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A non-formulaic dose of TV doctor in 'Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule'

BY LINDSAY HURD
Daily Arts Writer
Published May 19, 2010

For every person who can’t bear listening to Dr. Phil, Dr. Drew, Dr. Oz or the other numerous TV doctors who give supposedly “helpful” advice — a cure has arrived. Dr. Steve Brule’s questionably legitimate stance as a doctor and TV host will finally give humorous relief to all those wishing they could just shut those super-serious doctors up once and for all.

Funnyman John C. Reilly reprises his role from “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” as a wacky doctor who tries to counsel his viewers on numerous health-related topics. In the 15-minute, commercial-free program, Dr. Brule parodies every newscaster and show host, offering advice that is either idiotically obvious or altogether illogical.

This week, Brule delves into the world of food — exploring restaurants, talking with a nutritionist and learning how sushi is made. First, he goes to a restaurant and orders everything off the menu. Not only does Brule offer helpful advice about how to eat — like spitting milk onto food to cool it down — he also manages to fall in love with an equally awkward waitress. After inviting the waitress back to his studio to talk about her job, Brule ultimately finds out she's his cousin.

Next, Brule visits a sushi chef in order to help viewers understand different types of food. The innocent sushi chef gets wrapped up in a web of nonsense as he tries to explain to Brule that wasabi is not guacamole and that sushi is not cat scraps. Brule rudely comments, “Don’t let people from other countries talk to you.”

Finally, the doctor invites a real-life nutritionist to the show to talk about the major food groups for a segment called “Doctor to Doctor” that ends in a blunt dismissal: “I’m a doctor too, ya dingus,” Brule says.

The show’s set is just as amusing as Brule’s lack of coherence. In an attempt to make his local access station look more professional, Brule has brought in outdated pastel and bright color schemes for graphics, a non-swiveling chair that he always tries to swivel on and tacky background music reminiscent of an early ’90s sitcom. All of this amounts to a gaudy-but-comical set that oddly matches Brule’s reporting style.

While at moments the show tends to become utterly nonsensical — it’s sometimes hard to catch a joke or even hear the words Brule is pronouncing — it’s still hard to not laugh because he just looks so nuts. From his huge, obnoxious curly hair and crazy eyes to the way he randomly repeats awkward things, Brule is just one giant mess of a dude who runs a sloppy show.

Dr. Steve Brule lacks a filter, a clear train of thought and the ability to present a helpful segment about food and health — but that’s exactly why he is so awesome. All TV doctors should watch “Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule” — and they should be ready for a rude awakening.


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