Super Madeline and a People Magazine Review

I am now officially convinced that I have supernatural powers. I jokingly wrote on Friday that I was going to call in sick so I could stay home and watch Rachael Ray's new talk show. Well, guess what? I am at home right now! But I am not sick! When I got to work this morning, our server was down. No internet access at all (hence the super late post today). So, I get to watch the show live! In about 15 minutes! Yippee!

I just walked in the door from work and I have a half ton of articles about the show in my inbox. I thought that since this one is being featured on People.com, I would share it. People's review of the new talk show is very lukewarm. But, considering it is the first show, I think the review is pretty darn good. I can't wait to see it for myself and share my thoughts tomorrow.

Here's the People review:
Rachael Ray, TV queen of 30-minute meals, best-selling author and cover girl for her own lifestyle magazine, has her hand in a brand new pie – an hourlong syndicated talk-show, Rachael Ray, produced by Oprah Winfrey's company, that debuted today.

The first hour, actually, wasn't so much a pie as a large, untamed salad spilling over the plate. You could imagine the stray greens tumbling onto rival Martha Stewart's lap, and Stewart gingerly disposing of the offending leaves. Tasty in parts, yes, but not yummo. Maybe Ray needs to adjust the ingredients.

Cups and Cups of E.O.R (Essence of Ray)
With her long, dark hair and round, girlish face, Ray looks like a cross between Kelly Ripa and Mary-Louise Parker, although her energy level exceeds even Ripa's. She completed two timed recipes with a comfortable margin of seconds to go. I'm surprised she didn't execute them both instantaneously like a many-armed goddess. There's nothing not to like about someone so up, so open-faced, so laughing, so cute, so real. The question is: What do you do with all that? As my Italian grandmother would say, we all love it, but there's a pest in pesto. (No, she didn't really say that.)

A Touch of Julia
Well, the cooking segments I liked a lot. Ray made a snack wrapping salami, sundried tomatoes and cheese spread around a pretzel stick – maybe it's good? Anyway, you have to admire her nerve. She abandoned her famous 30-minute meal for a 7-minute dish of chicken and salad. But presentation's not her thing, apparently, because on TV the meal looked like roadkill under arugula. Still, her cooking style is her own – frantic, a bit sloppy and fun. You can understand why she's such a hit – it's a Julia Child blitheness, only trickled down to insta-dinner.

Diane, Underdone
Oprah herself is scheduled to drop by this week, but the show's first celebrity guest was Diane Sawyer. Sawyer presented Ray with a pair of superthin socks to slip on her feet at nighttime events, in case her toesies get cold, but Ray referred to them as "big" and "fluffy." I found this oddly annoying. Sawyer was very precise about the socks being thin, and a viewer could see they were thin. We need to pay attention to our celebrity guests. You can bet if Oprah gave Ray a pair of kid gloves she wouldn't call them oven mitts.

Heart a la Carte
Part of the talk-show mandate today is that the host/hostess should not merely kill a few minutes in a viewer's day but also validate and fulfill and change people's lives. Ray took one viewer skydiving – this had been the woman's lifelong fear – and sure enough, the woman stood before the audience afterward and testified that all her terrors were gone, overcome and overwhelmed by Ray's can-do philosophy. Urp.

14 comments:

  1. I just watched the show and I think it was such a crazy idea to give her her own 1-hour talk show! what the hell were they thinking? it was like leaving a mad man out on the loose! she's totally neurotic and had scorning like never before.

    i enjoy watching 30-minute meals for fun ideas and quick tipos, but her talk show has just lost me for good!

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  2. Hey Anony - I am watching it right now and couldn't disagree more! I don't know what you mean by "scorning like never before," so can't respond to that one.

    Perky? Yes. Energetic? Yes. Neurotic? Don't think so. You are the second person to say that (maybe the same person?). Neurotic means anxious and I just don't think she seems anxious at all!

    But thanks for stopping by and I hope you will still come back for recipe reviews!

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  3. I watched the show today and was a little disappointed. I think that she talks a bit too much and interrupts people while they are talking. I think that she needs more than one guest per show. If it is going to be all about her, I don't know if I would continue to watch. I will watch her show a few more times and see what it is like.

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  4. I don't know if you saw the article from TMZ, so here it is.

    Rachael Ray, Oye Vey! Why'd You Pick Diane?

    Posted Sep 18th 2006 3:53PM by TMZ Staff
    Filed under: TV

    Princess of Perk Rachael Ray brought her act to talk-show land this morning, and did her best as a chat neophyte to attract, presumably, a younger female audience by welcoming as her very first guest that unmistakable icon of hip young females everywhere ... Diane Sawyer?

    Nothing against the always-elegant and estimable Ms. Sawyer, but surely there might've been someone, somewhere who might've added a bit more star sizzle to the first edition of a nationally-syndicated talk show (Megan Mullally, for instance, had Will Ferrell in skivvies on for her first installment.) Perhaps the boss -- Oprah Winfrey -- didn't want her own appearance tomorrow on the show (and her own premiere) to be overshadowed.

    As it was, Ray did her best to combine elements of just about every hosted studio-audience show in existence, including, in descending order of awkwardness, a little coffee-talk time at the top, some eyebrow-raising service segments (cleaning lettuce in the washing machine), and Ray making her trademark quick-prep meals, now whittled down to seven ( from 30) minutes.

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  5. I was eager to watch the show and thankfully was able to catch it today. But I must say it was very disappointing. I don't think it will be a hit if it continues the same way. She just too loud and yes, talks too much as well as interupts others.

    And frankly, I really didn't understsnd what her show was about. She tried to do a bit of everything without concentrating on one main topic. i don't think I'd waste my time again with her show.

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  6. I was not too happy when she kept interrupting Diane, but I hope it is just a sign of nervousness rather than her interviewing style. She didn't do that on Inside Dish, so hopefully it will end as she gets more used to it.

    It must have been exciting for her to have the audience there and to finally start the show. Hopefully she will learn not to interrupt and will give the show a less frenetic feel over time.

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  7. I caught the thin sock/big and fluffy thing too, and thought it was a bit odd. Odder still that People is panning her show, just a bit, when she's also featured in this week's issue of their magazine on newsstands now. As far as the hyper/nervous/neurotic thing, people, it's her first show. Perhaps she's a tad excited? ;)

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  8. I think you are right, Cate (again).

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  9. Someone got to mention the banging of the chicken with a skillet!

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  10. dB - that is a signature Rachael Ray move! Who needs a mallet when you have a skillet?

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  11. Does anyone else feel as if Rachael is yelling most of the time? She doesn't need to do the show in "30 minutes"!! Take your time , relax.

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  12. Anony - I have definitely read that around the blogosphere and in the MSM. Hopefully her producers will hear it!

    I think there was less of it on the second show.

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  13. Well...I must admit I was disappointed. She's much to loud. I don't think Martha has to worry about losing her audience. I actually took Rachel off the second day and switched to Martha, it was calm and relaxing.

    I think Rachel is spreading herself too thin, she's becoming over exposed...she's got her fingers in too many pots. Don't get me wrong I like her, she's a sweetheart, but she doesn't have to take every offer that comes along...???

    Hopefully, she'll calm down and settle in..gonna give her another week and see what happens.

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  14. Hey Anony - watching Martha stresses me out to no end. I can't deal with the perfection and patronizing voice. Luckily there are so many choices out there!

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