TV Bites With
You Talk Too Much
by Neena Louise
I haven't watched talk shows much lately (since the daytime trend switched from
talk to court shows), but I tuned in the other day to see what topics they're
focusing on these days.
I started with Sally Jessy Raphael. Talk about exploitive! There seem to
be only three themes here: Terror Teens, Crappy Husbands and Who's the Father?.
If you only watched Sally Jessy, you'd assume there weren't any good teens or
men in the world. Couple that will Sally's constant "how does that make you
FEEL?", the "aftercare" loudmouth schnook, the irritating "oohs"
and "aahs" from the audience, and I don't see what redeeming factors
this show has (other than to make people feel better about their own
Next I flipped to Jerry Springer. This is not a talk show. This is the
equivalent of WWF wrestling: scripted and entertaining; not real and riveting. I
have to admit it's funny, though...
Over to Montel Williams. He's got to be the most sanctimonious buffoon in
the talk realm. With his constant overly-dramatic statements, arrogant "I
know everything and YOU don't" attitude and his lame attempts to connect
with his guests, I have yet to be able to watch this show all the way through.
I used to watch Maury Povich in its early days and rather liked it (the
911 call show was the funniest I've ever seen). But now, it's much like Sally
Jessy: Terror Teens and Men are Dogs.
Jenny Jones: At least there's a little variety, here, but Jones' voice
drives me NUTS! Breathy, high-pitched and whiney...makes my ears bleed and I
just can't take more than 10 minutes of it.
Ricki Lake is a little younger-skewed (and Lake is a more tolerable
personality), but the show seems to lean more toward the Jerry Springer side.
It's ok, but I'd only watch if nothing else was on.
Oprah. Well, what can I say about Oprah? Oprah's a good show to watch if
you are feeling too good about yourself and need to be whacked down a few
notches. All Oprah seems to do is remind you about all your flaws and how SHE
can make you a better person. Think you're thin enough? Not according to Oprah.
Think you're a good person? Not according to Oprah. Think you're a good parent?
Not according to Oprah. Good show? Not according to me.
Rosie O'Donnell is at least a little more light-hearted, but Rosie has
this mocking tone that grates. And who can forget the anti-gun lambasting she
gave Tom Selleck - who was only there to promote a movie? Couple that with her
"New Yawk" accent, horrible singing and weight obsession and I can
find something better to watch. Like the Weather Channel. I don't think she'll
be missed much when she leaves at the end of the 2001-02 season.
Live with Regis Philbin is a little more tolerable now that the
holier-than-thou hypocrite Kathie Lee is gone, but I just don't like Regis. I
don't like him on Millionaire and I don't like him in the daytime. I just
don't like him, Sam I am.
Bottom line: Since Phil Donohue left the airwaves, talk shows are one of
the less appealing genres of today's television. They're not really traditional
"talk shows" at all, but more like yellow journalism with all its Enquirer-like
sensationalism (or, at least, its attempts at sensationalism). Talk shows used
to be informative and entertaining. Now they're just exploitive and stupid. I
think I'll stick to trashy court shows.
would love to know what you think, sound off on the
boards and let us know what you think!