October 23, 2017

Author: Dr. Dave Verhaagen

Why I’m Sticking with The Walking Dead

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • October 21, 2017
  • 0
Why I’m Sticking with The Walking Dead *Spoiler Alert* From the stomach-churning first episode until nearly the final moments, last season of The Walking Dead was about as fun as crawling over broken glass. It was alternately joyless and excruciating. Negan’s murder of Glenn and the helplessness of Rick and the team drained the show […]

Pilgrimage Music Festival 2017: A Psychologist’s Review

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • September 25, 2017
  • 0
Just south of Nashville in the hamlet of Franklin, the little town that has been named one of the best places to live in the U.S., there’s a beautiful new tradition called the Pilgrimage Music Festival. In only three years, the event has emerged as one of the best music festivals in the country.  The […]

One Opinion on the Best Films of the 21st Century — So Far

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • August 8, 2017
  • 2
One Opinion on the Best Films of the 21st Century – So Far  I have surrounded myself with friends who love movies. We discuss, debate, agree, disagree. For us, movies aren’t just escapism. They forge community, provoke thought, and offer guidance in how to live—and how not to live. At their best, they make us […]

Best Television Moments in 2017 (So Far)

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • June 27, 2017
  • 0
It’s mid-year and we’ve had some remarkable television moments. To give some space on the list, I’m limiting it to only one moment per show, even though a few (SNL, Jimmy Kimmel, The Leftovers, and others) had multiple awesome moments. Here are the twelve best moments of television so far in 2017: 12. The Good […]

Predicting the Song of the Summer 2017

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • May 30, 2017
  • 0
Every year by the end of May, I try to predict the Song of the Summer. Last year, I picked Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling, which seems like an obvious choice now, but it was just barely getting airplay in May of last year before it became omnipresent in the months—and year—to come. I […]

Inside the Echo Chamber: Truth in the Age of Trump

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • May 24, 2017
  • 1
Donald Trump, as both a candidate and now as president, has played so fast and loose with the facts that it has called into question how we as a culture think about important issues of truth. This article is one of a four-part series that explores the aspects of Truth in the Age of Trump. […]

The Psychology of “American Gods,” Episode 1

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • May 1, 2017
  • 0
*Spoilers Ahead* Vikings land on the rocky shore of what will one day be America. They are met with a hail of arrows that lets them know this is an inhospitable place. The wind dies and they are stranded with no way to return home. They appeal to their god, Odin, in every way possible, […]

Zeke Smith’s Outing on Survivor and the Questions It Raises

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • April 13, 2017
  • 0
It will go down as one of the most significant moments in Survivor history. In a show full of shockers, double-crosses, bad behavior, and twists, this was a class apart. On the ropes and likely to be voted out, veteran player Jeff Varner desperate for a play that would keep him in the game, outed […]

Was This The Best Oscar Telecast Ever?

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • March 2, 2017
  • 0
I’ve watched the Oscars every year since 1982 when I was a senior in high school and had the good fortune of being the only person among my friends to predict Chariots of Fire would win Best Picture. In a little bit of present-day irony, it beat out the favorite, Reds, directed and starring Warren […]

What is the Best Performance of the Past Decade? (POLL)

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • February 24, 2017
  • 0
Over the past decade, we have seen some of the best acting in the history of film from both men and women, young and old. Sometimes the best performances won the Oscar, but sometimes not. Here are 15 proposals for the best acting performances of the previous ten years. Vote for the one you think […]

7 Big Oscar Stories

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • February 23, 2017
  • 0
The Oscar nominations always bring its share of snubs and surprises. This year, there were fewer snubs than usual, though Amy Adams and Annette Bening’s omissions are pretty shocking. There are some interesting stories nestled in this year’s nominations. Here are seven interesting stories: 1. Remember #OscarsSoWhite last year? For two years in a row, there […]

Who Will Win Album of the Year? (POLL)

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • February 11, 2017
  • 1
The Grammy for Album of the Year has gone to some classic albums, including Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, Paul Simon’s Graceland, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and The Joshua Tree by U2. There have been years when they have gotten it wrong (I doubt few people think Steely Dan’s Two Against Nature was a better album than […]

What is the Best “Best Picture” of the Past Decade? (POLL)

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • January 30, 2017
  • 0
We all know the best movie of each year doesn’t necessarily win Best Picture at the Oscars. Sometimes they get it right and sometimes they don’t. For example, not many film critics or historians think Shakespeare in Love was a better movie than the classic Saving Private Ryan. If we look at the films that […]

Lindsey Stirling: Champion of Mental Health 2016

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • January 10, 2017
  • 0
Growing up in Arizona, Lindsey Stirling began taking violin lessons at the age of five. By high school, her musical prowess had already won her the state title of the Junior Miss Competition. By her early twenties, she advanced as a quarter-finalist on NBC’s America’s Got Talent where she was billed as a “hip hop […]

A Psychologist Predicts The Bachelor

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • January 5, 2017
  • 0
I’m back with my predictions of who will likely win these season of The Bachelor. You may recall that I don’t actually watch the show, but I simply watch the 20 minutes or so when the contestants come out of the limo (or arrive on a skateboard or camel, etc.) to greet the Bachelor or […]

Which Celebrity Death Hit You the Hardest This Year? (POLL)

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • December 29, 2016
  • 0
On social media and in the press, many people report feeling “heartbroken” and “devastated” over the loss of a certain celebrity. How is it that we can feel strong emotions about someone we’ve never even met? Honestly, it’s not that tough to explain. The human brain is wired to find patterns. We seek familiarity. It’s […]

The 12 Best Saturday Night Live Moments of 2016

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • December 28, 2016
  • 0
In the more than forty-year history of Saturday Night Live, we’ve had some ups and downs. Some seasons were way better than others; some casts were way stronger than others. It’s still a lazy criticism that SNL is not as good as it used to be, but this year you’d be hard-pressed to support that […]

Five Best Television Musical Moments of 2016

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • December 21, 2016
  • 0
Since the early days of television, music has played a huge role in our connection to the medium. This year is no exception. Here are five musical moments of the past year that ranged from deeply moving to incredibly joyful: 1. Kelly Clarkson performs “Piece by Piece” through tears on American Idol  The first winner […]

10 Best Television Moments of 2016

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • December 19, 2016
  • 0
We saw some great television this past year. Some of the moments were thrilling; others were incredibly moving; a few were hilarious.  They were all memorable, though. My rule was that I could only include one great moment per series, even though a few shows (Game of Thrones, Westworld, The People vs. O.J. Simpson) could […]

Vote for the 2016 Champion of Mental Health

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • December 9, 2016
  • 1
Last year, we gave our first annual Champion of Mental Health award to Reid Ewing, the Modern Family cast member who went public with his battle with Body Dysmorphic Disorder.  “In terms of my mental health, I’m doing pretty well,” he said when I checked in with him recently, then added, “I don’t think I’ve […]

Fall TV Shows 2016: What New Shows Should Make Your Cut?

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • October 28, 2016
  • 2
The Summer of 2016 may have been a bust at the movie theaters, but the Fall of 2016 has more than made up for it with its television offerings. This season has given us a better-than-average crop of TV shows. Now that we are a few weeks into most of the new shows, here are […]

The 3 Best Songs of the Summer of 2016

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • September 26, 2016
  • 0
You may have read that I predicted Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” was going to be named The Song of the Summer.  It looks like Drake’s One Dance edged it out, though. That’s totally fine with me. Just because I picked it for Song of the Summer didn’t mean I liked the song. Truth […]

The 3 Best Movies of the Summer of 2016

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • September 23, 2016
  • 0
Let’s start with the bad news: the summer of 2016 was a stinker for movies. Like really really bad. In my view, it was one of the worst summers in recent memory. Typically during the summer, I would gladly be at the theater at least once a week. This summer, I went a month at […]

The 3 Best TV Shows of the Summer of 2016

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • September 21, 2016
  • 0
Summer is done and the pool is closed, so before we launch headlong into the fall, I wanted to reflect on the best TV of the long, hot season. Usually summer is pretty dead for television, but this year we got a surprisingly great Olympics, a few good reality shows, a couple solid scripted series, […]

I Predicted the Summer of 2016: The Bachelorette, Captain America, and (Almost) Drake

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • September 9, 2016
  • 0
Three months ago at the end of May, I predicted three entertainment events for the Summer of 2016. I love predicting pop culture stuff because it’s like a big game for me. Specifically, this year I predicted the outcome of the Bachelorette, the box office champ of the summer, and the song of the summer. […]

Why We Care More About Ryan Lochte Than The Louisiana Floods

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • August 22, 2016
  • 0
I was on a road trip last week and I got to hear about seven hours of CNN, which is way too much for anyone. If I had to summarize the day, it would be, “And our top story today, Ryan Lochte blah blah blah.” About twenty minutes later, there was another story: “Oh, and, […]

Understanding Donald Trump’s Narcissism

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • August 22, 2016
  • 1
Countless articles have been written about Donald Trump’s narcissism, some even going so far as to diagnose him with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The truth is he may or may not have a personality disorder, but it’s not our place to diagnose someone we’ve never met or personally assessed. However, there’s no question Donald Trump has […]

Olympian Simone Biles’ Real Parents: 10 Things About Adoption To Consider

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • August 9, 2016
  • 0
When rock star gymnast Simone Biles was four years old, her grandparents, Ron and Nellie Biles adopted her and her little sister, Adria, because their mother had an ongoing struggle with substance abuse.  Simone’s grandparents became her adoptive parents. We call this a “kinship adoption,” where a family member steps in and legally adopts a […]

Best of Everything 2016… so far

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • July 26, 2016
  • 0
2016 So Far: Game of Thrones, Deadpool, Mike Posner, and much more You’ve probably heard of the psychological benefits of gratitude.  If you write down 3 to 5 things you are grateful for every day, psychologists have found it improves your mood and leads to greater happiness in a few short weeks. I keep a […]

The Psychology of American Ninja Warrior Contestants

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • July 18, 2016
  • 0
One of the best television moments of the past few years came when Isaac Caldiero stood at the base of Mount Midoriyama and held the red rope he would use to pull himself to the top of what host Matt Iseman called “the highest peak in sports.” At the bell, he flew up the 75-foot […]

13 Most Shocking Moments From Game of Thrones, Season 6

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • July 6, 2016
  • 0
Game of Thrones just finished one of its best seasons yet with some of the greatest moments and episodes of the entire series. I created a list and have narrowed it down to these 13 most shocking moments… **Beware! This piece is dark and full of spoilers…and we don’t want you to be spoiled** 13 Most […]

Andrew Nemr: Tapping Through Life

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • June 15, 2016
  • 0
“I was alone,” Andrew Nemr told his audience as he erupted into a symphony of taps.  “Most of my friends had gone…”  The percussion of taps continued.  “And I knew not what to do…”  More tapping filling the auditorium.  “I’d been poured into for so long…” The beautiful rhythm of tap still punctuating his words. […]

A Psychologist’s Guide to Why We Love Magic

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • June 10, 2016
  • 2
I’ve loved magic since I was a kid. I used to perform for my family after dinner and get applauded for tricks that worked and mercilessly joked for tricks that bombed. I have a family friend who, to this day, never greets me without asking how my Chinese linking rings are doing. (Answer: still not too good.) Whether […]

Summer 2016: Predictions From A Psychologist

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • May 31, 2016
  • 0
Summer 2016 is finally here and I’ve got a weird hobby, though not as weird as, say, taxidermy or ukulele collecting. I like to predict the outcomes of reality TV shows and movie box office results. Like I said, only slightly weird, but those who know me will attest to the fact that I have a remarkable track […]

Transgender Youth and the Human Stories Behind North Carolina’s HB2

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • April 26, 2016
  • 0
More than a year before Bruce came out as Caitlyn Jenner, a boy named Blake Brockington had been named the homecoming king of my son’s high school. There are thousands of homecoming kings crowned each year, but this one made international news. Blake was the first transgender person in the history of North Carolina to win […]

Ranking the American Idol Finale Performances

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • April 7, 2016
  • 0
This was a great American Idol finale and a fitting last performance night for a great series.  The two best vocalists and performers made it to the final episode and their performances were a virtual tie tonight.  I’d vote for La’Porsha to take it all, but it could legitimately go either way.  Here’s how the […]

Ranking the Top 15 American Idol Performers Ever

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • April 4, 2016
  • 0
As American Idol plans to sign off for good, I thought it was a great time to reflect on the 15 years of the show. This was America’s family show since the turn of the century. This was a show that young kids, teens, parents, and grandparents could watch together. This was a show that […]

Ranking the American Idol Top 3 Performances

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • April 1, 2016
  • 0
The top four got narrowed down to the top three.  MacKenzie got cut after a terrific performance of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, leaving La’Porsha and tow other boys, Trent and Dalton.  At this point, it seems like La’Porsha is the favorite to win it all, but she has two solid contenders.  I rated each performance separately […]

Predict Who Dies on the Walking Dead Finale (Poll)

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • March 30, 2016
  • 0
We know we’ll get to see Big Bad Negan on the season finale of The Walking Dead and it seems likely that somebody’s gonna die. The cast members have talked about how gut-wrenching it was to read the script, so some bad stuff is going down. Who’s your prediction for who’s head is going to […]

Ranking the American Idol Top 4 Performances

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • March 25, 2016
  • 0
  American Idol rushes toward its series conclusion with four good and worthy contestants.  La’Porsha Renae and three boys make for a terrific quartet of finalists.  She’s still the favorite, but Trent is sneaking up on her.  The two of them were neck and neck tonight. It was a virtual tie with perhaps Trent having […]

Why We Are Fascinated by True Crime

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • March 22, 2016
  • 0
In 2014, the Serial podcast featured the true crime story of Adnan Syed, a high school student convicted of killing his girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in 1999. He continues to serve a sentence of life plus 30 years, though the case is currently being considered for a retrial, thanks largely to the enormous impact the […]

Ranking the American Idol Top 5 Performances

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • March 18, 2016
  • 0
Since each of the contestants gave two performances, I rated each of the performances and then ranked them. I listened to the judges’ critiques after I gave my own grade and, to be honest, I didn’t always agree. The first round landed in the low B range overall, in my opinion. The second round was […]

4 Reasons Zootopia is the Movie We Need Right Now

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • March 14, 2016
  • 0
Disney’s Zootopia, which currently boasts a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 78 on the tougher Metacritic, is one of those rare movies that everyone–kids, teens, adults, male and female–can enjoy with its original storytelling, engaging characters,amazing visuals, and charming humor.  But it’s also exactly the movie we need right now.  Why?  Here are […]

Ranking the American Idol Top 6 Performances

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • March 11, 2016
  • 0
The American Idol finalists returned with a decidedly B-grade show.  There wasn’t a bad performance in the bunch, but there was only one great one.  Once again, La’Porsha wins the night.  Dalton’s stock rose back up, but not majorly. He had a solid solo and a weaker duet.  These six finalists are all strong, but […]

American Idol: Ranking the Top 8 Performances

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • March 4, 2016
  • 0
It was another night of generally good performances without a single absolute clunker in the bunch. La’Porshe Renae emerged as the clear frontrunner, winning two weeks in a row, but the big story is that the rest of the listings went topsy-turvy. Last week, Tristan McIntosh was near the bottom of the list, but this […]

Sorry for Stallone, but I’m Making Better Oscar Picks Next Year

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • March 3, 2016
  • 0
I must admit, I feel sorry for Sylvester Stallone. With all the pre-Oscar hype, it was clear he felt he was going to win. After all, everyone else did. All the prognosticators, including this guy, certainly picked him as the odds-on favorite for his performance as Old-Rocky-With-Cancer. Old. Rocky. Cancer. Can’t lose! Then he lost […]

Does OJ Simpson Have CTE and Does It Even Matter?

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • March 1, 2016
  • 0
The People vs. O.J. Simpson is one of the most captivating mini-series to hit television in a long time. It recounts events that began nearly 22 years ago with the brutal murders of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. OJ Simpson, a beloved celebrity and a former NFL legend, was charged with the crimes. The series […]

American Idol Top Ten Finalist Rankings

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • February 26, 2016
  • 0
It was a solid but unspectacular start to the finals with generally good performances and one great one from La’Porsha Renae who was not only technically brilliant, but gave a master class in onstage poise and confidence. Her performance places her as the early frontrunner, followed by two guys who delivered distinctive vocals. It looks […]

Why American Idol Matters

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • February 25, 2016
  • 0
Nearly 14 years ago, I was home alone on a Tuesday night channel surfing. I stumbled across a show that seemed, at first, to be nothing more than another Star Search. It was a singing competition, but for the first time ever, they showed the auditions before the finalists were selected. Some of the tryout […]

Shrink Tank’s Oscar Predictions

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • February 24, 2016
  • 0
Our first annual Oscar predictions come during a year where there are some slam dunks and a few truly interesting categories. Here are our picks for the big six categories, three of which are easy bets and three of which go one way or another. Best Supporting Actress Our Prediction: Alicia Vikander for The Danish […]

What New TV Show Reboot Makes You Happiest? (Poll)

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • February 22, 2016
  • 0
The reboot of Full House called Fuller House is ready to drop on Netflix with most of the original cast, sans Olsen Twins. This isn’t the only old TV show that is new again. There are several other reboots in the works, either proving we have a deep love for nostalgia or Hollywood has truly run […]

Ranking the Best Picture Nominees

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • February 18, 2016
  • 0
Eight wildly different films were nominated for Best Picture this year. In my opinion, seven of them deserved the nomination, two will likely be popular twenty years from now, and one is an all-time great. I’ll go in reverse order to discuss their rankings: 8. Brooklyn This is a sweet, old-fashioned film with beautiful acting […]

Who Should Win the Best Picture Oscar?

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • February 17, 2016
  • 0
Imagine you are an Academy voter and you are faced with picking between eight very different films.  Which one would you pick as your choice for the big award of Best Picture?  Here are your choices: The Big Short – a funny examination of a serious and complex situation that led to the meltdown of […]

An Interview with Oscar-Nominated Director Nomi Talisman

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • February 16, 2016
  • 0
An older man is brought to tears when describing a torturous decision he made decades earlier. It’s a choice that still affects him deeply to this day. The man’s name is Bill and he’s talking about his brother, Manny. As he speaks, the images he describes and the scenes he recounts come to life on […]

An Interview with Tom Hart, Author of Rosalie Lightning

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • January 29, 2016
  • 0
There are few things as painful as the loss of a child. In Rosalie Lightning, Eisner-nominated graphic novelist Tom Hart takes us inside the loss of his young daughter in a graphic memoir so deeply affecting it almost hurts to read it, yet by the end, most readers will be grateful for what they’ve experienced. […]

I Remember the Challenger Disaster Thirty Years Ago Today

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • January 28, 2016
  • 0
Thirty years ago today I was in the library of my university trying to complete a literature review for my Senior Honors Thesis.  In those days, the Internet was barely a twinkle in Al Gore’s eye, so there was no such thing as a Google search. I had to reserve my 11:45am time slot with […]

Should Scott Eastwood Be Young Han Solo?

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • January 26, 2016
  • 0
A few weeks ago, we shared a leaked story from Variety that cited an industry insider who said the search for young Han Solo had come down to about a dozen young actors.  You can read about eight of them here. We decided to ask you who you would cast in the role.  In our […]

The Revenant Movie Review

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • January 13, 2016
  • 0
Proving “revenge is a dish best served cold,” The Revenant, the chilly masterwork by director Alejandro Inarritu, is a remarkable achievement and the best film of the year. Packed so full of natural beauty it would make Terrence Malick jealous, the film offers majestic, jaw-dropping visuals and some of the most intense and breathtaking scenes […]

Cast Your Vote for Young Han Solo

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • January 11, 2016
  • 0
Insiders told Variety that Disney and LucasFilm execs have looked at dozens of actors who are interested in playing young Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars spinoff.  The actor would likely make a brief cameo in Rogue One, the Star Wars film that is set between episodes III and IV before starring in his […]

An Interview with Reid Ewing

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • January 4, 2016
  • 0
Shrink Tank is proud to award its first annual Champion of Mental Health award to a celebrity who has made a great impact in reducing the stigma of mental health and who has created awareness for a condition we don’t talk enough about. We had narrowed the field down to three: HBO’s John Oliver who […]

10 Great Things From 2015 You Can Still Enjoy in 2016

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • December 29, 2015
  • 0
2015 may be drawing to a close, but there are still some cool things that came out this past year that you can enjoy in the new year. So as not to waste your time, I won’t even list the obvious (Star Wars, Adele), but here is an unranked list of great books, video games, […]

Your Guide to Star Wars: The Force Awakens Cameos

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • December 21, 2015
  • 0
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a great and classic movie-going experience that, like the originals, is worth seeing again and again. Upon repeat viewing, you’ll have even more fun if you know where to look for (or listen for) the celebrity cameos. There are the mildest of spoilers below, but nothing that should sour […]

Who is this Year’s Champion of Mental Health? Reid Ewing, Jack Harries, or John Oliver (Poll)

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • December 14, 2015
  • 0
Update: Reid Ewing was awarded the 2015 Champion of Mental Health! Check out an interview with him here. Beginning this year, Shrink Tank is proud to give an annual award to one celebrity who has made a difference in the field of mental health. Some celebrities have done a lot of good by talking about […]

Best Late Night Moments of 2015

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • December 10, 2015
  • 0
Just as we entered the new Golden Age of television drama several years ago, we have definitely just begun a Golden Age of Late Night television. With the old guard out, the new guard is more playful, more collegial, and more inventive. Fallon’s playfulness, Kimmel’s impish pranks, Conan’s absurdity, and Corden’s giggly delight are all […]

15 Best Songs of 2015

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • December 1, 2015
  • 1
This has been a good year of especially good singles from all kinds of different genres. The rules here are that the song must have been released in 2015 and an artist can only be represented once on the list. I excluded some contenders like Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift who had strong singles out […]

Steve Jobs Review

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • October 23, 2015
  • 0
After Steve Jobs was pushed out at Apple, he developed a pricey (around $12K) computer called NEXT designed to cut into Apple’s share of the educational market. Jobs obsessed with the precision of the walls of the NEXT cube, down to the millimeter. The product failed. In some ways, the film Steve Jobs suffers the […]

Review: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • September 29, 2015
  • 0
How do you follow a legend? Stephen Colbert did it by not only revamping the theater, but upending the entire format, taking the house that Letterman built and making it something wholly new and original. Trevor Noah chose to hew closer to the original, giving us what seems like an relatively seamless continuation of Jon […]

Movie Review: Everest

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • September 18, 2015
  • 0
Beware that there are some minor spoilers here… Those familiar with Jon Krakauer’s book Into Thin Air know it is a modern non-fiction classic that is both breathtakingly epic and deeply tragic. The plot is simple: a climbing expedition to the top of Mount Everest turns deadly. As a film that follows that same expedition, […]

Emmy Predictions from a Shrink

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • September 17, 2015
  • 0
Predicting the Emmys is a bit of a fool’s game. There are some basic principles to follow, like Modern Family and Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Allison Janey will always win. At the same time, there are winners that seem completely insane, like when The Practice beat The Sopranos for Best Drama or Picket Fences beat NYPD […]

Fall 2015 Entertainment Highlights: Muppets, Martians, Beasts and Bond

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • September 14, 2015
  • 0
The fall season is heating up with some promising new movies, TV shows, video games, and music. There are tons to choose from, but here are 15 good options to consider: Movies There are tons of movies during the fall and several seem to be promising. Here are eight that could be great: Sicario – […]

Review: Stephen Colbert’s Star-Spangled Debut

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • September 9, 2015
  • 0
We’ve talked a lot about the new Golden Age of television drama, but as of last night, the new Golden Age of late night talk shows is officially in full swing. Stephen Colbert signed on with his version of The Star Spangled Banner, punctuated by an incognito Jon Stewart yelling, “Play ball!” Colbert trotted out […]

The Death and Good Life of the Real Batman

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • August 21, 2015
  • 0
Batman entered the room of a sick child in the cancer wing of a children’s hospital. The boy’s eyes opened wide with wonder. “Are you really Batman?” the kid asked. “Yes, I am,” he said. Unbeknownst to the child, this Batman became a viral sensation years earlier when his tricked-out Batmobile—a 20-foot long black Lamborghini […]

Seinfeld, Schumer, and C.K. Offend Us Way Too Much

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • July 22, 2015
  • 1
Let me begin, as I must, with an apology. I am deeply, profoundly sorry to anyone who is—or could possibly be now or in some distant era—offended by this piece. I apologize for my insensitivity and for my inelegant and inconsiderate attitudes. I feel much better now. Years ago, Steve Martin claimed “comedy isn’t pretty,” […]

Trainwreck is Worth the Trip

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • July 20, 2015
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Amy Schumer’s movie dad, Colin Quinn, starts the film Trainwreck by having his young daughters repeat,“Monogamy isn’t realistic” over and over again. From the first scene, the movie is posing a question: is it reasonable to think that two people could be fully committed to each other? I won’t tell you where the movie lands, but […]

A Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • June 17, 2015
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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Grade: A- Greg, who’s convinced he has pasty skin and a chipmunk face, is a self-loathing high school senior whose strategy for surviving until graduation is to be superficially friendly to all while avoiding anything that smacks of intimacy. That is, until he begins spending time—under duress from […]

What David Letterman Means to Me

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • May 20, 2015
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The most memorable moment so far of David Letterman’s victory lap came last week when the typically non-sentimental Norm McDonald choked up at the end of his (awesome) stand-up routine as he paid tribute to the host.  “Mr. Letterman is not for the mawkish,” he said, “and he has no truck for the sentimental. If […]

Bruce Jenner Goes Public

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • April 24, 2015
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Tonight we finally get to see Bruce Jenner’s interview with Diane Sawyer where he discusses his transition from male to female. ABC has been intentionally tight-lipped, leading to speculation about how much he will actually disclose. My bet is that he will say a lot and it will spark some significant conversation. This is almost […]

Nice is the New Black: Jimmy Fallon and the New Late Night Landscape

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • April 23, 2015
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When Jimmy Fallon debuted on The Tonight Show a little over a year ago, he had a strong start, but few would have guessed he would have ushered in a new era of late night television. What did he do and how did he do it? Before I dive in, let me begin with an […]

Celebrities Gone Good

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • March 25, 2015
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A lot of folks enjoy reading about celebrities who go off the rails, but I personally enjoy hearing about the celebrities who are using their platforms to do good.  There’s a lot of them–and many others who are using their wealth or influence in more private ways to help others. Each year, DoSomething.org publishes their […]

Sign Me Up For a Head Transplant

  • by Dr. Dave Verhaagen
  • March 4, 2015
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I couldn’t be more excited! Why?  Because my new hero, Dr. Sergio Canavero, a neuroscientist in Italy, says we could have the first human head transplant in two years.  The surgery involves sawing off the person’s head and plopping it on a donor body.  The trick, of course, is to fuse the spinal cord so […]