A couple weeks ago I had an absolutely amazing afternoon visiting CBS. I got to have lunch with some of my favorite bloggers and all six stars of the new CBS talk show The Talk – Julie Chen, Leah Remini, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, and Holly Robinson Peete. The fact that I didn’t snort pop out of my nose with a bunch of cameras on me was miraculous. These ladies are funny! Watching them interact with each other was a great preview of what they’ll be like on the show.
Leah sees something I’d just tweeted about her – busted!
I was afraid that mentioning The View would be verboten during the lunch, but it was brought up almost immediately by Julie Chen. She said that she envisioned The Talk kind-of like The View, but for moms. Despite hugely different backgrounds and careers, that’s the common thread running through the hosts of The Talk: they’re all moms, with kids ranging from babies to adults.
Part of why I keep this blog going is that I know how helpful it is for me when I read about or talk to someone who’s having the same problems I am. Just knowing that you’re not the only one makes the world feel a little smaller. So watching six smart, talented, successful working mothers talk about the same issues I’m having at home is like a big group therapy session. But for free, and without having to leave my couch.
So, in anticipation of today’s premiere, here are my impressions of the six lovely ladies of The Talk.
I think that Leah Remini is going to be the breakout star of this show. And I’m not just saying that because we had a really good talk about my son and his playground issues. She’s mouthier than I am and has absolutely no problem just telling it like it is. She’s got a fabulous, sarcastic attitude that, combined with her throaty voice and Brooklyn accent makes her hilarious. Plus she’s half Sicilian, like me, which may explain our mouths.
Leah first came onto my radar as Stacey on Saved by the Bell (yes, I watched, and I’m not embarrassed to admit it!), and really made an impression on me when she appeared on Cheers as Carla’s daughter Serafina (sadly, I didn’t even have to google that). She popped up here and there over the years, and I loved her every time I saw her. She was absolutely hilarious as the Knick-hating pregnant woman that Joey bonded with on Friends. I hated that she was only on one episode! So it was so great when she finally got her own hugely successful show, King of Queens.
The six ladies were all sitting at one long table, so it was quite hilarious that almost all of the food ended up in front of Leah. Any time one of the other hosts got lost in conversation Leah just took her plate. A girl after my own heart, except I’m not sure where she’s storing all that food – she’s tiny!
Do I sound like I’m sucking up? I am. I loved her. I can’t wait to see her on the show.
I’m a humongous fan of Roseanne. Yes, that’s present tense – I still watch it all the time in reruns. After seeing every episode multiple times, I admit it’s hard for me to separate Sara from her character of Darlene, even though I’ve seen her in lots of shows since Roseanne. In fact, as much as I wanted to tell her calmly how much I loved watching her, and what a big fan I was, I couldn’t even bring it up at lunch because I was afraid I’d end up slobbering all over her shoes. So I’ll just say it all here. Growing up is hard enough. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to deal with some very heavy issues while exploring those same issues on TV. Sara, I will always love you for being funny and smart and sarcastic, but real in a way that the teens on today’s shows just aren’t.
The idea for The Talk was actually Sara’s. She’s got behind-the-scenes experience going all the way back to when she was still a teenager and wrote an episode of Roseanne. She graduated with honors from Yale and seems to have escaped all of the tragic nonsense that’s happened to so many other child stars. She’s got a good head on her shoulders and I think will be a calming center when the talk gets wild (as someone commented during lunch, “You’ll know if Sara’s upset, she’ll eat something that’s not vegan!”). She’s a lesbian (she only came out publicly this year) and has two adopted half-siblings (and yes, one of them is Laura Ingalls herself, Melissa Gilbert), so there are two big family issues right there that she’s got some experience with. She will definitely bring a strong, unique perspective to the show.
One of the issues that will have to be dealt with on this show (and that I deal with daily as a blogger) is how much the hosts will share about their children. Well, at least they’ve got Sharon Osbourne there to tell her stories and give advice! Sharon hit the big time when she, her husband Ozzy, and two of their children let cameras into their lives in The Osbournes. She was very candid with us about just how naive they were going into that show. In fact, she was candid about everything. She’s kind-of the mother figure on the show (or the mama bear, as Julie calls her), with enough cautionary tales and horror stories to last for many seasons. And she’s just super sweet.
Holly Robinson Peete
I remember Holly best from Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, but she’s really well known now for her stint on Celebrity Apprentice (she almost won!). She has four kids, one of whom is autistic, so she’s up to her eyeballs in parenting issues. Other than that, I really don’t know much about her (she was sitting aaalllll the way at the other end of the table from me, so I didn’t get to talk to her much during lunch) but she was very nice and I’m looking forward to getting to know her better on the show.
Marissa Jaret Winokur
I first saw Marissa on Broadway when she was starring as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray. I didn’t know at the time that she had just survived having her uterus removed due to cervical cancer (she’s since had a son via a surrogate). I’ve read that she didn’t even tell anyone connected with the show, because she was afraid she would be replaced. I can’t imagine the energy, dedication, spirit, and strength that took. I was thrilled when she won a Tony award.
She was an absolute joy to watch in season six of Dancing with the Stars and she made it almost all the way to the finals. But despite all of those credentials, I’m guessing most people would know her best as the “You’re so busted!” girl from American Beauty.
I was lucky enough to meet Marissa last year after she spoke at the Disney Social Media Moms conference at Disney World. The poor woman stood and talked tirelessly to a long line of admiring attendees, as her food sat on the table getting cold. She’s warm and gregarious, and has been through so much in her life so far. She’s got such a great attitude. If she bottled it I would buy it.
Julie has a lot at stake with this show: she left her job as host of the Early Show on CBS to host The Talk. And being married to the head of CBS, Leslie Moonves, has to make for a complicated home life. As the only journalist in the bunch I expect her to be a bit above the fray, but she’s also a mom of four (one toddler and three step-children) so I doubt if she’ll be able to resist getting down and dirty when the ladies are talking about home life. She was also down at the far end of the table so I don’t think we said more than a few words to each other, but she was warm and funny and has the experience necessary to keep the show flowing.
So there you have it, those are the hosts of the The Talk. Here in New York it airs on CBS2 at 2pm, which is just the perfect time for me – the last hour before I go pick up my kids from school, when I’m transitioning from having my head in a computer and my ass on a couch, to running around with the kids and giving twitter a rest. Hopefully it will be a daily reminder that whatever is annoying me or consuming me, I’m not alone and I’ll get through, maybe even with a little more grace and humor than the day before.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information. Amy also blogs at Filming In Brooklyn, Behind the Screen, Momtourage, and podcasts with The Blogging Angels.