There are those who love Oprah (the woman, the show, the book club, the “live your best life” motto), and there are those who don’t.
Somehow, I convinced two friends from the latter camp to spend Sunday watching OWN, Winfrey’s new network, with me. All day long.
As we wrapped up the seventh hour, my couch companions were begging for an end to the marathon. We’d watched adopted adults tracking down their birth parents, wealthy children “kidnapping” an overworked dad to teach him about family time, and producers becoming nauseated from behind-the-scenes stress during The Oprah Winfrey Show‘s last season. Jay-Z delivered a monologue accompanied by stock footage of New York housing projects and an uber-dramatic soundtrack. The last straw for them was a way-too-realistic — way-too-realistic — poop animation, followed by Dr. Oz’s expert advice on fiber consumption and “toilet training” oneself to avoid constipation.
“I’ve lost my will to live. Not just my best life, but any life!” my friend Gina moaned. Lindsey, ever pragmatic and famously squeamish, lost patience with the obese, vegetable-shunning family confronting their frightening cholesterol numbers on Ask Oprah’s All Stars (“Ugh, stop with the dieting. Just eat less!”).
Meanwhile, at the other end of the sofa, I was game for another couple of hours of OWN. I’m not an obsessive fan — I don’t squeal and hop around at home during the “favorite things” giveaway — but I’m decidedly Oprah-y (nosy about the dramas of other people’s lives, a maker of vision boards, a purveyor of pop psychology, a fan of docudramas). And, after all, a teaser had just promised that Dr. Phil would bark more commonsense advice to troubled guests in the next segment. And Diane Sawyer was about to come on! How could I turn away?