A friend of mine asked an interesting question last week. "Why" she asked, "has Oprah never interviewed Mayor Daley?"
I found the inquiry interesting because I am always fascinated to discover a fan of The Legend. How can anyone still be around twenty-five years later and still fall for Oprah's phony bullshit?
Yeah, yeah, Harpo Studio is great for Chicago, but it hardly put the town on the map, Mrs. O'Leary's cow did.
Settle down, apparently a replacement with an appetite is headed for Our Town...no restaurant within a mile radius of the famed studio is headed for bankruptcy court anytime soon as long as Rosie and her loyal following are in the house.
My answer to Oprah's loyal follower was simple. "Why would she, there is nothing in it for her."
And, at the end of the day (I hate that expression, but I also strongly dislike O, so it makes sense here), isn't that Oprah in a nutshell?
I don't want to take anything away from her. I firmly believe credit should be given where credit is due.
And, yes, even I will admit she showcases a quality program most days (she has hired some excellent producers) and (while we're calling a spade a spade) I have to say she gives away some pretty impressive gifts on a sponsor's dime, but does that make her a Legend?
Let's talk about her producers for a minute. I know the show is winding down, but am I the only jaded viewer who finds it ironic their talents are being showcased at least once a week NOW while snippets of "Oprah Behind The Scenes" commercials play at break enticing viewers to tune in Sunday night over on OWN?
Their appearance on the stage in the white-fabric-covered chairs seems self-serving. And I am not talking about the producers.
Same goes for some of the guests O has paraded across the stage during the last couple of weeks. The whole season has been a head scratcher though, really.
It seems before any guest has been announced in true Oprah fashion, we first get a montage and a tally of the amount of times said guest has had the opportunity to grace the Harpo stage.
Then after the celebrity is announced "OPHHHHHRRRRAHHHHH SSSSSSTYLLLLLLE", and the host reminds us of their official appearance tally or reveals that while it is the first time this particular cast has been assembled together it will most definitely be the last time they might ever be seen together, AGAIN.
All thanks to yours truly. How can she be sure it is the" last time" their asses will be firmly seated upon a Harpo studio stage? It is as if once Oprah relocates to California to take full charge OWN, these particular people will somehow never be heard from again. What if Rosie invites them--she gets the rolodex with the studio lease, no?
That is the thing about Oprah that bugs the crap out of me--her incredibly inflated ego. As if never again in the history of man will viewers again be treated to a superior talk show host? And, sure, if you compare Lady O to say a Maury Povich...yeah, she is a genius; but come on--put anyone against Povich in a pissing match and anyone would win every single time.
There is no doubt she has set the bar high, but who is to say another gal from humble beginnings won't someday make it big in the future?
By the tone she has set in this her final season, apparently the Legend, herself.
What I find even more incredible this season is the attraction of big names but less than impressive interviews. Ever since The Queen of Talk returned from Australia, something has been off. Am I alone in finding the questioning of Michael Douglas a couple of episodes ago mindboggling ...did you miss it?
The talented interviewer--the gal that asks the bestest most cutting-edge questions ever--wanted to know, and more importantly wanted the silver-haired actor to admit was he worried his trademark locks might have fallen victim to chemo treatments--instead of nodding his head and agreeing with her highness, he did one better.
He looked at the lady as if she had just sprouted horns and simply stated, "Ah, I was actually more concerned about keeping my tongue".
And as his statement went right over the blowhard's head, it bounced right off because she was too busy worrying about asking the next obligatory question about Zeta-Jones' convenient bout with Bi Polar II and confirmation that she is completely cured thanks to a week's stay and incredible bravery and was indeed now working on two new projects--one of which pairs her with TOM CRUUUISSSSE! Awesome.
Back in 2009 when the announcement the brakes were officially about to be put on this cutting-edge programming, O had big plans for a final show on, of all dates, September 11, 2011.
I remember reading about a conflict with her getting dibs on Soldier Field for a Sunday in September. Looking back I recall scratching my head when I heard that. Why would the Oprah show which broadcasts every Monday thru Friday morning at nine end on a Sunday during primetime? I briefly imagined a televised arm-wrestling match of Lovie and O for stadium rights...winner take all.
And, on September 11, 2011? Seriously?
Fast forward to January 2011, the OWN premiere and eventually to April and the story of the season finale took a quick turn. Instead of the September extravaganza we were promised, Oprah whispered about a two-day May finale that she insisted her producers were totally in charge of while she remained completely in the dark.
As if the Alpha Dog would allow anything out of her control. Late last week the "secret" was shared on TV--in fairness, perhaps O still doesn't know--maybe she does not like to watch her own image on television...yeah, right!
Long story short, her surprise last episodes will take place at the United Center with the promise of plenty of C-E-L-E-B-R-I-T-I-E-S!!
News dropped over the past weekend that amid poor ratings, Christina Norman--the big wig over at OWN--hastily cleaned out her desk (read someone got fired).
And, now, Oprah's official countdown of final shows--more specifically final shows 25-14--make a whole lot of more sense to this viewer.
Look at the majority of her shows since the host returned from an unexplained six-week absence in March and the better part of April. From the Judds, to Shania Twain, to the Roberts gushing love fest last Friday, to her in depth producer/Behind the Scenes promotion all makes sense.
Lady O has been on OWN ratings damage control/promotion...final season be damned. Oprah didn't have to get rid of the head honcho to know what is wrong over at OWN. She could have asked me.
For one, we need cable to view your Network. Not many of us everyday folk have access to the "cable tier" necessary to access the "fine" programming over on OWN. I've got a secret Oprah--most of us peasants are knee-deep in a terrible economy.
Filling my mid-sized sedan up twice a week sets our budget back about $120 a week. Something has got to change--and I am not starting with hoofing it to Jewel to drop another buck twenty on necessary groceries. "Hello, Comcast...something's gotta give."
Oprah, you do not have to be a genius or an experienced talk show host to know that regular people, the very same minions that got you to where you are today, are not going to upgrade their cable package to watch that Quack McGraw's reruns from 2006. Likewise for regurgitated Oz crap--and ditto for Suzy.
We didn't buy the crap when it was originally pedaled ~who wants to see regurgitated reruns?
Throwing in the Behind the Scenes 25th Season is sure a teaser, but how many more original episodes are left until it is syndicated into reruns? Thirteeen.
As for the Judds Reality show...there is nothing real about either of those clowns...beginning with their hair color and travelling down to their acrylic finger nails. They are not even interesting. Ditto for Shania Twain. And today's offering of Chaz Bono?
I think I speak for many when I say knowing that particular back story is not going to make me any less/better of a person. Super cool documentary idea though, and I am sure many viewers are even more impressed that you have rubbed elbows with Cher.
And here is the problem in a nutshell, O. You have sold out your simple idea of being "one of us" for becoming "one of them".
Ah, Oprah, when you finally admit that the only person really more impressed with the fake personalities in Hollywood than the celebs themselves is the phony staring back at you in the mirror, you will experience that AHA moment you coined.
Once you get your finger on the pulse of that truth, you'll truly understand why viewers do not give a flying fig about the mother/daughter dynamic of the Judds.
And then, you might understand why most of your loyal Oprah Viewers are not hopping aboard the OWN Bandwagon. You used to have a nice little show about things people actually cared about--and even more importantly could relate to.
Over the years, your shows have become very self-promoting and your infatuation with Hollywood quite nauseating. A quick glance at your final shows proves you no longer appeal to "everyday Joes and Josies".
America loves them a train wreck...but not enough to plunk down the cash for upgrading their cable service. Enjoy Hollywood, Oprah...but be warned, you'll find out who your real friends are when they are no longer offered a stage to plug their latest picture or hawk their best-selling book.
If the OWN ratings continue to tumble, I fear a hastily announced 26th Season. Please, pack her up and get her on her way to La La Land. I have placed all my eggs in the Final Season basket; I would hate to be disappointed.