Thursday, January 15, 2009

Take A Little Time to Enjoy the View

This past Monday, I attended a taping of "The View". As I stated before, anything exciting that happens to me that I post in my personal diary blog "The Big Jump" will be posted here. So, I present to you: Mel's Trip to the View! :) It's not really "music" related, but it was a fun experience nonetheless.

I had a trying day yesterday (Monday).

I woke up at 6AM, took three Subway trains, and stood in the frigid cold for about two hours in the standby line to get in to see "The View'. If you are unfamiliar with the show, it's a morning talk show hosted by five women of "opposing" viewpoints, who interview celebrities and generally cater to a female audience of about age 27-40. The show is hosted by Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sherri Shephard and Elizabeth Hasselbeck.

For the most part, the majority of the panel is very liberal, while Hasselbeck is the standalone cheese who supported George Bush. Shepard somewhat walks the line in terms of her politics, however she was a vocal supporter of Barack Obama. However, not to fault Elizabeth (because deep down, I do like her), she does seem very open to Obama's upcoming presidency.

I've been a fan of this show for a long time, but usually don't have the time to watch it live. My favorite parts of the show are not the spotlight segements on how to fix your life or the interviews with celebs, but the initial portion -- the "hot topics" portion. This is the part of the show when the five hosts talk about breaking issues, and present their view on the subjects. It often turns into a lot of talking over each other, or even an occasional yelling match. That's just good TV.

I've been wanting to get on the show for a long time, and the last time I was in NYC before moving here was back in May. My friends and I tried for the show, and almost got on through standby, but were snubbed. We ended up getting on Regis and Kelly the following day, which featured the likes of Kristin Davis ("Charlotte" of "Sex and the City" fame) and David Archuleta. I got to shake Regis' hand, and Kelly was two feet in front of me. It was a great experience.

This time at "The View" was also fun. After taking a minute to find the studio (I'd been there once before, you think I'd remember), I took my place in the small standby line. By that time it was about 7AM and very, very cold. The only people in front of me were a talkative, sweet couple from Indiana. It helped to pass the time by talking to them, and they were very fun to talk to. A truck pulled up at 8AM offering free hot chocolate and donuts, which helped a little bit with the cold, but not much.

At 8:15AM, two interns for the show came out and handed us standby fliers, to certify the fact that I was #3 on the wait list. Then, we had to come back around 9:30 to see if we got in. So this couple offered if I wanted to come with them to walk around inside someplace to warm up. We walked back up to Lincoln Center and attempted to get in to the Barnes & Noble, only to find it opens at 9AM and it was 8:25. So we walked another few blocks up to sit in a Starbucks for an hour. The Starbucks was across from the studio for "Regis & Kelly", where we met another couple, this time from Texas, who were waiting in standby for Regis. They walked over shortly after we got there, and we saw them get in, so we took it as a good omen for ourselves.

At 9:20, we began to walk back to the studio, and it felt even colder than when we walked in to Starbucks. Luckily for us, the interns came out rather quickkly at 9:40 and told us we'd all get in. In fact, everyone who waited in standby got in. Which made me a grumble a bit, as I could have gotten there later and still gotten in without waiting in the cold for as long or getting up as early. As I had suspected, because today was a "Hot Topics" day, in which all of the segements dealt with human interest issues and had no big celebrity on, it was somewhat easy to get in to.

So we waited inside the big ABC building, and watched with giddy overtired happiness as several soap stars walked by to their jobs. I couldn't tell you any of their names, but we all knew they were on the shows. Haha.

We had to wait in line just inside the building for what felt like forever. That waiting was made worse by two young men behind us, who must have been from the Boston area judging by their accent, who were vociferously infuriating. Why two young men who looked to be about 17 wanted to go see "The View" is beyond me, but whatever floats your boat.

Finally, at 10:35, we began moving toward the elevators. About ten minutes later, we were inside the surprisingly small studio. All television sets are much smaller than they appear on television, as are its actors. Here's me in my self-taken shot of the studio.

We were all given a small package of Keebler cookies and a bottle of Pomegranate juice to drink during the hour long taping, a luxury not given at "Regis & Kelly". The audience here was larger as well, about 200 strong.

There was a warmup comic who was funny at first, but got irritating as the hour wore on. There was a dance competition to warm up the crowd and get everyone clapping, then they formally announced the guests, which included Ann Coulter, a very conservative political "analyst" who I find about as enjoyable to listen to as hearing a fork scrape across a plate. Also on the show was Thom Felicia, the interior decorator "gay" of the "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" fame. Both were on to promote their new books. To better explain my feelings, I present to you, the comic genius of Kathy Griffin:

Then, the show started. I stomped and screamed and clapped as the ladies came out. They launched into the first part of their "hot topics" segement, which included Elizabeth talking about visiting with George Bush at the White House with her former football star husband and their two children. She lamented how her youngest toddler left Cheerios in just about every room in the White House. Below is the ladies. From left to right: Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sherri Shephard, Elizabeth Hasselbeck & Barbara Walters.

During the commercial break, the ladies said hello to the audience, and welcomed us all in. She thanked us in standby for waiting so long in the cold, and Barbara called us "her favorite". Elizabeth came into the crowd to shoot their "Coming Up On the View" commercal bit, and after that was done, she continued her story to us about her son. She seems very approachable, and very sweet. And tiny.

There was another "Hot Topics" segement, as they began to introduce Ann Coulter. Barbara read an excerpt from her book "Guilty", and they discussed how judgemental it was.

The next segement, Ann Coulter came out, and was very quiet. You can see her in the above pic, the blonde in the purple in between Sherri and Elizabeth. The segment came up, and no one could really get a word out edgewise. I was hoping the ladies would put this nutjob in her place and I wasn't disappointed, as they did in a rather polite way I felt that was more than Coulter deserved. Coulter ranted about how single mothers bred bad people and how liberals play the victim to get attention in their careers. As a product of a single mother, I was deeply hurt, and was glad that Whoopi came to my aid. Even Elizabeth, the resident conservative, scolded her.

When Barbara read another excerpt, Ann told her to not to read it in a bad way like she did the first time, to which Sherri Shephard told her to watch who she was talking to. You can't really hear on the actual show, but that got a big whooping standing ovation in the audience, as did when Ann walked off with not so much as an acknowledgement to the audience following the segement. Here is the segement as presented on TV:

Another short segement was taped, and then during the break, Whoopi came down to answer questions from the crowd. A young women commended her for standing up to her on the subject of single mothers. Whoopi commented that, "Sh*tty people are sh*tty people. There are sh*tty Republicans and sh*tty Democrats, and there are good Republicans and good Democrats too. It's not your political affiliation that makes you sh*tty. It's not like someone who's going to mug you comes up to you and is like, "I'm doing this because I'm a Democrat and I need attention.""

After this, Thom Felicia came out to do a segement in which they did a makeover of several of the rooms backstage. During the break following this, Barbara came into the audience to answer questions, and became a bit flustered when talk returned to Ann Coulter. Sherri came up behind her and hugged her, stating, "She needed to recognize who she was talking to and stop being so judgemental and disrespectful." And can I just tell you -- Sherri's legs are fierce! Just saying!

They taped the outro and again poked a bit of fun at Ann Coulter. After that, they all thanked us for coming, and left. Sherri came into the audience and shook a bunch of hands, including mine. As we filed out row by row, we were given Ann Coulter's book that caused all the controversy, "Guilty", for free, and several people didn't take it (but I did -- I figured I can't dismiss her until I read her perspective, because if I didn't, it'd make me as bad as her). We went down the elevators, and recieved another gift basket, of a green grocery bag, containing Thom Felicia's new book, and an assortment of Kimberly-Clarke paper products, including paper towels, toliet paper, feminine products, lotion, tissues, etc. Random indeed. But free stuff is free stuff.

I then had to slep all of this, plus my purse, (and it was heavy) back to the Subway and take a train to go to Times Square, meet with my friend Heather for lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, and after that went directly back to my residence (another two trains). I set everything down, put everything away and turned on the TV, laying down on my bed, exhausted. It was only 3:30PM but every muscle in my body ached, not just from carrying that stuff around, but the pain of standing in the bitter cold for so long. My shoulders ached the most of all. I was so exhausted, I fell asleep while attemping to watch a rerun "John & Kate Plus 8" and didn't wake up for two hours.


bee said...

Oh, you like watching Jon And Kate Plus 8? Lol! I love that too! Alexis is my favorite...she's crazy... and unique somehow -_-"


John said...

Crazy experience! I read about that interview...she's a nut job. Did you know that Thom's from Syracuse, too? I actually class pictures back at my mom's of him in my first grade class!

Mel said...

beE - Lol, yeah it's growing on me. It's good mindless TV. I think I like the little boy with the glasses the best. Aiden?

John - For real? He's from Syr too? Wow. I feel so famous! Haha! That's so crazy about the yearbook pictures! You should post them someday! A friend of mine from college's great aunt was friends with Carson's mother and cousin used to hang out with him all the time at horseback riding lessons. And she was from Greenville, a bit south of Albany. Funny that both of them are from Upstate NY.

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