Pop Culture

“The Chew” Doesn’t Make Me Want to Spit It Out

How many talk show hosts do you need to have a successful daytime program?

I ask this because I’m watching The Chew, a new show airing on ABC that features five chefs/lifestyle experts sharing tips on everything from how to make lasagna to setting the perfect table. The hosts are celebrity chefs Mario Batali and Michael Symon, Top Chef fan favorite Carla Hall, What Not to Wear’s Clinton Kelly, and Dr. Oz’s daughter and healthy living expert Daphne Oz.

The View has five co-hosts, as does The Talk. Now I have another question: why do all of these shows have to have two word titles that start with “the”?

So far, The Chew is not a terrible show (despite the kind of weird name). I like Mario, Michael, and Carla. I am not the biggest Clinton Kelly fan strictly because I don’t care for What Not to Wear, and this is the first time I’ve seen Daphne Oz, but so far they are not annoying me. Actually, unlike The View and The Talk, I think the five co-hosts work.

I saw The Talk once for a few minutes and wanted to just give up television forever. It was boring, the co-hosts had no chemistry, and the topic was dumb (so dumb, in fact, that I forgot what it was!). The problem I have with The View is the fact that it seems to be illegal on that set to let one person talk at a time. I can’t handle two or more voices at once, and that’s all they do over there.

On The Chew, there’s no fighting over who gets to speak, and each segment is led by one or two of the hosts with assistance from the others. It feels pretty relaxed, and I like the topics so far that have been discussed. On this episode, Joy Behar was on, sharing her recipe for lasagna, but I’m not sure if each one is going to have a guest or not. I don’t think the show necessarily needs guests, although it does liven it up a bit.

Executives must think that the more hosts with their own speciality on a show, the more people will tune in. That makes sense to a certain extent, because in this case there are five demographics being pulled in instead of just one, but if I am a fan of Italian cooking, I will probably just tune into a show strictly about Italian cooking. I don’t necessarily care about the best centerpieces or how to stop myself from eating cupcakes.

The Chew really appeals to those who enjoy all things food and entertaining. Would it work with just one person? Yes, if it’s Martha Stewart. In this case, I think it definitely is best as an ensemble. Today, it held me over as I ate my lunch and took a break from editing, but I’m not sure I would tune in every day. At the very least, it’s much better than the previews and reviews had led me to believe.

What do you think? Do you like the show? How many hosts do you want to see on a talk show? Is five way too many, or the magic number?

By Catherine

Catherine is a Southern California based freelance writer, whose work has appeared in everything from the New York Times to Entertainment Weekly. The highlight of her life (so far) was being featured on MSNBC for a story she wrote on Hello Kitty wines...she knew one day her love of all things HK would come in handy.

2 replies on ““The Chew” Doesn’t Make Me Want to Spit It Out”

I am boycotting this show for taking over the slot where All My Children should be.

I’m actually semi-serious about that.  I mean, I don’t watch a lot of daytime TV due to job stuff, and it’s not like I watched All My Children regularly anymore.  But I grew up with that show, and am mourning its passing, and can’t bring myself to even CONSIDER that anything  they replaced it with is any good.

But I guess in the non-biased, logical part of my brain that isn’t weeping for the loss of the Kane family, I’m glad AMC wasn’t replaced with complete drivel.

Aw, yeah, I know a few people who haven’t watched the show in ages, but they’re sad knowing that it won’t be on anymore. I’m not a soap watcher, but I know how comforting it can be to know that Monday through Friday at whatever o’clock, a certain show is going to be on.

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