Monday, September 15, 2014
The New View
The View, ABC's long-running morning chat show featuring women form different backgrounds having discussions, talking about Hot Topics, etc., returned today for its 18th season, and for weeks there's been word of a huge revamping of the program, which comes on the heels of executive producer Barbara Walter's retirement and the departure of hosts Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy.
I can confirm: this is a whole new View.
The table now consists of Whoopi Goldberg (above, 3rd from right) - the only host to return from last season - and new co-hosts Rosie O'Donnell (above, second from left), who returns to the show, having left years ago after just one season following a very heated on-screen argument with then-co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck; actress Rosie Perez (above, far left), who was a surprise choice for me, but I guess she successfully guest-hosted earlier this year; and Nicolle Wallace, a former White House advisor under George W. Bush and who notoriously worked on the McCain/Palin campaign (she was portrayed by Sarah Paulson in the HBO movie Game Change).
Also gone is long-time producer Bill Geddie and any remnants of the old set. In is a much brighter, whiter set, bigger, cushy chairs and a smaller table. The premiere had the usual round of Hot Topics, but mostly it focused on introducing the new co-hosts and learning more about them (which was most relevant in Wallace's case). I wondered how Rosie O'D. would do not being the moderator (she was during her tenure) but she was fairly reserved, though she was still Rosie - loud, letting zingers fly, etc. I've never been able to listen for Rosie P.'s voice for very long, but it was rather toned down, and she did well. Wallace seems to be the one most out-of-place for me, not because she didn't hold her own, but she just didn't seem to fit the tableau. But they needed a Republican on the panel so that all political views are represented, and she is intelligent and well-respected ... and has all those fantastic Palin stories ready to be shared.
There was a weird new segment called "Ro or Ro?", where the two Rosies quiz an audience member on which Ro did what. I'm hoping this is not a regular feature.
They also did a tribute to Joan Rivers, who appeared on the show 34 times, so that was fitting, They made mention of Robin Williams, and Rosie spoke briefly about him and depression, but I was surprised not more was said. But Billy Crystal is set to be on later this week, so I'm sure he an Whoopi will talk more about him.
Basically, I'm not really feeling this new View. I'm hoping it doesn't continue to focus so much on the co-hosts and gets back to its usual basic format, and I'm sure it will once we get past this first week. It's just such a radical change, I suppose I just have to get used to it.
The View airs Monday through Friday at 10am on ABC.