There’s been a whole lot of ink — probably too much ink — spilled about behind-the-scenes personnel drama at The View. But much like your daily lunch order, doesn’t it matter less who made it than how it actually tastes?
In other words, whatever your feelings about Nicole Wallace, Rosie Perez and Rosie O’Donnell exiting the kitchen, it nevertheless seemed that three days in to Season 19, it was high time to sample the fare being whipped up by Whoopi Goldberg, Raven-Symoné, Paula Faris, Michelle Collins and the returning Joy Behar. (There was no mention of Candace Cameron-Bure, who’s apparently off filming the Netflix continuation of Full House.)
First up on the menu — a top-of-the-hour chat with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. And let’s just say if you’re not a fan of the The View‘s standard-operating cross-talk and interruptions, the problem only gets exacerbated when the interview subject is on the phone, and no one can rely on visual cues to figure out when it’s time to toss out another question.
Whoopi and Joy were fairly tough pushing Trump for specifics on how he’d differ from Obama’s Iran deal and why he’s attacked rival Carly Fiorina’s looks, rather than her record (though Behar mispronouncing her name as “Carla” didn’t exactly boost her credibility).
Interjections by Collins (asking Trump if he’d consider Kanye West as a running mate) and Symoné (referring to Trump’s growing support with female Republicans as having “so many women on your jock”), however, were about as welcome as toddlers spitting chewed-up peas onto their plates in the middle of dinner. Look, I know this isn’t Nightline, but if The View wants to play any role in serious political discourse, then its youngest panelists either need to do more prep work on their questions or follow a “children should be seen, not heard” edict when talk gets more serious than the latest Kardashian ridiculata. (The good news is, I suppose, that Trump and Raven’s fellow panelists seemed to pay no mind whatsoever to anything that came out of the former child star’s mouth.)
The conversation eventually disintegrated when Trump disagreed with Goldberg and Behar about funding for Planned Parenthood — and the statistics they quoted about abortions making up only a small percentage of its work. “I swear to you, Donald, you are misinformed here,” Whoopi insisted, before telling the Republican front-runner he needed to return to the show later in the year for more chit-chat, plus “some snacks and stuff.”
Still, Goldberg’s post-interview assessment of the Presidential race sounded like utter gibberish, leaving me to wonder why GMA vet Faris — someone with some actual news experience — didn’t get to wrap up the segment. Shall we review Whoopi’s wisdom? “This ride is gonna go on, OK? This presidency, it’s gonna change every day. It’ll be the white people, then it’ll be the black people, then it’ll be the Spanish people. And at one point, we’ll figure out who those nominees are gonna be. And then we can actually have the conversations we need to have.”
Whoopi made the transition to discussing actress Alyssa Milano’s stance on breast feeding all the more awkward by misidentifying her as “Melissa” — though she did appear to have food in her mouth at the time, which may not have helped her enunciation. Raven once again brought the conversation down a few pegs by shouting, “I don’t even have a baby, but I wanna breast feed until my stomach is flat! Because I heard sometimes when you breast feed…” then making gestures signifying “toned abs” and “milking an udder.”
The drawn-out nonsense meant that subsequent interviews with Muslim flight attendant Charee Stanley — placed on unpaid leave for refusing to serve alcohol on flights — and The Perfect Guy stars Michael Ealy and Sanaa Lathan seemed rushed to the point of “Why bother?” (Symoné seemed to irk Whoopi when she declared Lathan’s bangin’ body made her a “Woman-Crush Wednesday” candidate. “I have no idea what you said,” Goldberg grumbled, “But OK. OK.”)
I don’t have all the answers for how to make The View a more enjoyable, less cacophonous experience, but one thing the show’s incoming EP Candi Carter might want to nix? The appearance of a “Hot Topics” logo — accompanied by an explosive “crackling” noise — in the middle of conversations. Goldberg’s perturbed facial expression at the unwelcome audio proved the comic highlight of the hour — but as with all jokes, you always want your audience laughing with you, not at you?
Have you caught any episodes from The View‘s Season 19 kickoff week? How are you finding the chemistry and conversations? Sound off in the comments!