The Rachael Ray Show: My Honest Review

Okay. I might not realize my dream of getting tickets to Rachael Ray's new talk show after this post. Let me begin on a very positive note and say that I will watch this show every day. I loved it. It was so Rachael to offer tips and advice on everything from making a seven-minute meal to how to confront your fears. The Season Pass will definitely stay on my TiVo. Now, that being said, let me get to the parts that I was not crazy about, with a few caveats first.

First Caveat: This was her first talk show. Her first time with a studio audience. Her first time on network television other than little features. So, there has to be a crazy level of excitement for her, which may explain why I felt like I needed a nap at the end.

Second Caveat: Have you ever seen some of Ellen's or Oprah's earlier shows? Not so good. I think we have to give Rachael a bit of a grace period to find her groove in the talk show world. It took her some time to find her voice on 30-Minute Meals too, but that all worked out. I just hope they give her enough time to work out the kinks, but kinks were surely expected, right?

With those caveats in mind, here's what I thought. These are my recommendations to improve the show (because I know all about tv, right?) and the things I really liked:

  1. Rachael shouldn't interrupt her guests. I have been reading reviews from newspapers and tv critics all over the country (look for a summary tomorrow) and have been surprised that hardly any mention this issue. Watching her interview Diane made me wince at times because she would not let her finish her own sentence. Fine at a dinner party, not so good on TV. And, as the People article posted below noted, she really didn't seem to listen to Diane. Seriously, there go my tickets. I might as well just go for it now.
  2. Do longer segments so there will be less of them. It was just a bit frenetic for me. Some level of that is fun, interesting and cutting edge. Too much makes me distracted and loses my attention.
  3. The pesto sauce and chicken did not look appetizing. Maybe make prettier food? Not a big deal on the Food Network, but on network tv, seems like people wouldn't give her the benefit of the doubt.
  4. Let Rachael continue being Rachael. I loved that she said what she was thinking. You could tell she was being herself and that had to be my favorite part of the show.
  5. Work on transitions. One minute we're talking about Charlie Gibson's Mexican Casserole and the next we're talking about Hick's Apple Farm. I was confused.
  6. I liked the clips from fans and viewers. It was fun to involve so many people in the show. I do question the judgment of the person who selected the "clean your spinach in the washing machine on the spin cycle" clip, especially in light of the recent spinach recall due to the deadly E. Coli bacteria.
  7. When Rachael sits at the table at the end of the show, she should eat with her guest rather than having the guest eat alone. Just felt awkward to me.
  8. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep up the shopping list thing. I love that I can go on the website and print the ingredients, go to the store, come home and watch the episode, then make the meal. What a great idea!

UPDATE: I forgot to ask if you noticed that the first audience member she spoke to was named Madeline! Unfortch, it was not me. But I still think it was some sort of cosmic message....Fine, it was probably just a coincidence.

22 comments:

  1. I agree that the show needed to slow down a little. I felt like I needed to catch my breath at the end. I didn't enjoy the show that much and I usually find Rachael to be charming. But I am giving her the benefit of the doubt and hoping that as she gets used to the new show format, she'll settle into a better groove and know how to interact with her guests better! Everybody is a little unsure when starting a new job and I, personally, would really hate to have that shaky period in front of a nationwide audience.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jill - thanks for your thoughtful comment. I thought maybe with rehearsals they would work the kinks out, but I doubt there is anything that could have prepared her for that first day with the live studio audience.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've been following Rachael since 2003 and have been one of her most loyal fans to date. I was fortunate enough to be a guest on her first show (I effing loved it!) and have to say that Rachael did just fine.

    Whenever you begin a new show, it's inevitable that you find your legs and sooner or later groove to your own beat. Rachael found it with 30 Minute Meals, and she'll do it again.

    Love your site and will return for more. Take care...

    Eddie

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was a studio audience member, not a guest (LOL). My bad...

    Eddie

    ReplyDelete
  5. Eddie - I completely agree that she needs some time to learn the ropes (hence the caveats). I am really looking forward to seeing the show develop and grow.

    And I am so jealous of you, by the way.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I attended today's show September 19th. I almost did not get into the show. They cut the line off when they got to my friend and I. My friend was very upset and told her staff member that this is the second time that this happened to us. The first time was the day that Oprah was on her show. Then her staff member said the only way we could get in, is if we sit in the balcony. We said fine, that we were willing to sit anywhere.

    As far as the show went, we did not care for the show very much. She had no guest stars on. She had a few segments with ordinary people. Rachael was telling us what you can serve for a fundraiser.
    From the few people that we spoke to in the studio audience, most did not care for the show. At one point, it looked as though one lady was falling asleep.
    At the end of the show she had a surprise guest, which was Lara Spencer from the show the Insider. Lara brought Rachael some flowers and champaine. I think I enjoyed the warm up guy RC Smith better than Rachael Ray.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey Susie,

    As the site where you can sign up for tickets says, there is no guarantee that you will get in. That's just the way the cookie crumbles and it is standard practice, from what I gather.

    During the media frenzy before the show, Rachael was quoted many, many times saying that it was not going to be celebrity-centric.

    The show got great ratings yesterday, beating all of its competitors. Maybe watching it in person is like watching sausage being made - you really don't want to see how it's done. Hopefully after editing it will be more exciting!

    Congrats on making it into the audience!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am so bummed. I have to pick my daughter up when it's on (meaning I leave at 3pm and don't get home til about 3:45pm because of the traffic). I am totally going to miss her show. Thank you for posting this review though!

    ReplyDelete
  9. TiVo, Jennifer. TiVo. I should be making money for recommending it to people! It is a life-altering piece of technology! Go get one!

    I will talk about it tomorrow, but the show got better the second day!

    ReplyDelete
  10. LOL I promote TiVO (except here we call it PVR(personal video recording), to no end! just love it!

    I love your recommendations on the show.... I think you should send them over them if you haven't yet. I definitely agree she's a little hyper, a bit more than normal. But not that I can blame her!!!!

    I definitely do like the show!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks, Carrie. I am glad you agree. I really have seen changes already and am really excited about the future of the show.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm watching the Friday show right now, since I don't have a chance the rest of the week. The show did start off with a lot of hyperness, but it's the first week and her in-laws and husband were in the audience... that can't be easy. She really relaxed as the show went on, and her strength is naturally when she's cooking or talking about food. She calmed down a lot when working with food, as she's comfortable in that arena. The more awkward part was when she was interacting with other people and the audience. It will just take time for her to get more comfortable with this, and as most of you have said, she will get more comfortable in those segments with time. Just watching her relax more through the hour gives me a lot of hope that she will relax in a few weeks in general with the show....

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am definitely a fan but Rachael's new show is boring. I canceled my season pass. She should stick to what she does best...cooking, traveling etc.
    Perhaps a show like the old Graham Kerr show would work better for her (if she wants an audience). 1/2 hour though. She looks exhausted by the last 1/2 hour. Honestly, I don't care about how one should select shoes. I watch her for her cooking and food knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I understand where you are coming from Anony, but I like hearing what Rachael has to say about shoes - it's lighthearted and fun. While my main reason for being a fan is her recipes, it's stil fun for me to hear her talk about other things, too.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I don't find the show interesting at all. It's way too busy and the guests are not that great. She's also trying too hard to be funny. Maybe I'm too critical. Probably only b/c I prefer the more subdued humor of Ellen Degeneres. Another suggestion, she should look at her guests when she is talking to them. I really don't think she's listening to them. Looking at THEM instead of the camera might help.

    ReplyDelete
  16. She certainly has some work to do, but I am confident she will figure it all out....

    ReplyDelete
  17. I definitely agree with Madeline. Rachael Ray does have the habit of interrupting her guests. I believe this is kinda rude. She should listen to what her guests have to say before making her own comments. I have always been a fan, but I quit watching this show.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anony, you should try watching it again - she has gotten MUCH better about interrupting. I think it was nervous excitement that got to her during that first week.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I like RR but I have had two friends attend her show (at two different times) BOTH said she was rude and nasty! I was so sad to hear this . . . one of my friends was there a day when animals were on the show. One had an accident - she was ranting and raving.

    I am so saddened by this. Being from upstate NY - she is a local girl - wish I heard better things said.

    I will not attend a show (esp.now after reading posts about not getting in).

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving a comment! Reading comments and responding to them is one of my favorite parts of having a blog, so thanks for contributing.