Rosie O’Donnell returned to “The View” on Friday (Feb. 7) for the first time since her controversial single season as a panelist from 2006-2007. The visit was billed as a big deal, but in all actuality, the reunion felt like more of a dud.
O’Donnell was welcomed to the couch at the start of the show’s second segment, where, after some enthusiastic hellos with the panel, she admitted, “It feels kinda weird … but good weird.”
For the first bit, O’Donnell spoke about heart awareness, her recent heart attack and life with wife Michelle and her five kids. As the show readied to go to commercial, host Barbara Walters said that O’Donnell would take part in some “hot topics” conversation when they returned.
“Are you sure you want to do them with me?” O’Donnell asked.
“No I’m not, but we’ll do them anyway,” Walters replied.
When the show returned from commercial break, O’Donnell was asked to comment on three of the week’s biggest stories: Woody Allen (“I firmly believe Dylan [Farrow] and I believe Mia [Farrow].”), Justin Bieber (“Here’s the thing. Fame is a tidal wave and it sweeps you away.”) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (“I think it’s time we stop shaming addicts…”).
It was nice to hear the former panelist offer her take on things again, but the entire thing felt lacking because never once was O’Donnell’s tumultuous history, including her famed arguments with former conservative panelist Elisabeth Hasselbeck and her unceremonious dismissal from the program, discussed in any detail.
Maybe O’Donnell and Walters felt the past was the past and didn’t want to unearth old drama, but it felt more like an avoidance of the strained relationship. At least O’Donnell got one good quip in before the “hot topics” segment: “Is Hasselbeck here? Just checking.”
What did you think of O’Donnell’s return to “The View”?