I loved Rosie O’Donnell‘s daytime show in the ’90s, and her new show on OWN — which debuted last night — turns out to be pretty much the same thing, but with a few advancements:
*Rosie is now an out lesbian, of course.
*She mixes more salty realness into her positive stew.
*And by now, Rosie is a seasoned pro who doesn’t waste one second of airtime.
Last night, she started with some stand-up, which included cute stories about the kids, some audience interaction, and a guest spot by fellow lesbian Suze Orman, followed by a zippy musical number in which Rosie was backed by shirtless studs.
Already we’d gotten enough entertainment value for a whole week of talk shows.
Then came a lengthy interview with Russell Brand, who never mentioned Katy Perry and who bizarrely kept talking about how he used to be annoying, but who was lively and fun, guided by Rosie’s expert interviewing approach, which kept striking the right tones, even as they delved into serious topics like addiction and mental imbalance.
The show ended with a zany game show segment (“The Ro Game”), climaxing with tons of confetti dropping as Oprah Winfrey herself entered to give her benediction.
I never felt violated, which is extremely unusual for a talk show, especially a new one.
Welcome back, Rosie.