In reference to “having it all,” Barbara Walters once said that you can have two of the three. According to the living legend, career, marriage, and motherhood are difficult to juggle, and something’s gotta give. So when When Sarah Treem, creator of Showtime’s ‘The Affair,’ wrote a revealing, raw article for Red about losing her marriage to her demanding career, it got me thinking. Treem asks whether a man could sustain the same lifestyle and whether it’s too much to dream that as a woman.
First, if a man were working 14-hour days and the woman was the primary caregiver to the children, she too might feel emotionally neglected. Furthermore, if that woman moved to a city she hated and gave up her own career to boot, I can also imagine the marriage would suffer. Would the woman be as apt to exit that marriage, or would she stick around longer since that arrangement is more socially acceptable? I’m not so sure there’s a double standard.The real issue here is the lack of support from employers, co-workers, networks, and studios for people in positions of power to sustain their personal lives. There has to be a way to offer more support, and as Treem suggests, if she simply asked for help, perhaps things would have gone another way. But because she’s a woman, she wanted the world to think she could do it all. This does beg a bigger question; however and it’s — should we even WANT to do it all?
There’s a new wave of interviews where talent interviews talent, and for the most part — it’s a giant fail. First, it demeans the art of the interview. The idea that anyone, include an actor or director can easily engage in an art form of which they know nothing about, is almost insulting to the Howard Sterns and Barbara Walters of the world. Second, it’s indulgent. It usually involves endless compliments and painful gushing rather than hard-hitting, informative fact-finding or any type of comedic exchange. Lastly, since most actors don’t enjoy being asked any type of invasive questions, they’re far too respectful in these exchanges, and it’s just boring. Having said all that, I stumbled across Variety’s actors-on-actors format during a YouTube deep-dive, and I actually enjoyed the Sarah Jessica Parker/Michelle Pfeiffer sit-down. Because Michelle does not fully understand the art of television and Sarah Jessica does both television AND movies, it’s fascinating to see Sarah Jessica’s explanation of the TV art form. In fact, I learned a few things. Furthermore, Michelle seems surprisingly shy, humble, and unaware of her success. Watch and enjoy.
It might be unfair to call the new Diane Sawyer sit-down with Caitlyn Jenner an “interview,” given that it was more an informational voice-over than a Q&A. I’ve long insisted Caitlyn Jenner is not compelling without the Kardashians at her side, and I have also long insisted that Diane Sawyer is not a good interviewer. Gone are the days of Barbara Walters, where the purpose of her question was to actually gather information. Walters’ disarming nature allowed her to ask the hard-hitting, invasive questions that everyone wanted to know. In the interview below, Caitlyn Jenner likely talked for about ten minutes of the hour, and we did not learn much.
So what SHOULD she have asked? First, I want to know about Caitlyn’s feud with Kris Jenner and the current status of the relationship. I want to know why there is such a disconnect between what Kris says she knew about Caitlyn’s transition. I also want to know about Caitlyn’s sexual orientation and whether she was attracted to her ex-wives. In fact, Kim Kardashian asked Caitlyn this very question, as she also wanted to know. Additionally, does Caitlyn empathize with her family’s struggle to accept her transition? Can she understand the incredible shock of being married to a man for 23 years that then confesses this gender-identity struggle? And why did she abandon four children but then have the wherewithal to have two more and raise four step-children as her own? If it’s true that her gender struggle negatively impacted her ability to parent, then why was she able to effectively parent six children?
Caitlyn Jenner took the wrong path to her transitional process. Instead of getting to know the trans community which she conveniently was never interested in at all, she should have provided a stark lens into her physical transformation. I realize being a woman is more than one’s physical being, but never before has anyone of that magnitude provided such insight. She should have also discussed her sexual preference more heavily. But those are all the things she is vehemently opposed to exposing. Instead, she introduced herself to the world post-transition, as if we’re all just interested in Caitlyn’s boring personality. If the Kardashians can’t stand on their own with individual shows, Caitlyn Jenner certainly cannot.
Two of entertainment’s greatest interview titans came together for a special moment in time, and the interview is below for your listening enjoyment. Enjoy as Howard Stern asks Barbara Walters about an affair with Fidel Castro, an attraction to Richard Nixon, and her legendary career. Tune in for Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2014 on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
After endless tests, internal discord, backstage drama, and public pleas from interested parties, The View has finally selected their new panel, which will include: Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell, Nicolle Wallace, and Rosie Perez. The daytime chat-fest has had a well-publicized refresh since Barbara Walters retirement, which preceded the exit of Sherri Shepherd, Jenny McCarthy, and longtime Executive Producer Bill Getty. Wallace served as communications chief for President George W. Bush’s reelection campaign and advised John McCain’s 2008 campaign. She is also a political analyst for MSNBC, and a smart choice for the network. The View needs a right-wing woman who can offer an alternative take without being a combative, straight-party stumper (yes, that’s a hit at Elisabeth Hasselbeck). As for Perez, it’s clear ABC wanted a Latina woman with a name, and she fits the part. It remains to be seen how Rosie O’Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg will work together, as it’s widely known that Rosie has trouble playing in the sandbox with others. That being said, tension brings ratings, and when the competition is a cheesy fluff-fest (The Talk), it’s important to establish a discernible identity. Time will tell.
Today was a bittersweet day on ‘The View,’ as all the co-hosts came together for a Barbara Walters sendoff. And in case you were concerned about how they would all fit, they took a special seat at an extra-big table. I must say that I miss Joy Behar’s one-liners the most, and it was quite nice to see Meredith Viera’s calm temperament on stage again. Watch the very sweet reunion below.
Sometimes when people know they’re about to retire, they up the ante in ways never seen before. Such is the case with Barbara Walters, who has managed to not only stay fresh in an ever-changing format, she’s topping her team. Watch Walters attempt to explain away the news-making revelation that she uses a vibrator named “selfie.”
Julie Chen visited the King of all Media to promote ‘The Talk’ and she admirably answered the shock jock’s probing questions with honesty (except for the nose job one). One such question was whether ‘The View’ made a mistake with its new, non-politics direction. Howard Stern then asked about Jenny McCarthy, and Chen insisted that McCarthy is more suited for a pop culture format, and since ‘The View’ has always been known for hard-hitting topics, she simply doesn’t fit in.
The interesting irony of Julie Chen’s comment is that Jenny McCarthy is no more suited to discuss politics than Survivor contestant Elisabeth Hasselbeck. In fact, it might actually be more interesting to hear the former playmate’s take on harder topics. It’s unfortunate; however, that Jenny McCarthy got caught in the cross-hairs of a more interesting debate. Is it true that ‘The View’ made a mistake with it’s new format? Though it pains me to say this, the answer is yes.
ABC fell victim to a common error with its revamp. They listened to the public. While it’s true that public opinion matters, a major network should be led by their opinion, not bound to it. Elisabeth Hasselbeck was too contentious and off-putting, and she made ‘The View’ uncomfortable to watch while unwinding. That being said, just because one person is poisonous, that doesn’t mean the format should be entirely trashed. There are a million resources for pop-culture, and I have zero interest in watching a group of women debate what I can find in any other forum imaginable. But try finding a show that discusses political issues with entertaining, non-experts and a spoonful of sugar (there aren’t many).’The View’ was a resource to learn about intricate political topics with ease, and they have now become a bunch of girls gabbing about gunk. I get it. They want to be one with the times. Hopefully they will learn what those times actually are before it’s too late.