California-based dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, Sandra Lee, MD, didn't know the phenomenon she was starting when she came up with her catchy alter ego, Dr. Pimple Popper. But now, following uncharted social media success and a well-received TV special Dr. Pimple Popper: This Is Zit, which aired earlier this year, it's clear that the doc has carved out a niche brand of dermatology — and people can't seem to get enough. If you're one of her devoted "popaholics," we have good news for you: TLC just announced that her full 6-episode series, Dr. Pimple Popper, will premiere Wednesday in the US (UK release TBC), July 11 on the cable network for your binging pleasure.
To get all the details about the much-anticipated show, we talked to the popping pro herself. Ahead, Dr. Lee opens up about what fans can expect from each hour-long episode, explaining that the series will not only be oozing and addictive, but it will also tug at our heart strings. Intrigued? Keep scrolling.
The People Behind The Pops
Unlike Dr. Lee's YouTube videos, you won't just get an up-close view of the surgical procedures; this show zooms out to reveal the lives of each and every patient. "The stories are compelling and memorable because these people are suffering with serious skin issues," explains Dr. Lee, adding that the medical-grade pimple popping aspect is only a small piece of what makes the series special. "The difference between my YouTube series and this show is that with the show, you see the doctor-patient interaction and the patients' backstory — how they dealt with their skin condition on a daily basis before coming to see me."
Another bonus? You get to see what life is like for people after the removal. "You're able to see how drastically their lives are changed [and] it’s gratifying," says Dr. Lee. "It makes me so happy that this series was able to be produced because it's truly helping people."
"The stories are compelling and memorable because these people are suffering with serious skin issues."
Dr. Sandra Lee
The Most Shocking Pops
Dr. Lee tells us that the series showcases some super gnarly growths, surprising to even the most seasoned popaholics. Cases will include massive lumps, protruding veins, tumours, and cysts — all of which stand in the way of the patients' confidence before they meet Dr. Lee. "I can tell you that in one episode, I take on the biggest cyst I've ever seen in my entire life," Dr. Lee reveals, adding that it's not all about pimples, as the title would suggest. "The pops that we show are big pops, but we also show other conditions within the broader scope of dermatology. The show gives people a chance to be detectives, to watch me tackle the most fascinating skin conditions they've never seen before."
"The show gives people a chance to be detectives, to watch me tackle the most fascinating skin conditions they've never seen before."
Dr. Sandra Lee
Making Pop Converts
Dr. Lee tells us that this series could make a popaholic out of anyone. "Scott, the main executive producer at TLC, did not like pimple popping before the show, but by the end, he was watching all my videos on the big screen monitor while eating his baba ganoush," says Dr. Lee. The way she explains it, the procedure sounds a lot like... an orgasm? "If you start watching, you'll see that a big pop is like a dance, with a rising anticipation and a cathartic climax and resolution," she explains. "This show provides a bigger picture storyline, beyond the gratifying release."
The Feel-Good Moments
With a closer look at the patients' lives comes some expected waterworks. "I don’t normally get to see the patients cry before and after their procedures, but the show brings out these real raw emotions in me and in the patients," Dr. Lee says. "I think it will mean something to people, and will tug at the heart strings. I feel like it’s what we need right now, something that makes you feel good."