At first glance, The Talk seemed like a total rip-off of The View.. Both daytime talk shows feature five women of varying backgrounds discussing current events roundtable-style, and interviewing a guest or two on a sofa before a live studio audience. (How imaginative, CBS!)
But as The Talk has settled into its groove, it is setting itself apart with a different kind of vibe. Co-host Sara Gilbert came up with the idea for the show, because, as a new mother with lots of questions, she felt that women could benefit from the knowledge and support of other moms. (Little did she know that co-host Leah Remini would terrify all the pregnant guests with her horrific childbirth tales.) And the result is a show that's about current issues, but is more family-focused than The View.
Seeing as there are so many similarities, though, it's hard not to draw comparisons. They seemed like a perfect fit for a TV Throwdown:
The View has been around for 13 years, and while there's been at least one set redesign, it could use some freshening up. The roundtable, with its fold down sides, look like something you'd pass over at a garage sale. The yellow sofa on which they entertain guests is better, but it looks formal and uninviting. Celebrities often look awkward and stiff, crammed between the View hosts. However, the audience is like, right there, creating an intimate setting for studio guests.
The Talk has the benefit of being a brand new show, and the set reflects that. Lots of plants warm up the large, open room, which features modern-looking dark hardwood floors. But more importantly, the furniture looks both current and comfortable. Just ask co-host Sharon Osbourne, who often kicks off her shoes and curls her feet underneath her on the enormous, welcoming couch. The Talk wins this round, hands down.
The Talk: 1
The View: 0
On one hand, it's great to see the women on The View tackling everything from pop culture to hot-button topics such as politics and religion. Whether or not you agree with their opinions, you can't deny that they are smart, passionate and educated about weighty subject matter. But their arguments are often overshadowed by their inability to listen for two seconds. They are constantly bulldozing over each other, and frankly, the subject at hand is often buried.
On The Talk, a majority of subject matter revolves around modern culture and family, and, with the exception of Leah Remini screaming all the time, remains civil. But the best part is that it inevitably leads the ladies to discuss their personal lives and views, in turn making them more relatable. For instance, Holly Robinson-Peete is tortured by her stretch marks after twins, and Julie Chen is finally proving that she has not only a personality, but a sense of humor. Who knew???
However, The View takes on a broader range of subjects which will inevitably appeal to a wider audience. While I enjoy conversation on The Talk, before I had a child, I probably wouldn't have stayed interested in it for an entire hour.
The Talk: 1
The View: 1
Comparing all ten ladies would take more space than we've got here. So, we'll have to break down the stand-out characters. Of course, this is totally subjective, but this is where we stand.
On The Talk, we LOVE smart aleck Sharon Osbourne and down-to-Earth Sara Gilbert, while overbearing Remini ensures we've got our mute button at the ready.
Joy Behar serves the loudmouth role on The View, while Whoopi Goldberg is easily the most even-tempered and likeable and Elisabeth Hasselbeck inspires us to dress better every day. We love getting to know the ladies of The Talk, but The View squeaks by with the win this round because they've got experience and their side -- and because they don't have Remini.
The Talk: 1
The View: 2
To us, this might be the most important category. Women are often their own worst enemies, and on shows that are supposed to celebrate modern women, we feel rapport is imperative.
It's a fact: All people aren't going to agree on everything, or even like each other, for that matter. But it's how you handle those situations that determines character. The rows on The View are legendary. They aren't just heated debates; these women have gotten so angry with each other that you can literally see steam coming out of their ears.
The first week of The Talk was a bit of a disaster in the rapport department. But the ladies come together quickly, and while they don't always agree on sensitive topics (like adultery or spanking the children or how politics affect families), they seem to geniunely respect one another's perspectives.
To us, rapport means camaraderie. And unless The View ladies are doing something harmless -- like exploring the virtues of the recently reissued McDonald's McRib sandwich or how to get free stuff -- camaraderie is often fleeting. Seventy-five percent of the time, they are one left hook away from The Bad Girls Club.
Therefore, The Talk scores this point.
The Talk: 2
The View: 2
When guests show up at the View, they're pretty much guaranteed a professional interview with ladies who have at this for a long time. And after the almost-always serious roundtable talks, it gives the hosts a chance to loosen up and remember they're not all bickering hens 24 hours a day.
The Talk's Julie Chen is an experienced journalist, so she's no stranger to conducting an interview. But the rest of the ladies (who are likely more used to being the interviewee) need some more time to brush up on their skills. We appreciate that they want to create a homey, casual vibe, but the journalist inside of us cringes when Remini paws all of the guests and when Sharon walks around barefoot during interviews. I mean, at least wear a pair of ballet slippers or something. Sheesh!
The View is the winner in this round -- and in this battle.
The Talk: 2
The View: 3
Bottom line: When I started this match-up, we were convinced that The View would sweep every category. But after seeing the ladies of The Talk get rolling over the past three weeks, we've grown to enjoy it. It's a pretty good concept, and as the mother of a toddler, I appreciate what they have to say. And when said toddler is not busy trying to ride the dogs or unload the kitchen cupboards, I'll continue to watch both programs. (Now, if I could only get CBS to send me a schedule of Remini's vacation schedule, I'd really be set.)