Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Way They Weren't? What Happend To "The View?"

"There are two dilemmas that rattle the human skull: How do you hang on to someone who won't stay? And how do you get rid of someone who won't go?"

-Danny DeVito "War of the Roses"

I wanted to wait a few weeks before I did an entry about the venomous goings on over at ABC's morning talk show, The View. I wanted to see how things might play out between the ladies, Joy Behar, Barbara Walters, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Star Jones-Reynolds. Would it be possible that a smooth transition for the ladies would take place, after Meredith Vieira departed for her new job, filling Katie Couric's shoes at NBC's, "Today Show?" Would it all be smooth sailing or would there be there be any power control issues going on?Would there be clear signs, even to the audience, that things would not be resolving themselves without hard feelings forming between the ladies? Or would everyone take the attitude of, the show must go on? Well, given the jabs, slams, and general cattiness of late...there is no longer anything to consider. The View is clearly not what it used to be. Of course the question really is...was it ever?

I liked Barbara Walter's idea of putting together a panel of women from different backgrounds, and experiences, who would share their unique perspectives regarding American culture, politics, family life, current events, and fashion trends. It was a good idea, and I was an avid viewer for a number of years. The ladies seemed to have a genuine affection for each other, despite the comings and goings of the co-hosts over the years. Debbie Matenopoulous, followed by Lisa Ling, then, most recently, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, filled the seat as the up and coming, younger member of the morning panel. It was that seat that changed most often over the years. Each of those ladies couldn't have been more different, yet they all share the same enthusiasm about the world that kept the topics fresh.The View, in general, seemed to keep that original vision, as the years went by. So what could have changed so drastically...so soon?

When Meredith Vieira announced she would be leaving, The View, to begin her new gig at, The Today Show, the search began for someone to replace her as co-host. It wasn't long before it was announced, that Rosie O'Donnel would be the new member of the panel. Frankly, it surprised me a little that she was chosen so quickly. When I thought about who might be chosen, I have to admit, she wasn't on my list. Don't get me wrong, I like Rosie O'Donnel, I think she is funny and very genuine, but at times I also find her to be a bit brash. I also thought that she really hadn't handled herself well, in that now famous incident with Tom Selleck, over gun control. Now, as you know, I am a big proponent of gun control, but the disrespectful way in which she handled things that day, kind of made her look rude, and so in effect, she set back her own point. But that's just my opinion about one particular incidence. Rosie herself, has been through a lot in life, and has made many decisions for herself that took a lot of courage to make. When I really considered the idea of her being a co-host, I could see how she would be at least an interesting replacement for Vieira.

Then fur began to fly. I read rumors here and there about how there had been a feud between Rosie and Star Jones-Reynolds regarding Star's recent weight loss. Apparently Rosie had made some pungent remarks that the weight loss that Star achieved, prior to her 2004 wedding, must have occurred by way of gastic bypass surgery, as opposed to Star Jones-Reynolds assertion that she lost the weight do to diet and exercise. Calling Jones- Reynolds, "dishonest." But according to Barbara Walters, Star Jones-Reynolds knew months ago, that her contract with The View was not going to being renewed, and no mention had been made about it being about Rosie O'Donnel. Still, it seems the hurt feelings were mounting, yet nothing seemed to be at the boiling point until after it was confirmed that Rosie O'Donnel would be next in line to co-host The View. Can it be that this is really what caused such backstabbing and public displays of ire to take place? Or was there a bigger problem behind the scenes all along?

The day after Star Jones-Reynolds, made the surprise announcement, on The View,of her impending departure, the fallout of the situation began with a striking bitterness.

"I love Star and I was trying to do everything I possibly could up until this morning, when I was betrayed,to protect her."

-Barbara Walters

"For Barbara to say she felt betrayed is the height of hypocrisy."

-Star Jones-Reynolds

Is this a situation of the sudden onslaught of hurt feelings? Was there enough betrayal to go around? Was it all a case of one straw too many, breaking several camels backs? Did Meredith Vieria decide to leave The View simply to pursue a larger, more lucrative career possibility? Or has a good deal of infighting been going on for a long time? Is there a possibility that Star Jones-Reynolds contract wasn't renewed because Rosie O'Donnel had once made a remark regarding Star's integrity? Was it a simple matter of popularity? Was Star losing her following? What is really going on here?

I have to admit, I was put off once by Star's admission that once, while working as a prosecutor, she "borrowed" the closing arguments of a trial she was currently prosecuting, from an episode of L.A. Law. It seems to me, that if you are talented enough to make it to the office of prosecutor, and entrusted with a case in that office, you should be able to come up with a closing argument compelling enough to hold a juries attention. She won her case by the way. And I do have to wonder about how fair that really is. To me that seems like a manipulative thing to do...to everyone involved. It's situations like that which make me wonder, was justice served that day, or was it solely about the win?

Oh well, I keep imagining that perfect world. You know the one, where folks don't stab each other in the back, where integrity is still something one aspires to, where problems are solved between those involved, as opposed to in the tabloids, and the view is a little less depressing. Sigh. Tell me what you think. What's going on over at The View?



DesLily said...

I don't think there was more with Meredith leaving.. after all she also has "millionaire" and if feelings were bad for her she could have left at any time and still had a job. So I think her leaving is legit.

Star made her own situation. You don't "surprise" your boss on national television with the announcement you are leaving, you give her warning.

then she let it be known of her feelings of Rosie, which I might add, hardly anyone knew about until Star opened her mouth about it. So.. she made her own bed, as they say.

I am noticing they never really said why Star's contract wasn't being renewed. They spoke about her using the show to 'cover her wedding" and such, but you can't USE unless many others approve it.. so i wonder why she wasn't renewed.

Patrick said...

I never watch "The View" because it's on at the same time as "The Price is Right" and Barker's always going to win that battle, even in summer reruns!

But the one thing that I still don't understand is the whole issue over the 48 hours: Barbara said that they had agreed that they would acknowledge Star's on that Thursday's edition of the show. Star decided on her own to make mention of it, apparently without notice, on that Tuesday.

I saw the clip of Star's announcement, and I didn't find anything venomous in it. She didn't badmouth the show or the producers. She used the standard Hollywood phrase and said that she felt that the time was right and that she would not be returning. She did not say in her surprise announcement, that it was because she was being "fired."

So given that this was the kind of thing they'd have wanted her to say on Thursday, what difference does that 48 hours really make? What were they wanting her to say on Thursday that she didn't say on Tuesday? Assuming that everyone had previously agreed that they'd wait until Thursday, maybe they were just angry that she went out on her own. Maybe they were producing some special clips or had something different planned for that day, and her surprise announcement screwed that up.

But I suspect the thing that got her kicked off the show -- and the only thing that really sounds like anything close to a "betrayal" -- is that she then told the media that she felt like she was being "fired." That might have made the difference. It certainly made her sound as if she was telling a story that was different than the one she told on the show itself.

Of course, when you're a contract player and your contract isn't being renewed, it pretty much is a "firing," whether they prefer a more "politically-correct" term for it or not.

Charley said...

Don't you just love the lack of integrity in Hollywood?


Tammy said...

I had to comment here because I'm in total agreement with you. I will just add that I stopped watching because of Star. Total Diva and once she got engaged it was out of control. They should have chosen a different personality than Rosie, who I like. She just has her own agendas.

My 2 cents :)

V said...

Interesting, I`ve never seen it.