Film Reviews: "Gum in My Hair" and "Six Feet Under"

One section of Culture Quotient, where PT reviews the season's most psychologically astute, or obtuse books, television programs, Web sites and more.

By Carin Gorrell, published on April 1, 2003 - last reviewed on January 23, 2015

Gum in my hair

Writers: Marty Reimer, Tim Shields

Director: Marty Reimer

Producer: Amy Schneider

Bullying is an all too common part of growing up. Some of us were
hassled daily; others watched their friends get picked on, afraid to
intervene. And perhaps most disturbing are those of us who joined forces
with bullies, buoyed by group mentality and relieved to be anywhere but
on the receiving end.

Sadly, our children are no more immune to bullying than were we. A
new national survey found that 80 percent of U.S. children report being
bullied at school. The effects can be devastating, impairing
concentration and self-esteem, and even deadly, as seen in the Columbine

This is exactly what Marty Reimer, founder of video-production
company Twisted Scholar, is hoping to prevent with "Gum in My Hair: How
to Cope with a Bully." A 20-minute video aimed at 8- to 14-year-olds, it
is designed to teach kids how to both recognize bullies and evade their

The one major downside to this video is that it's hosted by adults.
And as most parents know, kids in this age group are fond of shouting,
"You don't know what it's like!" to any adult within earshot. Luckily,
real testimonials from bullied kids make it easier for young viewers to
relate. The video also offers five tangible techniques for avoiding the
enemy, such as developing confident-and therefore deterring-body
language. Co-host David Scratchley, Ph.D., a psychologist and well-known
children's safety advocate, lends added credibility to the

At $49.95, "Gum" does seem a bit pricey. But if shared among
teachers and parents, it has the potential to save lives. To order a
copy, call 888-949-2628, or log on to

"Six feet under"

Sparks flew between characters Claire Fisher and Billy Chenowith in
last year's season of the hit television series "Six Feet Under." And
while tumultuous relationships are no strangers to HBO, what makes this
one intriguing is Billy's recent release from a psychiatric institution.
Diagnosed with manic depression, Billy took a misguided vacation from his
meds. Now fresh from treatment, should he pursue Claire in the show's
third season, scheduled to premiere in early April? In a word: no.
"Romantic relationships are a high stressor for manic-depressives in
remission," explains Stuart Fischoff, Ph.D., of California State
University, Los Angeles. "Deviating from established routines makes them
nervous. It's bearding the lion in his den."