Dr. 90210: The Hollywood Sociopath Next Door?

If you watched the popular show Dr. 90210–or even if, like me, the most you could stand is periodically watching it for a few minutes while flipping channels–you might be wondering what planet this guy landed from. Dr. Roberto M. Rey Jr. presents himself as a sophisticated Brazilian, but dresses more like a Brooklyn pimp. He works out compulsively and shows off his body  like a textbook example of the somatic narcissist. He promotes himself through a whole line of products, ranging from shapewear to cosmetics, but doesn’t let the generally loquacious shopping channel hostesses get a word in edgewise. He shamelessly flirts with his female patients, but seems to take special delight in putting them under, emitting strange vibes of necrophilia. Whatever Dr. Rey does, one thing is perfectly clear: he’s on a huge ego trip. A few years ago, The New York Times suggested that he’s a hack:

“‘Dr. 90210’ is the show that traditional plastic surgeons love to hate. Critics including Dr. Mark L. Jewell, the president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, say that Dr. Rey is a skilled surgeon, but his informal way with patients is inappropriate, even undignified, and the reality show gives viewers the impression that plastic surgery is a casual beauty treatment rather than a serious surgical procedure.” (Natasha Singer, March 16, 2006)

Even more worrisome than his dubious credentials and unprofessional manner with patients is the way he treats his wife, who seems to have developed a serious eating disorder (anorexia nervosa) during the filming of their reality show. While Dr. Rey’s celebrity–and ego– keep expanding, she’s literally melting before our eyes. Although he puts on a mask of chattering charm with his patients, Dr. Rey relentlessly criticizes his wife, complains about her being too controlling, and even tries to separate her from her family by stepping in between her and her mother. Keeping in mind that a psychopath’s main characteristics are superficial charm, absolute narcissism and the need for total control over those closest to him through an insidious mixture of isolation and criticism, Dr. Rey makes a pretty good candidate for the Hollywood sociopath next door.

Claudia Moscovici, psychopathyawareness