Friday, September 27, 2013

The Week in Reviews: Daytime TV Talk Shows Deconstructed

I have already admitted to my television addiction and I am working on it, I truly am.  Really.  I am.  Believe me?

But I do particularly like talk shows. 

And this isn't just because I am retired now and could spend all day watching the talk shows.  Even when I was working I would tape a select few and enjoy them after hours.

Since it's been a slow week for me for movies, concerts and other pastimes,  I thought I would take a look at the new talk shows and some of the old ones as a public service to you.  I have done extensive research, hours and hours -- so you don't have to.

As a summary, it appears that most of the new shows are adhering to a formula of all or some of these segments:  taking a cue from "The View," panel discussion with or without quasi-celebrities, questions from the audience and takeaways such as nightgown makeovers and healthy food truck choices.  All very important stuff!

 
 
The New Shows


Steve Harvey



Pros
He's a likable, funny guy who appears to be trying to combine Dr. Phil with "Ellen."  He is trying a variety of segments in his show including a panel of "celebrities" to talk about the issues of the day and an "Ask Steve" segment, where audience members ask questions which gives him a chance to be funny, but also to solve their relationship problems and pitch his book

Cons
Not sure I trust a guy who writes a book called "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man."  And he should take a cue from Ellen and do some stand up.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Looks like this one could hang around awhile.




Bethenny



Pros
She is an Ex-housewife (NYC) who shows a vulnerable side (if crying a lot shows vulnerability) that people seem to relate to. Ellen loves her and is producing her show.  (Notice that Ellen and I are on a first name basis).

Cons
As with the Steve Harvey Show, Bethenny has a quasi-celebrity panel discussion (I mean, Lance Bass and Rich Wakile, from Housewives of NJ?), followed by a segment where she takes questions from the audience. She also might play a game with the audience called "Would you ever?" where she asks questions of individual audience members such as "If you were in a dressing room and heard a mother call her daughter fat, would you intervene?"  And then she might end the show by fitting women for bras. Weird. Looks like she hasn't figured out what format works best. It seems to change on a daily basis.  Her enthusiasm for some of the topics and guests seems forced.  And that vulnerability?  I think it masks a person who is hard as nails. But they haul out children and old people so she can show her vulnerable side.  Also no big name celebrities and not on top of what is currently trending. One segment on a 911 operator giving her wedding dress to a distraught bride whose dress was stolen is old news (sorry, I know them all!) Also her voice is shrill and annoying as hell.

Rosy the Reviewer says...I predict this one won't make it despite Ellen's support It's too all over the place and she is just too annoying.




"The Queen Latifa Show"




Pros
This show could take off. Queen (May I call you Queen?) comes off very down to earth and intelligent.  Her format is similar to Ellen's, with a DJ and a variety of guests, heart-warming reunions, cute video segments.

Cons
So far these early shows have quite a bit of butt-kissing and if Ellen is her target, I don't think she can compete, especially without Ellen's humor and if she can't attract the big celebrities.

Rosy the Reviewer says...but, with Queen Latifa's personality alone, this one could go the distance.




The Trisha Goddard Show


Pros
Instead of trying to model herself after "The View" or "Ellen," Trisha is going the Maury and Jerry route, combining DNA testing, shouting, body guards and fist fights.  During my "research," I encountered such titles as "Hot Mess Family Makeovers" and "Your Mother Slept Around --You're Not My Granddaughter" (even I can't make these up!)  At least she doesn't need the big name celebrities.  She's a Brit, which is a welcome change.

Cons
Trisha who? 

Rosy the Reviewer says...Not a good sign when the show can only be found around here at 3am.  That's pushing the "daytime" element a  bit, but if you are an insomniac, could be amusing.  And at least no questions from the audience, panel discussions or low calorie crispy treat recipes.  Just good old-fashioned yelling and punching.
 



Kris Jenner

Pros
Was only on for six episodes

Cons
Was only on for six episodes

Rosy the Reviewer says...was only on for six episodes.




Katie



Pros
Katie Couric is very likable and intelligent.  It's like visiting with the girl next door except the girl next door knows people like Robert Deniro.  She tries to do "important" shows with themes such as domestic violence or reincarnation.   She also can get the entire cast of an upcoming movie, if that's your thing.  Big name celebrities are not a problem for her.  It looks like she wants to be the next Oprah. 

Cons
She's a bit too perky.  If I might misquote slightly what Lou Grant said to Mary on the "Mary Tyler Moore Show," "I hate perk!"  She also is using that new cliché of questions from the audience, which I find annoying. And Oprah she's not, though her show seems to have more coherence than the other new shows.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Some hits and misses. The Jury is still out on this one.
 
 
 
 
 
The Old Stand-byes
 
 
 
 


Pros
Gives out good health information

Cons
Talks about poop too much

Rosy the Reviewer says...but poop is important.





Dr. Phil



Pros
If Oprah likes him, he's OK with me. He links his shows to current topics in the news and has gotten more "show bizzy," interviewing Nick Carter and other celebs on such topics as addiction in addition to the usual mothers-in-law from hell and horrific neighbors.

Cons
Self serving, smug, overly dramatic and keeps pushing his new book. And what kind of therapist yells at his subjects?

Rosy the Reviewer says...but if Oprah likes him...



The Talk

Pros
A likable group that is growing on me.  Love Sharon Osbourne.

Cons
"The View" wannabees; Don't like Sarah Gilbert.  She reminds me of Debbie Downer.

Rosy the Reviewer says...moving up on "The View," but will never be "The View."



Maury

Pros
You know what you are getting because every show is about the same thing.

Cons
And what you are getting are DNA results to see who is the father of the baby mama's baby - over and over again.

Rosy the Reviewer says...how many times can you hear "You are NOT the father!"





Jerry Springer



Pros
If you like "Fight Club," you might like this

Cons
Breaks all of the rules of "Fight Club."

Rosy the Reviewer asks...why is this show still on?  Who are the people watching this thing?  And why?






Live with Kelly and Michael

Pros
Kelly

Cons
Michael

Rosy the Reviewer says...Where is Regis when you need him? I just don't get this show.  Is it aimed at my age bracket?  Because if so, it's even too old for me, even without Regis.





"The Wendy Williams Show"



Pros
She says whatever she thinks and can be quite outrageous as can her audience during the "Ask Wendy" segment.  They ask her about everything from relationship issues to sex toys.  Her strengths are the dishing and free associating she does about celebrities and her own life at the beginning of the show.  She has an opinion about everything and everyone and is quite humorous in a "New Joisey" sort of way.

Cons
I can't help but be distracted by my thinking she was once a man.  It must be her height. 

Rosy the Reviewer says...She is way over the top but quite humorous. An acquired taste.  Worth it just to hear her say her catch phrase, "How U doin?" 






The Crème de la Crème


The View

Pros
This was the first ensemble talk show and with Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg at the helm, there is more substance here than most.  They are always on top of what is trending now and get all of the big celebs. All the better now that Elisabeth Hasselbeck is gone.

Cons
Joy Behar is gone and unclear how Jenny McCarthy will do (2015 update:  We know she didn't do well and was cut.  Now if they would just get rid of Raven-Simone.)

Rosy the Reviewer says...this is the flagship.





Ellen

 
 


Pros
She channels the old variety talk shows of old, like Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas, and she is funny as hell.  (This is why Ellen and I are on a first name basis. I promised her a good review)

Cons
Not fond of the dancing she does at the beginning of the show

Rosy the Reviewer says...no other talk show like this right now during daytime. Brings back happy memories. 




One final thing about talk shows in general.  This latest craze of running a Twitter feed along the bottom of the screen during the show is so annoying.  I hate it.  Why do these shows think we care what their Twitter followers think?  Most of it is inconsequential crap.

So I hope this helps you make your decision about what talk shows you should watch.

If you care.

Or not.

 
 
What  do you think of the daytime talk shows? 

Any favorites?

 
 
Well that's it for this week.
 


Until next time,
I wish you great happiness.
 
 


5 comments :

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  2. I certainly called this one. Betheny's show is in trouble while Queen Latifa is doing well.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2449343/Bethenny-Frankel-revealed-blames-Ellen-DeGeneres-chatshows-lack-high-profile-guests.html

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