In their blogs, Alex McCord and Simon both say that everyone had shared very deep and personal stories, while Courtney was just Miss Cheer and Fluff and wouldn't share at all. Alex said that she was sorry they didn't show Doug's story because it was both heartbreaking and compelling.
I tuned in right after Alex talked about opening the door. Who was the dead guy? Was it her father? Was he abusive?
Thanks everyone. I haven't watched this show, so maybe I'm off course, but I actually really like Simon and Alex. I liked Simon more than Alex for a long time, but I've seen Alex really work hard at building a career post-housewives and combined with the above, it makes me realize she is human - but really, really trying.
I also sense that she and Simon really support each other - through thick and thin. Normalcy and eccentricity.
Okay, the residents of the house were a bit overly dramatic at Courtney & Doug's departure, but for every real moment (Alex & her mom, for instance) how can the doc ignore Court & Doug were totally stunt casting? There's all these other couples, maybe there for publicity, maybe there for help, but all aren't THAT good of actors, so I'm kinda in the camp that they weren't faking. And then put the burden on the couples...who are there for therapy....to "model" good behavior for Doug & Cort? What can they do more than put on real clothes and not fake a giggle? I'm putting this doc in the same ledger as Phil and Drew.
I like Dr Jen very much and think that most of the time she is very effective in her therapy and 'spot on' with her judgment ---- but NOT in the case of this whole cast versus Courtney and Doug. Here, I think Dr Jen was very wrong. First of all, putting Courtney and Doug into the mix with the other couples may not have been exactly "stunt casting" -- but it was totally inappropriate for all concerned. When Courtney's continually over-sexualized presence, manner of dress, attitude, and actions (especially her very sexual seductive 'come-ons' to the men --- right in front of their wives, no less), as well as her completely inappropriate adolescent mindset and inability/refusal to participate in the 'therapy process' (e.g. her inability/refusal to open up and share and be vulnerable to the group -- just like everyone else in the group has done, and they all have become vulnerable and open with each other), and further, when Courtney's actions overwhelmingly get in the way of everything in the process that is supposed to be healing and helpful, and then on top of it all, when everyone elses' protests about her are completely ignored, that is just wrong, and it becomes the antithesis of a healing, nurturing environment.
And to make matters worse, when Dr Jen responded to all of this by just chastizing the group and completely letting Courtney and Doug off the hook --- that was very poor judgment and wrong, in my opinion. Not to mention the fact that Dr Jen probably undermined the other couples' trust in HER by taking that stand, which didn't help them reach their therapy goals either.
In regard to Alex and Simon, I really like them too, although in the beginning I was a bit suspicious that they were just coming on this show for publicity reasons. But it's really clear now that they (like most couples) do have some deep seated issues, and although I personally wouldn't have chosen to try to work my issues out publically on television, I think they are on the show for very legitimate reasons. I'm rooting for them and really hope they can work through their issues because they really seem to be a great couple together.
I like Dr Jen too, and think she's a quite empathic and intuitive person. However she is under the pressure of trying to make a show that people will watch. Maybe she and the producers don't quite believe that people will watch a show that's just a thoughtful show about the power of therapy to help people recognize and overcome trauma or disturbance in their earlier lives.
So I think she felt a lot of pressure to bring Doug and Courtney back to boost ratings. It's always possible to rationalize that people are learning from the challenge of having to cope with the aggressive and hostile actions of Courtney and the collusion of Doug in her attacks on the other relationships and on the well-being of the other residents. I feel terribly sorry for Courtney in a way- I have a feeling she was neglected or let down by her parents in some important way-- but she is such a contemptuous and defensive person, too that I would totally dislike being around her. I empathize with the other people in the treatment center-- and think Dr. Jen should probably have not brought Doug and Courtney back.
Despite that, I vaguely get her rationale. Maybe it's the airlessness of the settings. Why no TV or internet? These are part of people's lives. It's a big chunk of how people relate these days. Depriving people may force people to spend more time together, thus adding intensity to their issues and maybe to their working on them-- or on splitting up out of mutual disgust-- but it seems really to suck all the reality of daily life out. Maybe Doug and Courtney are like the irritant of the attacks of all our electronic media on our inner peace and calm. It's like Fox News, TMZ, and the Daily News on your doorstep. And it makes it more like real life.
Of course it's also a distraction and a shot to the heart of the women especially-- but the men too-- but I do think there's a chance they could learn from it. Whether it's the best use of the time, is really the question-- not whether they can learn from it. I think Dr. Jen may not have considered that-- when she decided that they could learn from it at all.