Friday, 28 November 2008

The Boob Tube: Rosie's Thanksgiving Turkey

The NBC Peacock turned into a turkey this past week with the disastrous debut of Rosie Live, Ben Silverman's attempt to revive the American variety show with ex-comedian, talk show host, and all around showbiz gadfly Rosie O'Donnell and all her "friends.*"

Now I'm not the type to say "I told you so," but I have to admit, that I did tell you so.

The ratings were tied with a show that's been cancelled, and the reviews from the brave but scarred handful who actually sat through it, will probably go down with the
Star Wars Holiday Special in the annals of specials that were made special by their sheer awfulness.

The networks are all rushing to revive the variety genre, offering every celebrity with a bad home-equity loan their own show, because the reality shows and game shows just aren't cutting it anymore, and they need something that's cheaper to make than dramas and sitcoms.

The problem is that not everyone can host a variety show. It's a rare gift, and essential to the show's success. Rosie O'Donnell does not have that gift. Her "nice" act, which carried her talk show, is not real nice, it's phony Hollywood nice, which is based more on ass-kissing the more famous than actually liking anyone, and her hatreds are too militant, to widespread, and just too open. She's the modern equivalent of Arthur Godfrey firing Julius LaRosa on air, but without the charm Godfrey was at least able to fake.

I think variety can have a comeback. It just can't work without the right person.
*Translation: People forced by their NBC contract, and people who are too scared of her to say "no."


  1. Hello Furious D:

    You mentioned you have a birthday coming up soon, so firstly, a very happy birthday to you and many happy returns of the day.

    Today is my birthday (Yes, hurray! I love my birthday), and I decided a week or so ago to fill out the Blogger profile card and introduce myself to my fellow aspiring Canadian writers for the grand occasion. So, hello, my name is Sara and I am rather smitten with your blog. I've tried to get my husband to become a Furious D reader, but I'm afraid he only reads veterinary journals and Beckett Hockey magazines. He is very amused by your posters, however.

    I, on the other hand, have made my way up to Discount Bin Film Club and I find myself really impressed with your interpretation of story (I'm all about story). If you ever make it back to the north shore of New Scotland and would let me buy you a coffee (sorry, I don't do pork) I would love to pick your brain.

    Now a birthday gift for you (and like most gifts it may not be something you want or need, or you may already have it, but as is wont in our society I'm giving it to you anyway): get a copy of Father Ted - A Christmassy Ted. Obviously I can never view your Saturday Silliness Cinema on my dial-up system, but I know some of the shows you have posted, and am another poor excuse for a Catholic, so I'm thinking you may enjoy Father Ted, and A Christmassy Ted just happens to be so seasonal. Hope it fits.

    Kind Regards,

    Sara L. Card

    P.S. I'm picking this post to comment on, because that poster is the funniest one yet. You just kill me.

  2. Glad to hear that you enjoy the blog, and big happy birthday to ya.

    And I used to watch the Father Ted show when it was on. I was big fan of that show. I may look to see if any are on YouTube for a special.

    Glad you enjoy the Discount Bin Film Club, though I haven't done an instalment for a while. And I suggest you get hi-speed. It is light years better, you'll be able to watch the videos, and if you do a little digging with your phone company, you can probably get a good deal. I know when I switched I got a package deal and actually ended up spending a dollar less than I was with dial up.

  3. Yech. Rosie has become the Left's equivalent of Ann Coulter... if Ms. Coulter acted as a D-list entertainer in between expulsing her unmitigated opinion.

    And you know, lots of people used to think fondly of Rosie in the mid 90s, when the Queen of Nice was associated with helping kids and G-rated fun. It makes me wonder what the hell happened: everyone loves a reformed sinner, and ridicules a corrupted innocent.

    Perhaps (years from now, I suppose) Rosie can reinvent herself as a competent, interesting personality. It'll take some work and some regaining of trust, but I wouldn't write her off for good.