Monday, September 11
Of course, I'm talking about Paula Deen and her big "Paula's Party" show set to premiere Sept. 29 (nearly two weeks after Rachael Ray debuts her own daily, syndicated talk show).
Maybe I should be more excited. I have supported Paula and the Food Network even during this "shift in programming" to more entertainment-based shows over education-based (it is a television network, after all). I've even been known to make Jared stay home on a Saturday night so we could watch the somewhat-amusing "Paula's European Vacation," which was not nearly as funny as the Chevy Chase version. Also, I publicly stated a similar feeling about Ace of Cakes before it premiered and grew to really like it. What is my problem?
Maybe I feel differently about Rachael Ray's show because I realize there's more at stake for RayRay. A nationally syndicated, daily talkshow put up by Oprah-freakin'-Winfrey's production company doesn't go away quietly if it's bad. True, Gail King's attempt was short-lived, but I think Rachael will get it worse if her show tanks. Gail will always be best friends with Oprah, while Oprah might leave Rachael in a second if her show is bad! :-) We'll just have to see.
Paula on the other hand is only dealing with her core audience. A bunch of fans wrote in begging for the chance to see a taping of Paula in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia. If her show doesn't do well, it'll be much easier for the Food Network to ignore it and quietly push it away into the twilight hours until it's gone forever.
Paula also has those darling sons that I just love so much (not really)--still attached by their umbilical cords to their momma-- to garner her a bit more attention. There's also been some talk about Paula's public demeanor lately. She seems a little zoned out at times, and there are more and more periods of silence on her show where she just doesn't seem to know what to say. In TV, a second of silence seems like an eternity.
I do like to think of Paula and Rachael competing, though. Maybe they'll be on each other's show. Maybe I'll change my tune about it, but I think Paula will need a little more than some leis and high-fives to get me to p-a-r-t-y!