Saturday, September 06, 2014

Ranting On...Completing The View

Rosie Perez
This past week, one of our favorite topics of discussion (to catch up read here and here and here) came nearly to a close.  Weeks after Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy announced they were leaving the longtime ABC hit talk show The View and Rosie O'Donnell announced that she would be rejoining the cast, the producers of the show announced two new panelists to the series: Oscar-nominated actress Rosie Perez and former Bush communications chief Nicolle Wallace.  There has been little swirl about who fill out the final slot (but I'm going to start some below so don't you worry), but first, let's get into how these two women shake up the panel.

Overall I'm very excited by both of these players.  Perez is deeply outspoken and is an intensely likable performer, and with over 25 years of working as an actress in Hollywood, she knows everyone and should be able to ask informed questions of former costars.  She is also, it's worth noting, the first Latina to be a panelist on The View, which may help with that key demographic for the show's declining ratings.  While I'm always a little concerned when actresses I enjoy do talk shows (see also Whoopi Goldberg and her lack of movie work in recent years), I do feel this was an overall smart decision.

Nicolle Wallace
I'm thinking the same thing about Wallace, who was a very wise choice for the show's conservative corner.  Elisabeth Hasselbeck has been a lightning rod for the show in recent years, and I suspect that the conservative Wallace will also stir up controversy, particularly if Jeb Bush runs for president (either way, she's going to run to the right of the other three women).  Wallace isn't afraid to have her own opinions, though, and has spoken out against her former boss Sarah Palin (there's a tongue-in-cheek aspect to her selection considering that Palin was also a rumored panelist for the show, and I cannot wait to see Sarah Paulson be interviewed considering that she played Wallace in Game Change).  She's very polished onscreen, extremely smart, and has close friends that can guide her into the talk show circuit (she and Katie Couric are good pals, apparently).  Overall, this is a much better choice than some of the other Republican names (like, say, Ann Coulter) that were being rumored for a position on the panel, and I applaud ABC for going to someone who will hold her own from the Right.

This brings us to the final point about this panel: they're still one short.  I know that The View hasn't had a full-time panelist in years since Barbara didn't come in on Fridays, but I think that's a foolish decision to keep going with guest panelists.  I like it when smart women join in on the Hot Topics session, but by-and-large the guest panelists are either saying something ostentatious to rile up a cohost (Kathy Griffin, Laura Ingraham), or are too afraid to say anything that will hurt the film or book they are promoting.  The View could go a similar way to Walters, where a respected journalist like Ann Curry or Maria Shriver comes in for part of the week to add some journalistic credit to the panel, but I think that's foolish as only Walters should be afforded that privilege (it's her show, after all).  The reality is that people like the chemistry between the women on the panel, and want that day-in-and-day-out.  The show needs to find its groove again, and there's already enough newness now that they don't need to throw it off more so with temporary players.  Talk shows thrive off of consistency and reliable personalities-establish the permanent co-hosts first before you add in new flavors.

That's why I vote that they pick a five-day-a-week final co-host, and it needs to be someone who is younger than their current panel (who are all roughly in the same age group).  And considering that ABC got decidedly hip recently with Dancing with the Stars, I think going into YouTube may be their best bet for a fifth cohost.  For the first time ever for the upcoming season, Bethany Mota, a YouTube personality, will be amongst the cast of DWTS, and considering she got paired with Derek Hough, is expected to perform strongly.  Why not go to the YouTube well to stir up some buzz amongst the younger crowd?  My recommendation would be that they chose 27-year-old Hannah Hart of My Drunk Kitchen.  Hart is funny, smart, and brings a few unique perspectives as a chef, a lesbian, and a comedian that would lend herself well to the panel.  She's likable and opinionated, a combination invaluable to The View, and is the sort of person that has star quality that is being underutilized (and The View could well have a bit hit on their hands).  Honestly-she has an appeal similar to Ellen Degeneres, and we all know that's something you should notice.

Those are my thoughts on the new panelists for the The View and where the series should go with their final panelist-what are yours?  Do you like Perez and Wallace?  Do you think they should hire a fifth host or keep the guest hosts filling that spot?  And do you think someone like Hart would be a great fit for that spot?  Share in the comments!

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