D.he mask has to be removed ”, says Prince Harry at the beginning of“ The Me You Can’t See ”. He thus describes the leitmotif and basic principle of the five-part documentary series, which was published on the streaming platform Apple tv + on May 21st. Prince Harry is an opponent of the mask under which the self, which is supposedly not seen in our society, remains hidden: the mentally suffering self.
And he shows how unmasking works. One of the masks he takes off first of all in this series is his prince title. Here he is just “Harry”, one of many; it has no title, but a wound. Except in the credits of the series, Prince Harry, the Duke of Essex, is listed as its co-producer.
He produced “The Me You Can’t See” together with Oprah Winfrey, and in the series both appear as so-called hosts, but also as members of the community of those who show their injured selves here. Dialogues between Oprah and Harry, from armchair to armchair, form the framework and central theme of all episodes. Of course, they are not dialogues. They create a seemingly confidential space, the homely intimacy of which is aimed at an audience of millions.
Here, too, they follow the already monumental interview that Harry and Meghan Markle gave Oprah at the beginning of March about the reasons for their resignation as senior royals. As in a number of other interviews that Oprah has conducted over the past four decades, in the armchair conversations with Harry, she uses direct questions to encourage the person opposite to reveal personal information, and ties in with her own private statements without being asked. The first of these conversations is about the trauma that Harry, he says, suffered from the death of his mother and that he has only recently faced.
If Oprah talks about himself or reveals basic soul knowledge (which is often indistinguishable), Harry presents himself as a good but quiet listener who nods understandingly and a little reverently, like a child who lets his mother explain the world to him. Oprah, who speaks several times in the series of “her girls” whom she has looked after as a kind of godmother over the course of many years, this time, it seems, has taken a boy under her wing. His name is Harry, and, as we knew beforehand, he has a new American home.
With the series it finally becomes clear that he also has a new job, a self-made job in the truest sense of the word. After intensive therapeutic work on himself, he has now become an international ambassador for making “mental health” a public issue. It is, he asserts, the greatest problem of our time. Besides climate change.
“The Me You Can’t See” has a strong sense of mission. The series wants to educate about mental disorders and help to take away the stigma with which they are still occupied. She wants to raise awareness of how common these disorders are and that there is a lack of means to prevent and treat them. Last but not least, she wants to provide first aid for those affected who may not even have known that they are.