I could approach this entry my typical way, with the whole “I’m the wrong demographic” argument followed by the “don’t be judgmental about entertainment” spiel. Sadly, I can’t do that this week. Don’t get me wrong, I have a ton of stupidity to discuss. However, this entry will be more of a written thought process to help me deal with a sad fact of my sad, sad life.
So here’s my mind-numbing thesis. I… don’t hate The View. I’ve been tuning in the past couple weeks, and… well, it’s really not that bad. Against every fiber of my soul, I must void the contents of my pop culture stomach.
I’ve been enjoying The View.
So why do I like a show designed by and for menopausal housewives? Hm. That… is a really good question. So before I defend The View, I need to defend myself.
I like to think I have pretty good taste about this sort of thing. Obviously I’ve lost all credibility, but I really dislike celebrity interview shows. Kelly Ripa is a major offender, but the worst of them air later in the afternoon. Katie Couric and Anderson Cooper must be addicted to pastel sweaters and twee questions, and Steve Harvey couldn’t effectively talk to a cantaloupe without interrupting. And Jeff Probst? C’mon.
Sure, you could make a case for Ellen. And late night hosts frequently offer good quality, although that could be an illusion stemming from sleep-deprivation. But I’m not going to talk about those anymore, ’cause I never talk about anything truly worthwhile.
So what makes The View better than most other talk shows? Well, I like it because it doesn’t take itself as seriously. Hear me out.
In a recent interview with Ann Romney, Barbara Walters seemed perturbed that Mitt Romney called her brood “sharp-tongued and high-risk.” Then, right after that, Barbara admitted that The View ladies are, in fact, both of those adjectives.
In other words, Barbara admits that they are total bitches. Nay, she revels in it.
If they know and are proud of their bitchiness, I simply cannot hate them. I can fear them and jest about them, but I will never hate them. And if you get past that harpyish fact… well, The View is no worse than any other talk show. I realize that’s the lowest of bars, but I stand by it.
However, I think I can raise it a bit. At least, in my talk show addled mind.
See, The View has other things going for it. I actually like how they portray a relative swath of female experience (relative, relative, RELATIVE don’t send me angry emails). Granted, Joy Behar’s attempts at crass comedy come off as funny and secure as a desperate, unmarried aunt. And Elizabeth is not the poster child of Conservative womanhood, no matter how she’s meant to “balance” the show. In fact, I can hear rich white ladies suing me on behalf of their socioeconomic class.
Barbara’s a respected journalist, but her hyper-sexualized past makes it difficult to imagine her as “the voice of reason” for any coven. And Sherri… well, she’s been on 30 Rock, so I love her unconditionally.
But lest I forget the final member, let me say that Whoopi’s shoes are horrendous. Seriously, LOOK AT THEM! I could find hundreds of profoundly ugly shoes worn by the venerable Whoopi, but I’ll scale back on my personal bitchiness.
Oh no. No no no. “My own personal bitchiness?” What have… I’ve become one of them, haven’t I? I’ve become a menopausal housewife. I… ooh. That hurts. I mean, I blog about pop culture, so I’m only a breath away from that conclusion, but I never wanted to say it.
Ugh, I gotta think about that. But first, to wrap this up.
Give credit where it’s due. The View is better than any of it’s timeslot contemporaries (believe me, I’ve watched them all). They get good guests, they can (occasionally) ask good questions of said guests, and they have a varied and spirited review of popular topics. It can be hard to watch, and should never be taken too seriously. However, these are semi-realistic women with sordid and morbidly entertaining opinions. In some really odd ways, they are the strongest female figures in daytime celebritidom. Wow, I found an even lower bar than “talk show.” I’m proud of myself.
Occasional idiocy doesn’t necessarily make something contemptible, no matter how many people scream and wretch. If that was true, we’d have no pop culture at all. But if you need something to watch at 11 a.m., The View is better than your other options. Oh yeah, take that, The Price is Right and reruns of The Real Housewives of New Jersey!
Oh, and they got rid of Rosie O’Donnell. So there’s that…