The Baron of Botox

1,391

Over two decades, Dr. Fredric Brandt went from a small dermatology practice in Miami to being Madonna's personal skincare consultant and the go-to for public figures desperate to stave off aging. His clients loved him. Fashion magazines profiled him. But as Brandt continued to build his empire—a best-selling product line, pristine homes in New York and Miami, and an absurd modern art collection—he was slowly becoming addicted to his own product. Popular speculation has it that it was Martin Short's scathing portrayal of a clearly-based-on-Brandt character in the 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' that pushed him to his death, but the truth is far more complicated. From Justine Harman and the team behind 'Broken Harts.'

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Recent Reviews
  • yoga.aha
    A touching story
    This is well done and a touching story.
  • Steph8391
    Enlightening
    What a fantastically written deep dive into an extraordinary man, societal values & beauty. It has made me rethink some things and maybe not judge myself so harshly due to aging and my self perception. Thank you for this and I hope to hear more….
  • jooojooojojo
    Its ok but…
    Its the way she says NAMI and says its “uncool” to out someone on air but tries anyway that says she doesn't really care about the humans in the story, just the story itself. I mean no one on the team had heard of NAMI?!!!?
  • RA Dine
    Well done.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this podcast and found it to be a sensitive and nonjudgmental discussion on beauty, depression, and a real life example of how we don’t always know what a person is truly going through. This was not a salacious, drama filled podcast, but a thoughtful and kind audio documentary of what seemed to be a wonderful man (Dr. Brandt) and the discussion of appearance, beauty, and how so much is interconnected. Loved hearing the ethicist, Dr. Green, and all of the other guests who were brought on. Well done!
  • niknakoo
    Depression can’t be boiled down to one event
    I couldn’t get past the first episode. Tina fey is problematic for numerous reasons. However, this podcast is so poorly thought out, researched and vetted if it truly thinks a man as successful and talented as Dr. Brandt would kill himself based on one parody. About his appearance lol. Way to dig deep. Dermatologist who kills himself? Must be due to his appearance Depression is complicated and murderous- this podcast is shallow and vapid and doesn’t make an attempt to understand it.
  • sjrf202
    Riveting!
    Really well done, in-depth and compassionate reporting on a fascinating subject.
  • Katrina-2000
    The amazing life and death of the dermatologist to the stars
    I enjoyed this very much. The pod is about Dr Fred Brandt, a wildly successful aesthetic physician to the likes of Madonna and other celebs. I always wondered what became of this fellow who seemed to absolutely LOVE helping people. The answer is nuanced and complex. I binged the series over a weekend and it was great at transporting me to the world of wealth and beauty. Dr Brandt was so engaging, I even recall listening to his infomercials and being mesmerized. If you were around during the 1980s and 1990s, you'll immediately recognize Dr Brandt's distinctive voice. This is well paced and produced. The hosts are easy to listen to and to follow. You won't be disappointed!
  • atziri_her
    I was excited to jump back in every time!
    Being in my late 20s I’ve been thinking about Botox more and more everyday. That is the reason I clicked play on the first episode. This podcast gave me such an interesting perspective not just on Botox but on beauty and human nature in general. One of my favorite podcasts to date!
  • blessedarethecheesemakers
    Unkind
    Unkind and shallow. Would not recommend. Terrible what’s done to the doctor in this podcast.
  • Foejo
    Disgusting.
    Depression and suicide are not a blame game. You’re an insensitive disgusting subhuman. Grow up and educate your ignorant self.
  • LadyMaverick
    What’s The Point?
    Fred was a Botox pioneer who looked a little cuckoo, succumbed to depression, and took his own life. Even though lots of people liked him. There: I just saved you like 9 hours. You’re welcome.
  • mammalamadingdong
    I want to give you a megaphone!
    Shout it, sing it, keep it up! You are an amazing host and your voice makes this world a little bit better. Sophia Carey
  • User-6378
    Self serving
    Very self serving and fails to cover how toxic plastic surgery is to society. Narrator is practically giddy when she receives free botox in return for shilling for a plastic surgeon on the podcast. Also hilariously tries to lay blame on Tina fey.
  • eva marie chicago
    Outstanding
    This podcast is well done. I didn’t know the story and thought the story arc was informative, emotional and left me reflective on our society.
  • pvbbee
    A nice change from the norm
    This podcast is so well done and just a nice change from the rest that are out there. I was actually surprised I hadn't heard of it and that the average rating wasn't higher. My only problem is the ads. I normally hate when people give negative reviews because of ads because while of course any ad is annoying, I get that this is how we "pay" to listen without actually paying money. So I just hit the fast forward button and move on or tune them out. But the ads on this one are just SO abrasive. I'm on episode 7 and have binged it, and will try to finish, but the guy's voice in the ads is getting so hard to take.
  • XNDR
    Poignant
    This series really touched me, I found it riveting even though I already knew at least part of the story of Dr. Brandt. I was working at a magazine when he took his own life and it truly was such a bizarre, eerie time to see how his death took people by such surprise. Everyone seemed to have a charming, positive story to say about him. Had no idea that his heart was practically a ticking time bomb… what an unexpected turn to piece within this story. Episode nine was particularly poignant. Thank you.
  • danger336
    The ads
    I really enjoyed this podcast. The story was intriguing and made me want to be friends with Dr. Brandt. He seemed like such a remarkable, loving person. The ads got to me though. They were not timed well, no warning they were coming and interrupted meaningful moments. Really detracted from the story overall.
  • Cool PR Maven
    Enjoyed but have Qs
    I just finished the podcast series - it is very good but I have some questions.(Perhaps an addendum can address these? fingers crossed) 1. I had hoped they would get back to explaining Stefan - what was his business role in Dr B’s life? I know he inherited the skin care products business, so was he running that for him prior to his death? I was unclear on the true basis of the relationship. 2. When he passed, did Dr B leave anything to his nieces and nephew or did Stefan pretty much get everything? 3. Who inherited his dogs? (Ultimately all of these questions are none of my business but that’s true about pretty much everything that was in the podcast. LOL) Again great job - very engaging & compelling!
  • Nkglaber
    Could have been half as long
    Nice story telling. Could have done without the narrators commentary about her life around celebrities.
  • Jacamo66
    Pretty good
    Overall I enjoyed the podcast. The long scene of the host getting $2,000 worth of free Botox was a little strange though.
  • spaulky55
    Well formatted and well told
    I wasn’t totally sure what the basis of this podcast was but I really enjoyed it. I love the format of a “reporter” and not just someone retelling a story. I love hearing real people’s first hand experiences as it brings validity and candidness to the story. Well done!
  • Jwittek
    Episode Seven
    The way Justine discusses the unattainable filtered Instagram face resonates. As a 36 year old woman I vacillate between accepting of how I look (albeit, with a little tweaking from filler and Botox) to feeling downright ugly when I see these 20-something influencers with poreless skin and perfectly symmetrical faces. I know those images are heavily filtered but in the moment they still make me feel like I need to do more work to my face to “catch-up” to this look. Anyone struggling with this back and forth feeling should really listen to this episode.
  • SteveSpiker
    Enjoyed it.
    I didn’t know what to expect from this podcast but ended up enjoying it very much. In fact, I enjoyed it so much I started listening to OC Swingers (don’t bother) because it was also created by Justine Harmon. But I digress, The Baron of Botox was thoughtful and didn’t limit itself just to the story of Dr. Brandt, but delved into many other topics without losing continuity or going off topic. Well done!
  • noname17$&
    Waste of time
    Terrible storytelling with shallow analysis, don’t waste your time
  • BKPslope
    Thoughtful and interesting
    I really enjoyed this series and found it to be a respectful and thorough review of Dr Brandt and how we all viewed him. While I wasn’t a patient or acquaintance of his, I had to ask myself how much i’ve bought into the whole system of beauty and how have we changed as a result of the easy and quick procedures that are available everywhere. Most importantly, this series humanized Dr Brandt for me and left me feeling very sympathetic toward him.
  • lvicki11
    Excellent and tasteful reporting
    This was an extremely informative and tastefully done podcast about a very difficult subject. Thank you for creating the space that you did. I’m sure there’s always room for critique, but I’m very satisfied with how this was done and I listened to the entire podcast in less than 24 hours. Especially loved the comparison between women podcasters and Joe Rogan. For any critiques to your podcast, I wonder, would anyone say the same if Joe Rogan told the same story? The answer could be yes or no, but it’s an important question to ask.
  • HOWDOYOULIKEMENOW13
    Great tribute!
    I was impressed with the humanistic approach to this story. Dr. Brandt was a revolutionary & his kind heart is shown in this story. Great job!
  • mxm313
    Interesting … with tons of ads
    Agree with others that these episodes could have been condensed significantly, however was an interesting albeit heartbreaking story of depression and suicide despite outward success. Unfortunately, similar to the host’s experience with glossy print magazines, every other page (or minute) is an advert.
  • Kidwritersla
    Fascinating!
    A thorough, gripping expose. What a shame to have lost an amazing human.
  • malikmoon
    What happened to the art? Were they lovers?
    What happened to the storyline…it seemed to switch mid podcast.
  • stlkim
    Disappointed
    This podcast started out well. A suicide. A famous dermatologist to the stars. The opening was intriguing - an assistant cutoff by the CEO, friends on suicide watch, millions of dollars in fine art sold soon after his death, and his estate supposedly shared among a few close friends. The problem was that the interesting set-up in the first 2-3 episodes was frizzled out by a series of sidetracks completely unrelated to Dr. Brandt. Psychologists and beauty bloggers took up most of the latter part of the series with no further information about Dr. Brandt. Coworkers and clients spoke repeatedly about his kind and generous nature and his compassion and skill as a doctor. Justine never revisited the questions she raised at the beginning of the series. What about Stefan - his CEO and possible love interest? What happened to Maggie his assistant? Who benefited from his estate which included his massive art collection? What about the mounting debt alluded to in the first few episodes? It went completely off the rails with beauty editors, bloggers and ethicists that had nothing to do with the Dr. Brandt story. So very disappointed in this podcast!!!!
  • Dannahbot
    Cw: suicidal ideation
    Use caution/ care when listening to this podcast. It was fascinating but certain episodes triggered my suicidal ideation. Each episode does have a warning up front, and information about getting help at the end, but I didn’t think it would effect me as much as it did. Chapter 9 is what really messed with me. Enjoy this podcast, but take care of yourself.
  • missmissy!
    not great.
    It really seems like the entire purpose of the podcast was for the host to get free services.
  • Mfayesimon
    Could have been one fantastic episode
    The material is interesting. The sound clips are very quiet too. It was just stretched to ten episodes. Should have been one amazing episode.
  • Star71Nash
    Good show
    I enjoyed this podcast. Very informative and well told. I never heard of Dr. Brandt until about a year ago. I think your handling of his story showed sensitivity and respect.
  • Slytheriffic
    sad & gross
    could’ve been a really interesting work, but the way it is told is so shallow and demeaning that it’s almost entirely unpalatable. An attempt to be salacious just for the sake of salaciousness. Gross af
  • meg2121093
    No Depth Story
    The odd thing about a podcast dealing with the so-called wellness industry, which I have never even heard of, is that there are no pictures of these beautiful people. I had never seen Dr. Brandt. I googled photos of him and was shocked at what I saw. He treated a face like it was a canvas to sculpt with a rejuvenated, enhanced appearance the end result? Not his own. There is a photo of him as a youth, and he was a good looking kid who turned himself into an ugly adult, and that is what this podcast does not cover. Accolades from peers are nice, but the only doctor who seemed to understand the problem appeared at the end briefly and only hinted at the issue at hand, why someone would self-mutilate and turn himself into a freak. Dr. Brandt was like Karen Carpenter, but her fatal, tragic story has at least been treated with a degree of depth and honesty. Not so here. And no one cares if women deliver podcasts.
  • flauflau
    Great if you like gossip and dislike substance
    You’re right, “it’s not that cool to try to out someone”. I stopped with episode 2 and you should have stopped at 1. This is a gossip column in podcast format.
  • nixfinity
    Botox or Suicide? Need pictures
    Very unfair to Dr. Brandt—Botox is poison, but you can’t blame him for wanting to look good laying in a box. The doctor was an expert and knew better than to leave his final appearance in the hands of an undertaker.
  • Gbort1998
    Loved it
    Wish it had 10 more episodes! Interesting and insightful . Made me look at Dr Brant very differently. RIP... what a kind human😢
  • Mojo1934
    Job Well Done!
    Justine you did an incredible job! I felt so connected to Dr. Brandt. It was as though I knew him personally. My heart ached for the way he was treated by his celebrity clients in public. I will ah he’d found love...so so so sad.
  • prierpourelle
    Missed Opportunity
    Hopefully a genuine reporter and team of serious writers/editors pick up this subject for a re-do, because there’s so much to this story that is interesting. The whole tone of this podcast is shallow, immature, and with little to no insight on the life of this man and the industry and people he effected.
  • Earlybird8
    Fascinating story ruined
    Really poor sound quality on interviews and too many repetitive ads for other podcasts.
  • Dcowens
    The best & worst podcast
    This is without a doubt the best AND worst podcast that I’ve listened to this year. The best- the author told Dr. Brant’s story with kindness and compassion. She made his story relatable and I was impressed with her non-judgmental approach (both towards the doctors eccentric life and also the bullies who quite frankly deserved a little shaming). My heart broke for Dr. Brant with every episode and the tragedy within this story. Yet Dr. Brant’s lively personality and generous heart made me want to be more like him. She did a wonderful job separating who Dr. Brant was professionally vs. who he was personally and reminding us that people aren’t always as resilient as they lead on to be. She also did a really good job of getting across the point that no done deserves to be ridiculed, regardless of their eccentricities or differences. This podcast inspired me to be a better person and to live life a little bit more like Dr. Brant. The worst- At the end of the ten episodes I felt like the author was leading me the natural (above) conclusion and I was really surprised when she instead pivoted and turned on the reader. It seemed like her conclusion was to blame the reader while assuming that we are all full of vanity and judgement and therefore all guilty. I kind of get what she’s saying, but I think it didn’t emulate Dr. Brant’s amazing example of kindness and forgiveness. I wish she had ended this series instead by discussing Tina Feys refusal to acknowledge her sorrow for hurting another human being (even if she refused to take accountability). Isn’t the the basic unwillingness to show sensitivity and caring the heart of this story and something that is so lacking and in need of in American society... and Dr. Brant’s greatest example to us all?!!!!
  • sfshrh
    Important
    Fascinating. I don’t think we hear enough about the psychology behind plastic surgery, and in addition to the biographical part, which was interesting enough, I could have heard more context from women in the beauty industry, psychologists, doctors (especially women)...maybe a kardashian? Anyway all around good entertainment except for the unbelievably excessive amount of ads.
  • Shwynn
    Good show, but the production is frustrating
    I love the subject matter and presentation of the story, but there are far too many ads and no transition between the story and the ads. It’s very confusing. There are three ad breaks with multiple ads each within what amounts to a 20-ish minute episode.
  • Ugcnhfcjhg
    Good Story, Frustrating Transitions
    Loved the reporting. Fascinating story. Good production values. Subtracting one star because the transitions to the ads were so subtle it was hard to know when they began except that all of a sudden, you feel like you’ve jumped to a different podcast. I’d have loved some kind of audio clue that the ads were about to start.
  • sjateddy
    Engaging story
    Dr. Brandt is a fascinating person, and as the NYT reporter says, his story symbolizes so much about our current culture. If you are interested in taking a critical eye towards the beauty industrial complex this is a great listen
  • cdfostermd
    too long
    Interesting, but could have been cut in half. Needs to have been edited more tightly
  • BobbyAbuDhabi
    Pretty good
    Entertaining even tho everyone it talks about is rich and fundamentally loathsome. But hell if I looked like Jared Kushner I’d do that to my face too
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