By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman
So what did you think of Katie, Ms. Couric’s new talk show? I have mixed feelings about it.
Couric herself doesn’t bother me. Au contraire — we should be proud that daytime television, which marginalizes older women, is spotlighting a 55-year-old. Katie’s usual intelligence does shine through on the show. Plus she’s the real deal as a journalist, a terrific interviewer. She has the professional acumen to ask the difficult questions — on her first show she asked Sheryl Crow if she knew about Lance Armstrong’s drug use while she was dating him. (Crow copped out and said she doesn’t talk to him much anymore.)
One of the show’s main problems, though, is that so far it hasn’t measured up to the Couric intelligence. It’s been focused too much on what I call the girly-girl lightweight subjects, like weight and romance. Wasn’t the interview with shallow Jessica Simpson just a bore? Who needs yet another recommendation for Weight Watchers, as Simpson went on about her weight loss and even brought on her WW counselor. Katie gave over an entire show to a feel-good author named B’rene Brown who just burbled on for endless segments about how beneficial it is to make yourself vulnerable to romance and all in life. She was so New Age-ish and so full of hot air that the show just went on interminably.
As I’ve written, a daytime talk show shouldn’t appeal only to women. It should appeal to all people who have brains, as The View does. Katie herself seems quite genuine during the show, yet as successful talk show hosts do, she hasn’t learned yet to let her entire personality shine through. So far, Couric seems shy and comes off as vanilla. Compare her to my goddess Wendy Williams (a guest on Katie’s first week) who is so funny and natural on her own morning talk show. Anderson Cooper is every bit as intelligent as Katie, yet he’s far more loose and charismatic on his own show. A big problem the first week of the show was that Couric herself is just not that entertaining. Marlena says, relax and let yourself go, girl! A journalist has to be professional and objective while a talk show host has to be more personable and informal. Perhaps when Couric becomes more comfortable with being personally open, the show will improve. As for the future of the show, I just don’t know. It took The View at least a year to catch on; it will probably take Katie at least as long to correct its problems.
General Hospital: So what did you think of GH’s big waterfront remote? It was well directed and acted and gave some of my soap fan friends an adrenaline rush. But Michael Easton, hilariously flipping back his hair as he drew his gun and defused the bomb, didn’t seem much the hero to me. Can you believe that both Sonny and Jax survived the horrific explosion? And what’s with Nancy Grahn’s (Alexis) low, low cleavage bouncing around through the whole sequence? I also think that GH wrapping up the months-long Jerry Jacks poisoned water sequence in only three episodes was a bit of a rip off. What if you missed one? Oh well, the ratings went up very nicely for the sequence and the whole show last week, so perhaps one shouldn’t complain.
The Young and the Restless: Didn’t anyone notice that Phyllis’ hair went from red to brown this week on Y&R? Since “Red”’s hair is her trademark (as it is Marlena’s) what’s up with that? Oh, and who isn’t getting tired of Victor the amnesiac on the run? Supposedly the show’s centerpiece, Eric Braeden just looks too terribly tired and old as Victor continues his derelict state.