Home > Vulture News > What Has Julie Chen And ‘The Talk’ Done To Molly Shannon? And Why Is ‘The Talk’ Still On The Air?

What Has Julie Chen And ‘The Talk’ Done To Molly Shannon? And Why Is ‘The Talk’ Still On The Air?

Ex-Roseanne star Sara Gilbert was about to safely enter the “Where Are They Now” zone, where her former TV siblings Alicia Goranson and Michael Fishman currently reside. Then, in 2010, like a gift from the muse, she thought of an idea for a show. It would feature strong women sitting around a coffee table chatting about the day’s events. Actually, Barbara Walters thought of it back in 1997 and called it The View. The only original twist that Gilbert added was a different name: The Talk, same syllables, different letters.

The Talk debuted last October on CBS with decent ratings and featured a who’s who of former Celebrity Apprentices, including Holly Robinson-Peete, Sharon Osbourne, Leah Remini, Gilbert and, as the Walters-esque, “Your Highness” character, Julie Chen, plucked right from her news desk at CBS This Morning. Before long, however, it started to seem more like Chen’s show. She was the breakout “star” so to speak. This was not because the public had fallen in love with her like they had with Rosie O’Donnell back in 1996. No, it’s because she’s married to Les Moonves, president of CBS. That means she can do whatever the hell she wants to do.

In the following clip, Chen pats herself on the back for her emotional reaction to 9/11 during a discussion with the other girls. Of course, she’s the only one equipped with a pre-edited video segment starring herself to back her up:

When rumors of a clash between Chen and the other girls surfaced, it was no surprise that for season number 2, voilà, there would be cast changes (goodbye Peete and Remini!). Hell hath no fury like a Chen scorned. When Molly Shannon was announced as one of the temporary replacements, it seemed like a good choice on their part. By including one of the funniest comedic actresses in Hollywood in their lineup, The Talk had nowhere to go but up. Well, not exactly. Something about Chen’s glare just totally neuters and destroys Shannon’s timing. In the following clip, she can hardly get though a story before throwing in her forfeit towel:

And in this clip, even doing the simplest of promotions for her new children’s book while Chen’s sitting near her proves to be too much for Shannon:

The Talk managed to turn a once-vivacious and funny Shannon into a whimpering, stuttering, nervous wreck of her former self. The SNL alum even managed to get jeers from TV Guide. I don’t think that the problem is Shannon, though. I don’t even think the problem is Chen, who has a certain shameless spite that I can respect. The problem is that the lineup has no chemistry, the format is stale, and this stale format is being executed better (if that’s the right word for it) by the original The Talk, The View.

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