Today is the birthday of two of my favorite people, my sister Brittany and my dear friend Kate. I wish both of them a year of happiness, good times and good health. Today is also the one year anniversary of “the Oprah Winfrey Show” ending its 25 year run. One year ago, I was gathered around my television set with some of my best friends, drinking Moscow Mules and eating Garrets Popcorn as Oprah signed off. Her amazing last show was essentially a final sermon from the church of Oprah. Encompassing all the wisdom she had imparted on us during the run of the show. Since then Oprah has moved on to OWN and openly discussed and faced the struggles surrounding her freshman network. I was enraptured by “Behind the Scenes: Season 25″, so much so that a write in question I submitted landed me a guest spot on the show. However, OWN’s new Oprah shows “Oprah’s Life Class” and “Oprah’s Next Chapter”, have failed to draw me as a dedicated viewer. In the past year, there have been a few times I was sad that I didn’t have the daily “Oprah” show to tune in to. While I was a dedicated and almost obsessive viewer for the last season, I was a casual viewer for years prior to that. So I watched as Oprah covered things like Britney Spears mania, the Twilight explosion and the OJ Simpson case. So over the course of this year there have been a few times I wished Oprah was there to cover some of the biggest pop culture moments. Here are my top five moments where I missed Oprah.
5. With the exception of Dr. Phil, Suze Orman and Dr. Oz, Oprah’s famous creation was the Oprah Book Club. She covered classics like Dickens and modern best sellers like “Freedom”, but would the Oprah Book Club have covered “50 Shades of Grey”? The smutty best seller has been a talking point on every talk show and around every water cooler in the US. I would love to know see Oprah ask E.L. James about her knowledge of S&M. I would also love to hear Oprah’s take on Christian Grey.
4. Oprah’s Favorite Things was one of the annual traditions I looked forward to. There were some seasons during the 25 year run where I would only watch that one episode. While Oprah ended it on a high note giving everyone in the audience 2012 VW Beetles, I would love to have seen what Oprah would have served up this year. As I made my list this past Christmas and asked for face lotions, an iPad 2 and colored denim I couldn’t help but wonder, would Oprah approve? Maybe she could consider a Favorite Things Special for OWN?
3. Several things came back into style this year, but none bigger than boy bands. With One Direction on a path to global domination and the Wanted scoring a number one hit it is safe to say a new boy band age has begun. While the Wanted has scored an on air home with Ellen Degeneres, who gave them their first American television appearance, the boys in 1D have not done much TV. They did a “Today Show” concert and not much else. Oprah would have been a wonderful launch pad for One Direction, just as she was for the Spice Girls back in the day.
2. Oprah may be most well known for her splashy celebrity interviews and her affinity for giving people cars, but she also covered a lot of serious news items. The homophobia in Williamson and her live show the day of the OJ verdict are just a few that come to mind. But, this year when the news was rocked by Trayvon Martin’s shooting at the hands of a white security guard, I missed Oprah and her ability to shed light on these tough situations and unite her audience regardless of their skin color. While the news and press coverage at first was heavy, it thinned out overtime and no one seemed brave enough to ask the tough questions and speak up about this tragedy. Making the situation perfect for someone with Oprah’s tough but insightful on air persona.
1. “The Hunger Games” was released this spring and the stars of the film Jennifer Lawerence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth hit the ground running crisscrossing the globe in promotional duties. But, one place they couldn’t hit was Oprah’s couch. When the movie became the third biggest opening weekend of all time, and the stars became overnight A-listers, it would have been a natural fit that Oprah be their first megastar interviews. Just like she covered “Twilight”, “Harry Potter” and every other pop culture phenomenon Oprah would have been the perfect place to discuss Jennifer, Josh and Liam’s life after the games. Although, Josh and Oprah on one stage might be too much for my little flaming heart.