Monday, July 20, 2015

in praise of nicolle

ABC has it all wrong.

Instead of playing musical chairs with the hosts of its disintegrating daytime talk show, "The View," the network should be questioning the executives who are overpaid to apparently make dubious decisions.

Case in point: The show's latest fatality, Nicolle Wallace who, according to Variety, has been shown the door because, as its resident Republican, she failed to offer "enough dissent about political issues" and was "continually voicing her lack of knowledge about celebrities," such as the Kardashians.

She also failed to "generate buzz on social media."

And she wasn't shrill enough, a la Elizabeth Hasselbeck. But as Fox 411 so aptly put it, "being a not-shrill conservative is kind of Wallace’s thing."

And let's face it: Wallace was out of her league on the show.  She's way too good for "The View" - intelligent, reasonable, restrained, charming and comfortably attractive. She's dignified, not shrill. Wallace brought style and reserve to a show that's been in desperate need of both for nearly a decade now.  And she exhibited the enthusiasm of a team player, a rare quality that can't be easily applied to any of the other rotating hosts.

And I say this as a died-hard Democrat.

But it's not surprising that ABC was concerned about Kardashian trivia. This is the network responsible for two reality-show embarrassments - the "Dancing with the Stars" and "The Bachelor/Bachlorette" franchises.

Watching "The View" expire has not been easy.  It's been painful actually.

Barbara Walters debuted it originally as an affable homage to Virginia Graham's "Girl Talk" of the 1960s, with diverse women discussing diverse topics.  As its popularity grew, it became more politicized and ultimately more strident, hitting a few unpleasant peaks from which it has never fully recovered.  CBS, meanwhile, unveiled its own version, "The Talk," which is lighter, more companionable and less confrontational. Daytime perfect.

Given that "The View" is way beyond saving, being one of its hosts has become a thankless, futile job. But Nicolle Wallace gave it a try, providing it with a shot of smarts, an elusive quality no longer in demand at ABC.

It's anyone's guess who will replace Nicolle Wallace on "The View."  But I hear that Michelle Duggar is currently available.  That should certainly satisfy ABC's need for dissent and social media buzz.  Daytime imperfect.


Sheila said...

Joe- I'm a Dem who likes Wallace, too. You should have mentioned her credentials as former communications chief for George W. Bush and her other political accomplishments.

Roger said...

Nicolle Wallace will bounce back. She has the goods. Plus she's still a regular on "Morning Joe."

Brian Lucas said...

I can't believe that being up on the Kardashians is now a requirement for a job on a TV talk show.

joe baltake said...

I appreciated how Wallace didn't address her dismissal on the show but rather went into a monologue of inane Kardashian factoids. Brilliant move.

Alex said...

I agree, Joe. I like Wallace, too, but what does she have to do with movies?

joe baltake said...

Nothing, actually, but this site is devoted to the underdog - movies and personalities not fully understood or appreciated. Besides, "The View" is a good representation of how so much of show business and the media overlap.

Charlotte said...

Wallace was a class act. ABC should be ashamed.

Jackie T said...

If she were smart and they were willing, she should join Hillary's team; would be a tremendous asset. Stick a fork in "The View;" it's so done.

Sharon said...

Your commentary on Nicole Wallace brought me up-to-speed on another new to me personality. I almost never watch daytime TV ad never have seen or had a desire to see The View. The clips of arguments and insults I've had sent to me make the show anathema. I prefer Charlie Rose's quiet, polite, intimate interviews in which his guests are comfortably showcased.

What you wrote about Nicole Wallace is shown in her picture: she looks like an warm, intelligent, poised, and disciplined young woman. Dignity and class are not qualities The View values, apparently. I have long seen that being unappreciated and/or eliminated by people of crass standards is no obstacle to people with grace and talent. An old farmers? adage applies here, “cream rises to the top.”