Monday, November 23, 2009

Oprah's Swan Song

I have never been a huge fan of Oprah Winfrey. It's not that I dislike her, I just have never seen the huge attraction in her or her television program. I find her show mildly amusing, and I will watch it if I should happen to be home in the afternooon, and there is nothing else to watch. She seems like a nice lady, she's charming, she is usually polite and respectful to her guests, but one could never call her groundbreaking or edgy. Her guests and topics usually reflect "pop-culture lite".

Last week, amidst a flood of tears, Oprah announced she would be retiring from her television show in September 2011 -- which is almost two years from now. When I first saw the news clip, I thought someone had died. But no, it was simply Oprah announcing her "retirement" from her afternoon program. Have her ratings been slipping lately? Because this was a brilliant publicity stunt. The best way to make people want something is to tell them they can't have it anymore. So for the next two years, her fans will be in a "death watch". And, just watch her ratings and her fortune sky-rocket during that time.

Oh, goodness, don't I sounded jaded? Well, there's no business like show business -- and Oprah is a savvy business woman.

The next question is, who will take Oprah's place? I rather like Tyra Banks. To use Tyra's word, she's "fierce". She has an edge to her, and she's smart, dynamic and funny. I hope Tyra continues to have fun with her show, keeps her own personality and doesn't step into Oprah's footsteps but instead keeps her own identity. But, whoever fills the vacant spot left by Oprah, I hope they recognize the fact that it’s just entertainment. Does anyone remember the ending of the Truman show? As soon as Truman walked off the set, folks immediately picked up their remotes and looked for something else to watch.

So, Oprah, "In case I don't see you ... good afternoon, good evening, and good night."

26 comments:

Miranda said...

I'm sorry I can't get on the Tyra Train with you. I don't like her. She's narcissistic while trying to seem altruistic. (Look at my big words!) I can't stand her show. I don't watch Oprah all the time, but I almost feel the same way about her. Neither of these women REALLY let their guests talk. They always seem to turn it to themselves. Like Tyra says "It's all about ME!"
I saw a tv show the other night that said "The next Oprah can't be someone already out there, it has to be someone like HER to come out of obscurity and into 'greatness'" I'm with that sentiment I think that there is no other "Oprah" right now, and maybe there won't be. She's done wonderful things with her show i.e. her "Angel Network" and now with starting her own TV Network, she's not really going anywhere. Fan's can rest assured that we will never see the end of Oprah.
(Really? no comments yet? I just got lucky and saw that you had just published 24 minutes ago)

Brenda said...

Not a fan of either. I am like you about Oprah. I don't dislike her...just don't feel like watching her and never have. I know nothing about Tyra Banks other than I think she was or is a model with a talk show...?

HAPPY IN NEVADA said...

Who knows, with the threat of dim-witted Sarah Palin possibly running for president (or VP with Mitt Romney on the Republican ticket), Oprah might be planning to run against Palin - nice timing.

We have too many talk shows anyway - I NEVER watch talk shows except David Letterman and Charlie Rose or a few others on PBS.

Television is garbage anyway, and Oprah might also like to just retire - she's put in a lot of long hours, and if I were she, I'd take my money and run.

Quit while you're winning.....

Nancy said...

I thought it odd that she announced this two years before the final show. I like her, but I don't watch daytime tv, so rarely catch her show. I do like her spiritual approach to many things, and the year when she was determined to do good works. But I think it's like blogging - at some point we just run out of things to share or say. To everything - a season. Maybe she knows this is her season. But two years away??

Alissa said...

I heard that Oprah is still going to have a talk show, but it will be on her cable channel and not network TV, but that might just be a rumor. I've never been a big fan of any talk shows. I think the popularity in Oprah is that she seems like a very approachable person and her shows tend to play up the nice angle, unlike some other talk show hosts that have come and gone since she's been on the air.

I don't know much about Tyra, but my mom thinks she is scary looking, for whatever that's worth.

ivan said...

Agree with Miranda.

I don't have the right quote, but I think she once told a reporter, "Do you think I'm going to let a man get what I've got?"
Well. Have a good trip to Radio Shack fer the buzz, and good luck to glamorous you.

Judi said...

Oprah had her moments; we basically watched her "evolve" in her own life and went along for the ride. To her credit, she has been involved in very few "scandals"; yet, she has introduced some questionable pop psychology people and medical/nutrition advice on her show. I liked the Book Club. I lost my interest in her show and her magazine several years back. You have to applaud her success in the predomiantly male industry. though.

leilani said...

Both these women stop living in the REAL WORLD long ago. They are both useless to this planet.

Cloudia said...

Aloha, Friend!


Comfort Spiral

John said...

I actually lived in the Chicago area before her show went national and I enjoyed her A.M. Chicago Show, which was much like Phil Donahue (anyone remember him). After I moved downstate and saw her go national I really enjoyed her show, when I had a chance to watch it. But she lost me when she started having those "themed" seasons--yuck, that spiritual thing she had going on at the end of shows a few years back was a bit much.

But the final straw was when she jumped into politics and helped Obama get elected president. I'm sure I wasn't the only one turned off by that! Now she's literally gotten too big for her britches LOL!

You don't have to just watch "daytime" tv to see her show, as one commenter said. I know I have a lot of channels with DirecTV, but it is on at night too on various cable channels. My dvr tapes it all the time, which I usually just delete.

Same is true with Tyra's show. Both of those shows are on like 5 different times and channels a day. I like Tyra, but not all of her shows interest me (most don't).

Nobody can "replace" Oprah, because no talk show host has that much money and power. And Oprah wants MORE, like a network! I wonder what she will do after that? Buy an island, small country, a planet?

Every news outlet has shown her tearful announcement too. She should have saved that for her last day. Good riddance, Oprah! Oh wait, we have to wait another two years for that!

Inty swetha said...

i never watched Oprah Winfrey show before and i dunno how to react as soon as i heard this news..

the walking man said...

While not as insidious as a news commentator I have long regarded her popularity as just another celebrity people look to, to tell them what to think. Sheesh...most people should just turn the TV off until they hear the tornado sirens.

KathyB. said...

I watch her rarely, and when I watched the news it was just full of "Oprah Retiring". When they actually stated the date her show would go off the air I was disgusted. Good grief...almost 2 years from now. What's this all about? For goodness sakes...two years of bemoaning her retirement. Retire already!

Charles Gramlich said...

Can't say as I've ever seen an episode of Oprah.

Katy said...

I have to agree with Miranda on Tyra Banks. I don't think I have ever been able to watch one of her shows all the way through. I'm sure that she is a nice enough person if you actually know her, but her personality just seems to translate as narcissitic on TV (her talk show and her model show).

Russell said...

All I know about Oprah is that several years ago we were in Chicago. We stopped at Neiman Marcus and our daughter got to have a real "make over" by one of the women who do Oprah's make up before her shows.

My daughter was in 7th heaven! And she left with a bag of make up that, well, was not inexpensive....!! Heh! Oh well....

DUTA said...

Jo, your concluding sentence addressed to Ophra is smashing: "In case I don't see you...good afternoon, good evening, and good night." I like it.

Land of shimp said...

I don't watch Oprah, but I'm sure that sociologists and cultural anthropologists of the future will ask the burning question, "What was the deal with that??"

For twenty five years she made a HUGE living out of telling other people what they should think about a huge wealth of subjects.

I've never watched Tyra, and the only exposure I have to her leads me to believe that she's not particularly bright. For all that I've no love of Oprah at least I always had the feeling that she achieved success, in part, due to her brain.

Land of shimp said...

By the way, I should mention that for those that really like Tyra, I'm absolutely not questioning that. You likely know a great deal more about her than I do.

The only thing I've seen from Tyra Banks show was a piece that made me see blinding amounts of red. It was one of those "How women treat each other" type of experiments, in which a group of women were dressed in leotards and encouraged to just rip the heck out of each others figures.

It ended up in the news because the way the "experiment" was set up guaranteed a specific result. "Tell Katy what you think of her body, Margie."

It was indicative of anything other than when you encourage people of either gender to be incredibly mean to each other, oddly enough they are. Go figure.

So that's where my perceptible disdain for Tyra Banks started, but for all I know, there's a lot more to the woman.

Jo said...

Miranda, I guess there is a certain amount of over-ego that goes along with these folks, yes. And yes, Oprah has done a lot of good, and I don't dislike her. I am just not a huge fan. Did you happen to watch Larry King Live last night. :-)

Brenda, some folks almost seem to worship Oprah, and I just don't get that.

Diane, the scary thing is, Sarah Palin is already running for President, and unless Obama smartens up, Palin may have a chance in the next election.

Nancy, I know...! Two years, for goodness sake. It's embarrassing.

Alissa, yes, come to think of it, Tyra can be a little scary looking. I had not thought of that before...! *heh*

Ivan, I would have thought men would find Tyra beautiful. Who knew!

Judi, yes, I think she started to dabble into things that were above her head. As I said "pop-culture lite".

Leilani, LOL...! There is some truth to that.

Cloudia, aloha to you!

John, Hmmm... could it be that you folks will be having another election in a couple of years or so? Do you think she has other plans in that direction? It just occurred to me. Hmmmm....

Inty, you're not missing anything...! :-)

Mark, yes...! That's what I do. *heh*

Kathy, wasn't it unbelievable? I thought someone had died...!

Charles, you're my hero!

Katy, I rather like Tyra, but I have only seen one or two shows. You're probably right. :-)

Russell, what a cute story. Thanks for sharing it. Little girls do love make-up.

Duta, did you ever see "The Truman Show"? He said that every time he saw his next door neighbors. :-)

Alane, "For twenty five years she made a HUGE living out of telling other people what they should think about a huge wealth of subjects." Isn't that the truth? The Church of Oprah. There is some sociological statement to be made about that.

TomCat said...

I've never watched it once. Nothing about her. I just soured on the genre before she had a show.

Jo said...

Tom, I agree. Totally!

Alicia said...

I'm with you. Oprah seems very nice but I've never been into her. I do like Tyra very much. Many are going to miss Oprah though. I saw a tv program recently where one lady is living the Oprah way of life religiously for one year. She buys everything Oprah recommends. It was pretty scary.

Jo said...

Alicia, that is FRIGHTENING...!!! I don't think any ordinary person should have that much influence. Holy doodle...!

nomore said...

Though it's a famous talk show...

Paula Slade said...

Jo, I've only watched Oprah sporadically over the years and I do admit to having seen her very first show. At the time I thought she was mildly interesting, and as you say polite, but I would have never predicted the enormous following that she has today based on her debut. I think she really took off as a celebrity after her role in "The Color Purple" - her acting in that was superb. The film she recently produced, "Precious" is also outstanding - very gritty but poignant. Maybe more film work or perhaps politics are in her future? I'm just wondering now what authors are going to do - any book endorsed by her becomes a best seller.