The Watchman: Zapping Zits Makes a TLC Hit, Food Network Chefs Get an F

Season two of Dr. Pimple Popper, featuring Dr. Sandra Lee taking care of people’s skin matters, arrives on TLC Jan. 3. The premiere episode sees Dr. Lee tend to a man from the Philippines with a bumpy nose. Diagnosis: Rhinophyma.

“There are some incredible stories,” Dr. Lee promises. “It has some of the biggest pops I’ve ever seen.”

Dr. Sandra Lee of 'Dr. Pimple Popper.'

Dr. Sandra Lee of 'Dr. Pimple Popper.'

Dr. Pimple Popper got her start on Instagram, offering peeks at her work, and it took off on YouTube. Reaching 4.6 million subscribers “happened by accident,” Dr. Lee said. A blackhead extraction she posted went viral, and got her thinking. “I thought, what is this, this is crazy,” she said. Noting a “subculture” of pimple-popping fans online, she thought, “I could be their queen.”

What draws people to pimple popping? Dr. Lee likens it to watching a scary movie or riding a roller coaster. The tension builds, the pop happens, the endorphins flow. “For some reason, it makes people feel good,” she said.

Viewers also enjoy watching people “get their lives back,” said Dr. Lee, after being treated.

Season two offers “a little more of me,” said the doctor, and more “behind the scenes” stuff at her office. Viewers also will get to know her husband better; he’s a dermatologist, too.

Before season two hits, there was The 12 Pops of Christmas special on TLC Dec. 13, and a book, Put Your Best Face Forward, out Dec. 31. “It feels like I have three jobs at least,” Dr. Lee said.

'Worst Cooks in America'

'Worst Cooks in America'

And it’s a new season of Worst Cooks in America on Food Network Jan. 6. Anne Burrell and Tyler Florence host, as 15 dreadful chefs learn cooking skills at boot camp and compete for a $25,000 jackpot. The most common mistake Burrell sees among awful cooks? They don’t use recipes.

“Maybe their mom or grandma was a great cook and they think it’s genetic,” she told The Watchman. “It’s not.”

The new season sees the contestants compete in games that build skills and stoke camaraderie. Burrell said Worst Cooks stands out because it’s “genuinely funny” as the contestants struggle with their assignments. “The recruits do get better,” she added, “and it turns out to be a very sweet show.”

Burrell cops to a degree of maternal impulse over the cast. “They make me feel like a proud mama,” she said.

A large number of kids have gotten into watching Worst Cooks the last few years, said Burrell, who is pleased to be part of a show that families can enjoy together. “People tell me, we all die laughing as a family when we watch,” she said. “That’s what food and cooking is all about.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.