I’ve never seen an entire episode of “The View.” I’ve seen short clips online, but I’ve never had much interest in shows where people debate current events and argue. One thing I do love, though, are inside stories of just about anything, so I picked up Ladies Who Punch. While I enjoyed reading this, it confirmed my suspicions that I would absolutely hate this show.
Ladies Who Punch is a comprehensive look at how “The View” began in the 90s, and the ways it has both shaped current events in the U.S. and been shaped by them. It’s broken into three parts, based on the three women who were the most high-profile cast members at different points during its run: Barbara Walters, Rosie O’Donnell, and Whoopi Goldberg. Ramin Setoodeh conducted interviews with cast and crew, many of whom held nothing back.
There’s really no one who comes out looking good, other than maybe Joy Behar and Meredith Vieira. Whoopi Goldberg doesn’t get pummeled quite as badly as some of the others, but it’s clear that Star Jones, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Barbara Walters, and Rosie O’Donnell weren’t especially beloved by their coworkers. Star comes off as entitled, Elisabeth as unlikable, Barbara as needy and full of herself, and Rosie as just plain unstable. The backstage story is fascinating, in a sort of “celebrities: they’re nothing like us!” kind of way. I loved reading about all the interpersonal drama, but I think I would hate watching it unfold in real time on television. For fans of “The View,” however, this seems like a must-read.