Beverly West is the coauthor of TVTherapy: The Television Guide To Life (Delta Trade), which details how different shows can be powerful psychological aids depending on your problem.
For instance, she says watching a poor schlub get fired on The Apprentice can be soothing to someone who has had a bad day at the office, while a cheesy Moment Of Truth movie on the Lifetime Channel about a cheerleader being stalked by a football coach can comfort a woman in a similar situation.
West says the cheesier the show, the better it is for therapy because, as she puts it, Experiencing life in a stylized form helps us cope.
Shows that are especially therapeutic include Desperate Housewives, which West says reminds people that theres more than meets the eye in suburbia, and American Idol, which shows people having their dreams come true even William Hung.
West even sees psychological merits in Anna Nicole Smiths reality show but admits those very special episodes on sitcoms where the characters tackle serious issues arent as helpful as their creators might like.
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