« Previous Post | Show Tracker Home | Next Post »

Rosie O'Donnell's 'Rosie Live': What was she thinking?

Rosie Two words: Dancing food. “Rosie Live” ended with dancing food. There’s nothing else to say, really except perhaps, Liza Minnelli. “Rosie Live” opened with a little song and dance from Liza Minnelli, who rose to the stage, as if from the grave, to sing a duet with O’Donnell, in a luminous white suit, complete with fetching Broadway hat. Liza, we love you, we will always love you, but there is no shame in retirement.

In between we were treated to Harry Connick Jr. in a Santa hat, Conan O’Brien taking a pie in the face, and Jane Krakowski singing about all the free stuff audience members would get. Some of the items were pretty swell, but I’m here to tell you it wasn’t enough. Rosie made jokes about Spanx, Alec Baldwin appeared in a jacket two sizes too small with weird Einstein hair -- neither of which were part of a gag. Clay Aiken strolled over from “Spamalot” to participate in the world’s most painfully long gay joke ("What was the other thing we have in common," Rosie mused, "oh yeah, we're both Gaaa ... briel Byrne fans.") and Alanis Morissette sang a song referencing the 12 Steps in front of, I kid you not, an endless loop of geese flying through a sunset.

Flying geese! There are not enough free video cameras or White Castle burgers in the world to make up for that. And what about the viewers at home? Where are our new cellphones and white strips products?
Rosie, Rosie, what on earth were you thinking? Were you thinking camp? Were you thinking this will be big and brassy and so-over-the-top even the dancing cupcakes will be irresistible? For those of us who are, and remain, Rosie fans, who think “The View” will never quite recover from her departure, who think her desire to resurrect the variety show was, and is, a great idea, disappointment does not even begin to describe it. For weeks now NBC has seduced and tantalized with the promise of a cross between Carol Burnett and “Sonny and Cher.” And this is what we get? Rosie in a glitter top having Baldwin speak into her cleavage and making jokes about her weight? Someone get a hold of Tim Conaway, stat.

To be fair, not everything on the show fell as flat as a turkey at a Sarah Palin picnic, or whatever the line was—yes, there was a Sarah Palin joke but Rosie was in a policeman’s costume at this point and I had my fingers in my ears. The Argentinian Lombard Twins were very good, and never have I been so glad to hear “You Spin Me Round” as when Anti-gravity took the stage with their giant tea cups and their hula hoops. But then we had to endure Kathy Griffin as Nancy Grace and Gloria Estefan making a joke about the turkey being the only one not hungry on Thanksgiving (because, you know, he’s stuffed). Estefan was the final act, but whatever collective relief that fact provided was immediately wiped away by a song  about eating and then, of course, the dancing food. Men and women dressed as slices of cake and giant cookies topped off by Rachael Ray making an appearance with a giant rubber turkey.

“Rosie Live” may enter the realm of unsolved mysteries, along with the fate of Amelia Earhart and the design team of the pyramids. O’Donnell was clearly attempting to recapture the uplifting unapologetic wonder of the big Broadway musical and the television variety show. But having a bunch of talented guests does not a terrific show make—you have to actually give them something interesting to do. Otherwise you're left with, well, a rubber turkey.

-- Mary McNamara

Photo: NBC

Comments () | Archives (298)

Reviewers completely misunderstand the show. It was filled with inside messages for the gay and lesbian community. Rosie must be smiling and shaking her head at public ignorance of the code words and symbols that reviewers thought were lame, unfunny nonsense. For example, the apparent non-sequitor of the flying geese segment was clever reference to the poem, "Wild Geese", by lesbian Mary Oliver. That poem is among the standards that promote gay and lesbian pride.

I love Rosie O'Donnell! This show was classic - I especially loved the dancing food and Alanis Morisette! I agree with all of Rosie's politics, and I consider myself part of her "team". Her show will be an eternal success.

Rosie is a horrid no talent wench who should go away already. What was NBC thinking? You'd have to living under a rock not to know what a mental basket case she is, besides not having any real talent that is TV worthy. Her only talent is venting her deep seeded anger at anyone she feels like. She needs a swift kick in her giant arzz, not a tv show.

The show was such a stinkeroo, even Febreze and Oust air sanitizer would be embarrased to be amongst its very fine sponsors.

Where do folks fabricate a connection to homophobia from our detestaion of a stupid ugly loudmouth no class traitor hysterical wench with a chip on its shoulder, and 80,000 (bags of) chips in the rump? While it is true that folks find an obsession with blasting into normal people's faces the fact that one is a crime against nature to be unpleasant to experience, pointing that out does not indicate any extra animosity for the un-natural!! It is not like we say, because she is gay, a better show would be toss it in a bull ring to meet the piqadors (only 500 a ticket- sold out in the hour!)...we say toss her in the bull ring to meet the piqadors because she is an anti-American piece of talent free garbage. Sell it to africa. Feed a village for a month. Anything to get it out of our once-great nation!

Utterly talentless, screeching harridan.

Demented, like Behar and Goldberg.

The judge who let her adopt should be in jail for child endangerment.

Tim Conaway?

Worst. Show. Ever.

Please, next time just show us footage of puppies being thrown into a wood-chipper. I'd rather watch that than ANYTHING with Rosie O'Donnell.


Mary McNamara's incisive, on-target review of Rosie's variety show debacle is one of the best I've read in a long time. Note to Mary's editor: she deserves hazardous duty pay, as SZ noted above!

Oh shanay, your babaaaayy!!!!

Watch "Riding the Bus with my Sister"

I missed it. So, did she make it back to Kashyyyk for Life Day?

QUOTE: "She's a little pixie....."
Posted by: SIGMUND EPSTEIN - | November 27, 2008 at 02:44 PM

^.... LOL.. LOLOL..... tooo funny ^

I was laughing so hard at that post I almost fell off my chair....

Oh wow! I hope this article I just read is true!!
The show was not "carried" and Rosie won't be making any more??

This means that NBC isn’t so stupid afterall ~ maybe?

I thought the show was initially a “done deal” and we would have to be put in pain each time we saw a preview or ad for the show (’cause I wouldn’t watch it)… but *sigh* thank heavens we won’t have to be submitted to any previews or ads again.

Rosie needs to find something else.. perhaps writing or directing. She needs to snuff out her need for being the “attention getter” and recede into the background. At least if she writes or directs, we won’t be submitted to her “in your face” kind of drama and we could watch..and/or.. read her if we so choose. Perhaps this could be a venue that would work as a career for her. (?) Just a thought.

I am no therapist.. but it seems she isn’t realizing that her beligerence is not something we want to have on TV. It seems she has a need to continue to create “situations”. Then she has fodder for her spewing out more cantankerous comments.

My sister used to have a saying that she would say whenever anyone got bent out of shape:

“Settle down woman..”

Rosie ~ I think this saying may apply.

The show had some funny moments. They should have gave it more time.

Well, I did suffer through that hour of my life I will never get back. But reading all of these replies as well as the review has made it worth it. This has been a funny hour!

RE: For weeks now NBC has seduced and tantalized with the promise of a cross between Carol Burnett and “Sonny and Cher.” And this is what we get?

What? The writer really thought this show was going to be able to approach those shows? Be careful, NBC might have some swamp land in Florida they want to sell you.

I thought the Rosie show was great=we need more clean shows that families can watch together. Most of what is on t.v is sex and murder.We need more shows like this, and I hope Rosie comes back.

Anna Anna Anna.. that comment is for a different site altogether.

I agree.. that there is lots of that sort of thing on tv.. but my dear, I am afraid that I would rather go outside and spend my time doing other things rather than watch a Rosie episode of anything. And Rosie?? for a family?? LOL LOLOL.. geeze

« | 1 2 ... 9 10 11 12 13 14 15


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: