Friday, May 25, 2007

Here's Where I Turn The View Into a Good Show


This morning The View did something it's never done before.

It was great.

Seriously. I really enjoyed it.

Elisabeth barely spoke, which helped, but most of the credit goes to guest co-host Padma Lakshmi. Top Chef viewers already knew she was beautiful and charming, but this morning she was so bright and funny and witty and appealing. She spoke in actual, complete sentences, not in yapping cliches.

She told a very moving story about the scar on her arm and how she asked photographers not to airbrush it out when she started modeling. She got it in a family car accident, when she threw her arm across her mother. Rosie pointed out the scar was a badge for saving her mother's life, but Padma made it more about gratitude for her mother's survival.

It was moving without being mawkish, and sweet without bringing the room down. That's not something you see a lot on The View.

Then, in a series of cooking segments, Padma was fantastic. One of my pet peeves with cooking segments is that the chefs go too quickly past steps they assume we know (but I definitely do not). Frequently during these segments, Padma would pipe up with exactly the information I was wondering. Intead of filling in with inane chatter or old jokes -- View trademarks -- she filled in with shortcuts and tips that were really valuable.

Rosie was really cute with her. She and Padma snacked heartily from each table, swigged beers when the chef wasn't looking, and joked like old pals. It was so much fun to watch, I was sorry when the hour was up.

If ABC is smart, when Rosie leaves they will replace her with Kathy Griffin. And they will also take that opportunity to give Elisabeth the heavus-hovus, and replace her with Padma.

If Elisabeth won't leave, then maybe when she goes on maternity/demon-spawn leave they can bring in Padma and then change the locks. The important thing is that Padma do this show every day, and that Elisabeth do whatever it is she does somewhere untelevised.

Seriously, ABC, you've got a golden opportunity here. Be smart.


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