A review: Barbara Walters' final Oscar special: 'I'm kind of sick of it'

Barbara Walters wrapped up 29 years of pre-Oscar specials with new interviews with nominees Sandra Bullock and Mo’Nique and a batch of clips from her greatest-hits.

Mo’Nique spoke about her open marriage, which Walters seemed a bit dubious about. Worse, at least to judge from the host’s reaction, was this: “You do not believe in shaving your legs. Why?” Barbara glanced down at Mo’Nique’s gams, barely (so to speak) able to disguise her appalled opinion of this decision.

As far as the big stars were concerned, Walters and her co-producer Bill Geddie  edited things down to banal one- or two-liners.

Neil Diamond: “Lots of people like my songs.”

Denzel Washington: “At the risk of sounding egotistical, I expected to get nominated.”

She dubbed Warren Beatty her worst interviewee, but nothing she showed proved it. (It takes just a bit of research to find out that Beatty was a monosyllabic control-freak with her, and wanted to do things such as adjust the lighting on the set. As if he’s the first star to try and take command an interview.)

Walters’ questions were as banal as the answers she received. “Do you know that you’re beautiful?” she asked of Michelle Pfeiffer. (The answer: “Sometimes.”)

And as Walters never tires of telling her audience on The View, one of her proudest moments was when Hugh Jackman gave her a lap-dance. This night, she said to us, “After a lap-dance from Hugh Jackman, what was there left to prove?”

Sandra Bullock provided the sole bits of freshness. She spoke intriguingly about her marriage to Jesse James, and of her late mother, who was “petrifeied that [I] would be normal… She would say, ‘Please be original.”

What did Walters become most famous for, over all these years of tedious celebrity pandering? You wouldn’t know it from this special. It took Bullock to say, “Didn’t you ask me what kind of tree I wanted to be?”

“No, that was someone else,” Walters said, waving the question away. That’s one problem with Walters: no sense of humor.

Walters seemed to feel that we wanted to know why she was quitting these fatuous displays. “I’m kind of sick of it,” she said.

Barbara, I don’t think anyone’s going to argue with you.

Did you watch?


Comments (97 total) Add your comment
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  • Linda

    Didn’t watch. Barbara lost any respect I had for her after seeing her almost every day on The View. Time to retire Babs!

    • dee dee

      Totally agree; she is so out of touch and full of herself

    • Pat

      But at least she’s not as bad as Elisabeth Hasselbeck. I don’t expect Babs to be in touch at her age. She’s over 70 yrs old, I’m glad she’s still coherent. Lizzy is half that age and she’s totally out of touch, not to mention a babbling idiot!

      • A Babbling Idiot

        I resent the comparison to Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

      • Bravo

        Oh Babbling Idiot, it’s people like you who make people like me laugh that make these comment boards so fun! And EliSabeth is so grating.

      • Nancy

        Now tell me what you really think. LOL I totally agree. I can’t watch the View with Hasselback on. She ruins it for me.

    • KimR

      Ditto!

  • Annie

    I did watch but these things are very dry. I don’t enjoy her interviewing style.

  • Momo

    Thank you, Ken. My thoughts exactly, i can barely stand her anymore. Now where’s that Spartacus review?

  • Stephen

    Couldnt watch it…. Cablevision carrier.. was looking forward to the special though.. Even though it is banal, and Walters is 80 years old, it really is almost like tradition to see her before the Oscars every year… I wonder who is poised to take it over…

    • Blair

      I believe BabaWawa is, at least, 83. Way back when, she wasn’t lying about her age.

  • JCity

    I wish she’d give up 10 Most Fascinating People too.

  • Teena

    Didn’t watch, but I don’t buy it. She and her ego don’t seem the type to “be sick of it”.

    • Kathleen

      I agree. The ratings were probably very low. I watched part way and it was awful. I can’t stand her any more she is so full of herself for what? Catering to a bunch of celebrities that are so narcissistic, phony and overpaid and asking stupid questions as if anyone cares or is interested.

      • wakeforce

        HA! the ratings were UP compared to last year! Obviously, some people were interested!

    • nointrospec

      I’m so sick of BW that I haven’t watched this corny tired show since I was a teenager. And, trust me, that was a loooong time ago. Glad she grabbed a clue and now maybe something interesting can be added to Oscar night. Jimmy Kimmel, anyone?

  • Kendis

    Agree with the article. Babara is out of touch with today’s movie stars when it comes to interviews. She had her time in the spotlight. I didnt realize she is 80 years old. Her skin is flawless….LOL

    • Kathleen

      It should be after all her “procedures.” Why doesn’t she answer the same questions about herself that she asks others?

      Can’t wait for her to end “The View.”

  • Alicia

    WE’RE KINDA SICK OF YOU DOING IT, BABS!!

    • Big Dave

      Nobody forced you to watch, you know.

  • Rose

    I would have watched it but ABC and Cablevision wouldn’t let me!

  • jenn

    She really has no sense of humor.

  • Sally in Chicago

    Say this about her: Whoever her plastic surgeon is, he’s worth whatever she’s paying.

    • shelbycheri

      HAHAHA! Agreed. I can’t believe that woman is 80. That’s the only nice thing I can say about Barbara Walters though because she is so annoying!

    • matt

      Really?? I thought she looked like a chipmunk or a Muppet last night. It was kind of unnerving!

  • shelbycheri

    The best thing about when Barbara is on The View is watching her and Whoopi barely disguise their mutual contempt for one another. Whoopi ftw.

  • Kate

    She is 80 years old, why not retire? She has more money that she will ever need for the rest of her life.

  • Nat

    Ugh, her specials are painful to watch now. They’re edited so much, there’s barely any interview left. Kind of like her Most Fascinating People segment every year…terrible stuff.
    I respect her, but its time for her to move on.

  • Mike J

    The best moment was Sandy asking her what tree she would be. Babs was surprisingly prickly. I was howling in laughter. Sandra Bullock is the queen of Hollywood and a interviewing guru. I have never seen Babs so uncomfortable.

    • Tomm

      Kate Hepburn started the whole ‘tree’ Urban Legand.

      Check facts, here is how it went and was shown on a clips special.

      Kate: “..I feel like an old tree”
      Baba: “what kind of tree?”

      No way did BW say out of the blue “If you were a tree, what…?”~!!

      • Berrie

        Yes, you’re right, but do you see how that’s a terrible question? Here’s Kate Hepburn, explaining she feels like ‘an old tree.’ Wow. What does she mean by that? Wise? Strong? Tired? Dying? And Babs sticks in there with – what kind of a tree? Hunh? Who cares what kind of a tree!! FFS. That’s why the question was mocked. Of course, years later, Kate said she thought it was a great question. So Babs won in the end.

    • Amy Davis

      What was it that BW said and was bleeped out?? and SB said something like “Well that puts me in my place” or something…

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