Well, in a world where Ernest Borgnine can become an ordained minister online, not much should surprise me.
EXCEPT for Rosie O'Donnell arriving at Harpo Studios without a bra on!! Clad in what looks like a nightshirt for a NIGHTLINE interview, she gave viewers an inside look at the debut of The Rosie Show.
I thought the entire camera crew would expire on the spot. What??!! The publicist must have informed her that she'd be on camera. Her honesty is refreshing -- but, this image went even beyond Oprah, who often and valiantly allowed us a peak at her pre-concealer face. Just imagine long nights filled with MSG.
Please stop the madness and put the makeup artist on call!!
Onto the new hope for the OWN Network and its many facets -- the good, the bad and the scary menopausal chatter with Roseanne Barr. Really, the last thing I wanted to hear was how Ro and Ro's sex drives were faring. Clearly, the crew will be need therapy for post-traumatic stress syndrome.
On a positive note, Rosie is bright, quick and fully engaged. On the negative side, making inaccurate statements like "media outlets are not covering Occupy Wall Street" annoys me. Have I not seen coverage on this for weeks? What is she talking about?
I get woman power. But, the female voice over announcer is so shrill, I thought the top of my head would blow off. The female band leader, Katreese Barnes, is certainly talented and has a respected musical background. But, as we are often reminded, her claim to fame is an Emmy for "D...ck in a Box" from Saturday Night Live. Her mother must be so proud.
This may also be the loudest show on television, save the screaming Housewives of New Jersey, New York and Beverly Hills. It is not necessary, as Rosie O'Donnell can hold her own in going-with-the-flow banter, without yelling at me. I've also heard enough Spanx jokes and seen plenty of Suze Orman promoting herself on OWN. Can't she go on Nate Berkus and talk about slipcovers and short sales?
Russell Brand, Rosie's self-proclaimed "crush," was her first celebrity guest, and he was generous and delightful. Call it first night jitters, but Rosie looked slightly on edge interviewing him. It may have been the sex and drug addict rep. So, perhaps there was some trepidation as he riffed on "shagging."
What should have made her even more nervous was when he brought up on stage and plopped on his lap a six-year-old boy who "saved" Rosie's life at her new Chicago home. Russell proceeded to have a little fun with him and toss him around like a rag doll. The problem was that the kid had zero personality. It was slightly cringe-inducing.
Subsequent shows had a mish-mosh of clever moments-- a singing homage to a kind blogger at TIME; Rosie's game show host fantasies coming alive in full force; and a segment of easy-going audience questions (ala Carol Burnett), which provided Rosie with amusing improv moments. However, did the audience development staff put out a call for the most boring gay people ever???
Rosie also has a tendency to overdo the celebrity love fest routine:
To Roseanne Barr ("you are the funniest woman") and to the affable and intelligent Lisa Kudrow on her former cable show, The Comeback ("that was the funniest show on tv").
The beauty of Rosie O'Donnell is connecting with real people and sharing her genuine showbiz fervor with the audience. I have to applaud her for inviting the "best server" (Mo from Gibson's Steakhouse) and turning his "Meat Lesson" into a funny bit. However, this is the last Chicago restaurant that needs any publicity -- and those fifty dollar gift certificates, which the audience members received, will just about cover the valet parking and a side of broccoli.
Expressing her gratitude to all the friendly people in Chicago, Rosie let us in on that perk afforded only to millionaires -- everyone wants to pick up their dinner check. Really? Where are they when you are hungry and poor?
I also didn't need to hear that management at The Rainforest Cafe wanted Rosie's kids to pick out anything they wanted from the gift store....hmmm, it makes that family of four, visiting from Flint and paying for Iggy the Iguana t-shirts, look like real suckers.
Oprah and Rosie continue to remind me that richer people are much happier than poorer people.
For that reason, I do want The Rosie Show to succeed and continue to employ staff at Harpo Studios. It will be good for the economy.
With any luck, it may also help you avoid the other new OWN show -- the self-important, insufferable Oprah's Life Lessons, where you can learn the "fullest expression of who you were meant to be." Snooze-a-rama.
I will take Rosie as a lesbian Bob Barker any day.