Better Sex and Deeper
Relationships is part of the "Living Well with Montel
Williams" series of life coaching programs. This DVD program
presents three programs, one general motivational piece and two on
sex and relationships.
"A Woman's Guide to Better
Sex" runs 52 minutes, with Dr. Hilda Hutcherson
Hutchinson is a doctor and magazine
advice columnist about sexual issues. She takes the approach of
de-mystifying sex from the biological point of view as well as a
relationship point of view. As the title of the episode indicates,
it's definitely addressed to a female audience, focusing on female
anatomy - the vulva, the labia, the clitoris, the vagina - with an
emphasis on female empowerment. There's attention to male parts too,
but from the point of view of the woman who may or may not know much
about her partner's equipment.
This is definitely an explicit
presentation, in which Hutchinson is frank about the experience of
sex and things that viewers can do to enjoy sex more. She gives tips
on how to have a better orgasm, and addresses issues of sexual
confidence. Overall, her approach is "how to enjoy sex more":
it has some elements that touch on the relationship aspect of sex,
but as a whole its emphasis is on the physical act and how to enjoy
the sensations of sexual intercourse more.
"Life Would Be Easy if it
Weren't for Other People"
runs 48 minutes, with Connie Podesta.
I'm not really sure what makes
Podesta qualified to talk about relationships... she's advertised on
the DVD case as a comedian and a talk show host. She does say that
she's done marriage and family counseling, so presumably she has some
qualifications, but it's not made very clear. Podesta is funny,
without a doubt, but she plays very heavily on stereotypes as her
material, for instance male-female and parent-child relationships.
That said, she does make some good points here, but she bounces
around a lot, touching on marriage, children, work, and dealing with
other people. Overall, it feels like "relationships lite":
there's a lot of what feels like sensible advice, but upon closer
examination it seems to be a platitude that offers nothing by way of
concrete suggestions for dealing with life issues.
"Who Owns the Definition of
You?" features talk show host Montel Williams; it runs 35
The program starts off with a
testimonial about Williams' show; it goes on considerably too long
and starts to feel cheesy. Fortunately, as soon as it shifts over to
Williams himself, it feels much more grounded. He draws on his
experience as a talk show host to identify recurring problems in
peoples' lives, as well as on his own experiences as suffering from
This program focuses on the
obstacles to living the life you want to live, with Williams
explaining the points and illustrating them with examples from his
own life. He's an excellent speaker: he's passionate about what he's
telling the viewer, and he's able to speak directly to the camera
with conviction and energy, so that it feels entirely natural to be
listening. The points that Williams makes here are very important: he
discusses obstacles like fear, self-doubt, lack of knowledge, and
emotional difficulties. The material is fairly general, but it works
well as a general motivational piece, especially for viewers who are
fans of Williams' show.
The main fault that I find with this
program is that it's repeated on all the Living Well DVD sets,
so that viewers are stuck with paying for the same disc several times
if they decide to buy more than one of the Living Well
The programs are oddly presented, as
they're in a 4:3 image windowboxed in a non-anamorphic widescreen
format. Colors look good, but there's heavy edge enhancement and a
lot of artifacting, especially in the Hutchinson program. It's
watchable but not particularly appealing.
The stereo soundtrack is clear and
acceptable, with a clean overall feel to it.
The "Woman's Guide to Better
Sex" disc has a 10-minute section of "deeper discussion"
with Hutcherson, as well as 18 minutes of questions and answers.
Trailers for The Montel Show and "Living Well" are
also included on each disc.
Living Well: Better Sex and
Deeper Relationships is a disappointment, even by the modest
expectations I was bringing to it. There are only two new programs,
as the Montel Williams program is repeated on other Living Well
sets. The relationships program is very thin in its material, and
the sex program, while informative, felt a bit shallow in its
singleminded focus on maximizing physical pleasure. I'd skip this