Ever since The Oprah Winfrey Show went off the air a little piece of me has been missing. Sure, most of my years as a fervent Oprah fan were during my really dark teens – she literally carried me through, as I know she did and continues to do for many, many people. If I were to get into how crazy an Oprah fan I was… let’s just say it rivals my Lange fandom. I made the connection (more than once), read every book club selection and clung – sometimes unsuccessfully so – to every suggestion like Meryl Streep clinging from a faux building ledge for an acceptable take in Postcards from the Edge. As I reached my twenties, my interest in all things Oprah waned, though I always kept tabs.
Iyanla Vanzant’s stunning new series on Oprah’s wobbly and inconsistent network, which sparkles with brilliance on occassion, as it does here, is “must watch tv”. I can be as skeptical as anyone else, and, believe you me, I picked apart each episode I’ve seen for forced tears and heavy-handed platitudes. There are none.
Vanzant is a powerhouse with a gift kin to Oprah’s, though cloaked in a completely different style. Never does she speak down to her guests and even when it feels like that’s precisely what she’s doing, not only are you convinced they had it coming, you feel you may have had it coming, too! Vanzant is fun, direct, funny, sincere, incisive, effervescent and, most importantly, effective.
What makes this show even more interesting is Vanzant’s own downfall from the pedestal of great fame and success. As she herself has admitted, she became arrogant and had quite the falling out with Oprah. Her marriage fell apart, she lost all her money and her career nearly ended. She has since risen from the ashes, rebuilt her career, mended her ties with Oprah, who has once again taken this gifted minister, in the fullest sense of the word, under her wing, providing her with a platform that rivals her own.
I’ve caught the first four episodes of this show and am already convinced it deserves the Emmy.
We’re living during a really marked shift in the world; a paradigm shift. Things are moving and changing in such new and exciting ways, and yet there still is so, so much to change about ourselves and society – especially medicine and government! – that it all seems so incredibly scary and daunting at times.
This is the perfect show for a society that is always on the go and always looking for something to fill our own private voids. Vanzant isn’t concerned with filling our void, though. She wants to know, as she asks a guest – “beloved” she refers to them – “what is your racket?” Maybe we’re not all prepared to answer, but watching others do so sure makes for some of the best reality television to date!
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I’ve heard about this show, i really want to see it.
This show gives me all kinds of life.
So, I’m on episode 7. Haven’t watched it yet, but – OMG, this show! Amazing. Episode 6 with the mother who couldn’t hack it in Nebraska was something else.
You guys have got to see this show. It deserves awards, I tell ya.