Tuesday, September 19
Well, Rachael has debuted and the reviews are pouring in. I'm still a little overwhelmed from watching it and might need to take a Valium or something before my next viewing. The first thing I noticed was just how LOOOOOUUUUUUDDDDDDD Rachael was speaking... virtually the entire show. It's fine to come out and try to yell over the audience's applause to try to quiet them down, but she never seemed to come down from that decibel level.
Her set is unlike anything I've ever seen. The way her audience is seated, theater-style on one level, goes against what most of us recognize as a "studio audience" seating arrangement. It might work, though. I read that, since the audience rotates on a giant lazy-susan, the show consulted the engineering experts at Disney (or Universal?) who pioneered this type of "rotating ride." And, in fact, when the audience rotates, it does look a lot like a theme park ride. Maybe RayRay should be up there reminding them to keep their hands and arms inside their chairs at all time.
Rachael was bubbly as ever, but the New York Times took the bubbly characterization one step further: "Ms. Ray's first show was beyond bubbly. Watching it was like opening a shaken bottle of club soda and having it fizz all over the room."
The Hollywood Reporter notes: "It's likely that Ray will tone down the tempo to merely rapid as she settles into the big chair, though she probably will never have the effortless bearing that Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie O'Donnell brought to the stage. Breaking from the gate, she skirts the fine line between endearing and annoying and could tip either way."
I agree that Rosie and Ellen premiered with shows that were much more at-ease and not filled with the nervous energy Rachael couldn't seem to let go. I can attribute this to the fact that both Rosie and Ellen were both stand-up comedians and actresses before they ever got their show. Both had significantly more experience performing in front of a live audience.
UPDATED BELOW AT 12:23
The woman who sent a video in saying she had a huge fear of heights, and the only way to overcome it would be to skydive with Rachael, seemed a little canned. Maybe I'll send in a video saying I have a huge fear of driving and the only way I'll be able to overcome it is to have Rachael buy me a Porsche.
The cooking segments were all right, but she was just a little too over the top-- even for me. It seemed like she was trying to perform too much for the audience instead of just being "herself" (a.k.a. the "herself" we know from 30MM). I assume this will tone itself down, too.
Other people have commented that her interview style was a little wacky, too. She did interrupt Diane Sawyer and few times and comment that the "thinnest socks ever" according to Diane were "big and fluffy." Brain was elsewhere on that one, RayRay.
Still, I think Rachael has all the makings for a good show. I think with a little guidance (and a few slaps on the wrist) from Oprah, she'll be fine.
Labels: Rachael Ray