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TV Review: A Rose By Any Other Name, It’s Still O’Donnell’s View

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The last time I watched a full episode of ABC’s The View it was pretty tame stuff. Meredith would lead the gals in a discussion of the top news stories, Star would spew sassy mumbo jumbo, Barbara would say “now, ladies”, Joy would make a dusty wisecrack from her arsenal, and the Ling/Matenopoulos of the moment would smile, cowering in fear for her job. Well, as we all know, things have changed.

The mass amounts of swirling controversy and rumors surrounding the program since Rosie O’Donnell arrived have left me feeling rather daunted. This morning, however, I faced my fears and sat down with the ladies to see what all the fuss was about.

9:59am: Armed with an iced Americano and my notebook, I brace myself for what’s to come. The announcer informs me that today’s guest host will be Rose McGowan, Molly Shannon talks about her new film, Rosie plays with high tech gadgets, and the couple kicked off Dancing with the Stars performs. Sounds promising enough.

10:00am: Our hostesses enter. Rose McGowan looks gorgeous. Rosie grandstands. Elisabeth Hasslebeck seems a tad on the orange side. Joy has huge earrings that look like bejeweled Eggo Waffles. Barbara has the day off. Once everybody gets settled, Rosie lets it be known that she just met Rose McGowan and she already loves her. The two then discuss which they prefer. Ro? Rosie? Rose? McGowan likes Rose, obviously. Apparently, the Grindhouse hottie corrected those who called her Rosie as a child. Hasslebeck interjects a lame story about her childhood and people calling her Liz. I’ve
never seen this woman before, can’t recall what she’s famous for, and already she rubs me the wrong way. She comes off like the annoying student council president who wants everybody to like her.

10:03am: The girls hop right into the “Hot Topics” of the day although they don’t call it that anymore. Today’s powder keg revolves around Don Imus’ racist remarks and subsequent firing. Everyone is in a tizzy. Rose McGowan makes some very smart comments about Al Sharpton and anti-Semitism. I kind of love her now too. She goes back and forth with Elisabeth much to Rosie’s delight. “I love today”, she says, “I actually have to say nothing.” Hmm. The more they bicker, the more I realize why I usually watch The Price is Right instead. Joy gets a chance to speak and uses it as a platform to share some valuable chestnuts of wisdom from her parents like “Don’t spit up in the air. It comes back in your face” and “People who live in glass houses should get dressed in the cellar.” Thanks, Behar for really putting it in perspective.

10:10am: The fire rages on and Rosie starts to lob verbal koosh balls at Hasselbeck. Finally! Everything from Ann Coulter to the war in Iraq and back to Don Imus. It’s a lively argument but don’t these two essentially have the same discussion everyday? Just wondering.

10:16 am: Mount Rosie has fully irrupted. Red-faced and angry, O’Donnell attacks Elisabeth. Women’s rights, racism, homophobia are all brought up. Hasslebeck fires back at an ear-shattering volume usually reserved for pep rallies. As my admiration for the lovely, well-spoken McGowan grows, so does my disdain for Elisabeth. Rosie calms down long enough to tell us what’s up next.

10:18am: At last! A commercial break! I’ve never been happier to see the kindly, non-combative Oreck guy in my whole life. I’m exhausted and I’m not even halfway there. I remember now that Elisabeth was on Survivor and I didn’t really care for her then either.

10:20am: We’re back and Joy makes a bad Heather Mills joke. More Imus discussion. Ugh. It’s all pretty dull except for a funny facelift comment from Rose McGowan. Still, Rosie and Liz aren’t ready to throw down their gloves. As the ladies speak over each other to the point it’s inaudible, Joy steps in. She reminds them “one at a time”. The fight has subsided and Rosie gives everyone in the audience a copy of Bobby on DVD. Yeah! They deserve something for having to sit through that.

10:25am: After another break, we get a much needed dose of Molly Shannon. Joy introduces her. “In her new movie, Year of the Dog, Molly Shannon is a lot like me. She spends a lot of time surrounded by bitches.” She shoots and she scores! Nicely done Joy. As Molly walks out, all the ladies are compelled to do their best Superstar! impressions. I’m sure she never gets tired of that. Liz asks an inane question about Brad Pitt, one of the film’s producers. But the SNL alum is funny and enjoyable. Maybe Live with Rose and Molly could work. A breast pump story makes me a tad uncomfortable but the movie looks good. As the boss, I mean Rosie, takes us to commercial she commands, “Everybody smell your armpits!” Having just returned from a morning hike, I decided to ignore her orders.

10:33am: A commercial for a new Oprah with Gayle attending a hip-hop dance class signals that I may have chosen the right show after all.

10:35am: Some weirdo named Dr Gadget takes Rose and Rosie, who are now full on flirting by the way, on a tour of technical toys. A toaster that makes pictures on your bread, a creepy tracking device for people who don’t trust each other, and some other thing that I can’t figure out are also given to the audience. Confetti! And another commercial.

10:37am: Elisabeth reads a wooden introduction to the eliminated couple from Dancing with the Stars. Tony and Leeza Gibbons do a tango that’s a breath of fresh air even if it’s not very good. At least it’s not stressing me out. Hasslebeck returns to interview them and to remind me that I really don’t like her.

10:55am: I’ve made it! Rosie tells everyone what’s on Friday's show, plugs Elisabeth’s
appearance on Fox & Friends, and says “Peace out!"

So what have I learned? The View is Rosie’s show regardless of what the credits say. I honestly don’t like watching people argue even if they give out free stuff. For every good Joy Behar joke, there are ten that don’t work. I enjoy Hasselbeck-free mornings. There are worse talk shows on the air (yeah Tyra, I’m talking to you). And finally, if the movie directors stop calling, Rose McGowan could nicely fill Star’s Payless heels.

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About Sean Paul Mahoney

  • Mel

    Rose McGowan looks 40.

  • http://eclecticlibrarian.net/ Anna Creech

    Nice play-by-play! I hope you keep this up, or branch out into other talk shows.

  • E

    This was great – you are funny and so right!

  • Jerry

    I love the new View. It was pretty insufferable before Rosie.
    BTW Friday’s show is always low-key because they pre-record it. I wish you had reviewed Barbara looking like she’s “laying eggs” :)

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