who rejects dancing’s “slovenly mixture of sexual exhibitionism, strutting contempt and repellent narcissism”. Finally, the newly single director seeks help from professionals and even an old-school crush to overcome his fear, so he can get back onto the dancefloor and into the dating scene.

Fear Of Dancing screens on Tuesday, 7 December at 8.30pm on SBS VICELAND.


A Cure For Fear

Michael Allcock went searching for a cure to his fear of dancing, but what about a cure for everything that scares the bejeebers out of us? That’s the fascinating subject of the doco, A Cure For Fear where Dutch clinical psychologist Dr Merel Kindt helps people who are debilitated at the sight of anything from cats and butterflies to needles, or by flashbacks of traumatic memories.

Kindt’s method involves getting patients to confront their worst fears, and then giving them a tablet, a beta-blocker called propranolol. They return 24 hours later to see if their fears have decreased – the treatment doesn’t always work, but the results can be remarkable. Dr Kindt says, “Sometimes the treatment still feels a bit like magic.”

A Cure For Fear screens on Tuesday, 14 December at 8.30pm on SBS VICELAND.


Rhod Gilbert: Stand Up To Infertility

At the start of the doco Rhod Gilbert: Stand Up To Infertility, the British comedian and his wife are having problems conceiving a child, partly due to his age. “My senile swimmers are in need of Zimmers,” he laments. But as Gilbert goes on a journey of discovery about the problem, meeting others who have faced it, along with fertility experts, he discovers there’s one thing scarier than male infertility and it’s the fact that there’s very little support available to men. He eventually comes to the realisation that he needs to do something to help men struggling with the anguish caused by this problem.

Becoming “the face of infertility” in a national ad campaign was not, he admits, what he had in mind when he got into comedy. There are a lot of jokes and puns in Stand Up To Infertility, but it’s good to see a serious issue that can cause a lot of fear and silence getting some open discussion.  

Rhod Gilbert: Stand Up To Infertility screens on Tuesday, 21 December at 8.30pm on SBS VICELAND.


The Bee Whisperer

Viewers who suffer from apiphobia, a fear of bees, may freak out while watching The Bee Whisperer. However, if they stick with this quirky reality series they may just overcome their terror and learn a bunch of fascinating bee facts in the process. The series focuses on the day-to-day activities of Charlie Agar, an enthusiastic bee removalist and beekeeper based in New Braunfels, Texas.

The Bee Whisperer is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


Fear Itself With Alex Lee

Can fear be funny? More importantly, can people control fear rather than letting it control their lives? Aussie comedian Alex Lee thinks so as she takes a lighthearted look at things that scare her, from rollercoasters to skydiving and rats. Fear Itself With Alex Lee, a bite-sized three-part series, explores how fear is used to manipulate our emotions, whether it’s in political campaigns or horror movies. Lee interviews fear experts as well as people with unusual phobias. Like, who knew kosmikophobia, a fear of cosmic phenomena, was even a thing?

Fear Itself with Alex Lee is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


Jabbed: Love, Fear And Vaccines

Vaccine hesitancy is even more of an issue now than it was when this Australian documentary came out in 2013. Jabbed: Love, Fear And Vaccines examines the history of immunisation and the reasons behind the recent return of easily preventable diseases such as measles. The doco is clearly pro-vaccination but calmly looks at every aspect of this contentious debate.

Jabbed: Love, Fear And Vaccines is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


Fear The Walking Dead

If dancing, infertility, bees and fear itself aren’t enough to make you want to run screaming to your bedroom and hide under the blankets, then there are always the zombies in Fear The Walking Dead. This US horror series, set in the same universe as The Walking Dead, drops viewers at the very beginning of the undead apocalypse.

When drug addict Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) witnesses a friend eating the face off another junkie, he naturally assumes he’s having a bad trip or going insane. Sadly, it’s much worse: the dead are returning to life. As Nick and his dysfunctional family make plans to flee Los Angeles before they get served up as ghoul-ash, they come to an underwear-destroying realisation. What if the zombies are everywhere?

Seasons 1–3 of Fear The Walking Dead are now streaming at SBS On Demand.

All of these programs are in the English language.

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