Guest Post from Bill: A Psychiatric Diagnosis of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”

My stepdad Bill regularly sends me mail.  He might single-handedly be keeping the Postal Service afloat.  This review of the most recent Harry Potter movie came just before Christmas, and I found it so entertaining that I thought y’all might enjoy it, too. Relevant notes: Bill hasn’t actually read any of the books; he’s just seen the movies.  And he’s a physician.  Kathy is my mom.

Have you seen the latest Harry Pottsy movie?  Come to think…it may not be the latest.  It’s the most recent to us, Kathy having spent electrons and the Postal “Service” conveying it from Netflix.  Anywho, I’m not sure of the actual title, but perhaps it should be something like “Harry Potter and the Cauldron of Raging Hormones.”  The usual admixture of schizoid, manic, paranoid, and personality-disordered folks frolic through the oppressive walls and grounds of Hogwarts Reformity for Disturbed English Children.  However, this movie deletes the usual delightful beginning of past efforts, wherein some apparition or deformed creature shows up to summon Harry, and the fat uncle gets terrorized in the process.  A disappointment. 

Since prior efforts of the psychiatric faculty have produced only marginal results with cognitive and behavioral therapies, focus has now switched to pharmacologic treatments for the students.  This emphasis would seem very appropriate, as all of the characters seem worse than before (particularly an albino male who goes by the name of Malfoy and clearly is clinically depressed).  Alas, as raging teenage hormones are also peaking, the new chemical treatments are doomed to failure also…despite bringing back to the facility a previously-retired, but bumbling clinical pharmacologist who ends up making matters only worse!

Harry and his band of merry rogues once again defy rules and convention, and challenge authority.  As they explore new-to-them, off-limits catacombs of the ancient and sprawling asylum, the young mental cases seem to encounter fewer or less threatening hallucinatory monsters than in previous movies, which also is a disappointment.  They have the usual tender moments with the hygiene-challenged, but kindly, groundskeeper Haggard.  But, as the viewer has been concerned through several movies, Haggard has now crossed the line and is an active alcoholic.

As the denouement approaches, the viewer begins to gain more insight into all of the characters, not just the hopelessly maladjusted juvenile delinquents.  Professor Snake would have the viewer believe that the department chairman, one Dumbeldorf, is a demagogue, which is untrue.  (Perhaps Dumbeldorf doesn’t care for ladies?)  Snake, himself, seemingly is multiple personality disordered.  Naturally, tragedy can only be the end result:  Hermione falls in love with the dithering orange-haired twit called Wheezer.  As a side note…Dumbeldorf is killed.

Time to get on with seeing patients.  I’d actually prefer to see another Harry Pottsy movie, particularly if Ms. Granger comes to her senses.


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