What hath Oprah wrought?
When the Chicago TV institution first brought Phil McGraw onto her beloved syndicated talk show back in the late ’90s, could she have foreseen everything that would follow? The lawsuits? The Bhad Bhabie singles? The legion of crappy books, “weight loss supplements,” and cheap-ass knock-offs of other, more successful television shows? Could she have understood that McGraw—a doctor of clinical psychology whose “Dr. Phil” title belies the fact that he hasn’t been licensed to practice psychology in more than a decade—had chosen as his true vocation the role of pitch-man supreme, slapping his sleepily mustachioed face on anything wide enough for it to fit? And did she understand that all the money she was indirectly funneling into his pockets would one day go to pay for, well…this?
The L.A. Times released the most important piece of investigative journalism of the decade today, when it pulled several photos of one of McGraw’s estates—currently up for sale for a measly $5.75 million—from a real estate web site, revealing that said home appears to have been decorated with an eye toward badgering the human brain into submission through sheer, stupid excess. (Which, now that we think of it, is kind of completely the Dr. Phil brand.)
We should get a caveat out of the way here, though: According to the Times report, McGraw does not currently live in the California estate, which is now owned by the family trust and occupied at present by McGraw’s son. And there’s no evidence that he had any impact on its decoration, beyond, presumably, footing at least some of the cash for its eclectic collection of guns, “FUCK” paintings, and big giant lips. And yet, we have to assume that McGraw has at least stood in this building in its current state, muttering approvingly of the dining room gun wall, the gaudy Star Wars art, and, in what has quickly become our favorite touch, the legion of small Lego-ish bears scattered around the home, including two who are dressed up like Batman and the Joker, because hey, fuck it, that’s fun.
The Times notes that purchasers of the property will be allowed to keep its “one-of-a-kind finishes,” a statement that is reassuring less for its potential for new purchasers to immerse themselves in a living situation resembling a cotton candy machine in hell, and more because it confirms that whatever infection that’s at work here has so far failed to spread.