Thursday, November 12, 2009


Like her, love her, dislike her, hate her, don’t care…where do you fit in this array of emotions?

I can’t remember when I began to watch The Oprah Winfrey Show. It started in 1983, four years into my official career as a computer programmer, which means I was not a daily viewer. Maybe I discovered her on a “sick day” in one of the early years of her show. Whenever it was, she got my attention, and I've been watching on and off since.

The reactions to my acknowledgment of watching the show have varied. If “Oprah” comes up in a conversation, the people who don’t like her because of her media power and influence will typically make a quick, strong, negative statement and then change the subject.

The people who looovvvvveee her assume I looovvvvveee her too, will smile with delight, and immediately talk about one of Oprah’s most popular shows, or about her philanthropic deeds.

Others see the show once in a while and will discuss it freely, but I can tell there’s no lasting impression of Oprah or her show and that they don’t care if I watch it or not.

Some of my Christian friends (I’m a Christian, too) are disappointed to know I watch the show. When Oprah was promoting Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth, and leading the related online class; “Oooooooo” I needed a good tap on my hand for that! :) (By the way, I didn't watch or participate.)

Don’t know where I’m going with this, but it’s probably a little “soap box” about why I watch Oprah.

The simple answer is: I’m informed or entertained by many of her shows. If I’m home to turn on the TV and see a show that interests me, I watch; if not, I turn it off. I either agree with the content of the show, or I don’t.

A talk show and news junkie since Merv Griffin, Donahue, and the morning shows, I was a prime target for Oprah's show when she started. My interests have changed as I’ve matured, which coincides with my interest in particular Oprah shows. Books, make-overs, health, and give-away shows have been my favorites. While the latest “crime,” “abuse,” or “disaster” show saddens me, I usually watch. The celebrity shows - I can take or leave, and the “spiritual” shows don’t interest me at all. I pass on the “adult content” shows, too, because my kids are usually in and out of my office (the kitchen), the location of my TV viewing.

Lately, I haven’t watched because the show time is earlier, just when my older kids are coming home from school. I talk to them and usually forget to turn on the TV to see who she has on.

I’m familiar with Oprah’s statement: "Stay-at-home moms have the hardest job on the planet." She knows who’s watching. We make up much of her viewership and the shows are tailored towards us, so if we decide to watch, well…go for it.

I admire Oprah’s talent, her skill at entrepreneurship, and her giving spirit, and I wish her well.

Do you watch Oprah? Whether you do or not, how do you feel about her or her show? If you do watch, which type shows are your favorites?

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Judy said...

I am completely indifferent to her and most other celebrities, unless they are garden celebrities!

Anita said...

JUDY, Hey...HGTV, Saturday morning! :)

yonca said...

Oprah rocks! Love her :)
Two days ago Ellen was on her show. Lol, It was great! I love Ellen too.

Unknown said...

I used to watch Oprah but not anymore. I'm not sure where it started or how but I just lost my admiration for her. There are times when she tends to be fake, in my opinion, depending on what type of audience is in attendance.

Sharon said...

I enjoy some of the shows, but I think the power she has is dangerous. (As in the last presidential election). People just "follow" her without thinking on their own. She is now having Sarah Palin on her show after the fact, because she wouldn't do it before the election for fear people would think Oprah liked her. Very irresponsible in that case.

But, like you, sometimes her shows are informative and I like to watch. But most of her shows I just ignore.

Anita said...

YONCA, CHOCOLATE, SHARON, All different opinions. I hope to hear from others and that they are as honest as you all are, which includes my first responder, JUDY, too. Thank you.


Menopausal New Mom said...

Hi Anita, I have been watching Oprah on and off since that first show. Like you, I only watch what interests me, some celebrities if I'm a fan of theirs, I used to watch the tear-jerker ones but not so much anymore, too much of that on TV. I've never tuned in to her book club (no time to read), some human interest stories and some of the inspiring ones I watch. Overall, I don't watch nearly as much of her as I used to.
I really like her though, I believe she has done great things for the rights of women and children.

Tabor said...

I used to be a big Oprah fan and now I just watch on rare occasion. She is interesting, sometimes a little derivative, but always a nice person with a good soul. Yes, she has power, but so do a lot of other celebrities and politicians and we cannot fault them for that. We just need to analyze whether we agree or disagree with them. I think I have outgrown her because she is a little naive.

Tabor said...

By the way, thanks for coming by via Hillary.

Anita said...

I heard a blurb on TV that Oprah is thinking about doing her show on her own network. I suppose she is sensing that it is time for a change.
Thank you for your interesting comments.


andrea said...

I have never watched her---I'm not much into daytime TV. I do like that statement about stay-at-home moms though! I wish husbands and others could really understand that.

Kate said...

Hey Anita - nice to meet you. Thanks for becoming my newest follower. We don't really see Oprah over here - only very old re-runs. But what I've seen I've liked. She seems a verty inspirational woman. I was reading your profile - iot must be nice to have older kids - I'm still mired in nappies, at least with the youngest. But already I can see how things will change - my eldest is 6 and I'm enjoying it!! I thought I'd be sad at losing my babies but I can see the benefits ahead.

Stephanie said...

I watch..when I have the time. I like that she try's to cover update subjects and acknowledges teachers and Mommy's are hard working people!

My Aimless Infatuation said...

I have always loved Oprah,I must. You wouldn't believe how many people have told me we favor and I agree(yes,I know I'm white). I would just love to have her smarts. Have a great weekend.

Anita said...

ANDREA, I'm just the opposite, I hardly watch night time TV (maybe you don't either). I catch some of The Wheel and Jeopardy some nights because it's clean up the kitchen time and I watch in the kitchen, but afterwards, I have a hard time sitting to watch TV, so I don't.

MODERN MOM, Yes, she does have guests on that talk about the latest issues, and I usally tune in to those shows, too.

AIMLESS, somehow, I believe you! :)You should post side-by-side pictures.

KATE, Just when you think you can't change another diaper or push another stroller, you'll get relief because you'll be out of that phase and into another. It's funny how we long for a baby and enjoy the duties, but eventually tire of it. Then it's some enjoyment, then hardship for each stage. :) But, most of us wouldn't have it any other way.



Abby said...

I'm pretty indifferent to Oprah. Years ago, her shows may have interested me a little, but I never really got on the bandwagon. I often find her guests/topics rather shallow actually.

I'd gladly have her over for Thanksgiving, though.

Annie Z said...

I mostly enjoy watching Oprah, when I do happen to watch her. Which is very rarely. And even if I am home during the day, I rarely think of turning on the TV. I used to watch more of her in years gone by but these days... maybe twice this year! TV viewing is not big on my list of things to do these days!

Bernie said...

I used to watch her a lot for a while but now I hardly ever get to it. When I did watch her, I enjoyed it when she would have an author on of a good book or sometimes when she had an very interesting guest

I shall try hard to watch her on Monday when Sarah Palin is on simply because I don't think much of Mrs. Palin as of now and maybe I will find something more to like if I watch.

I like her style shows and make over shows too. I have been introduced to wonderful books thru her show which I think is the most valuable thing I have derived from it. "Simple Abundance" by Sarah Breathnach is perhaps the best example of this.

Joanne said...

I've kind of gone in cycles with Oprah. Sometimes I'll just turn the television on now to check out her topic, but lately more often than not, I don't watch.

Anita said...

ABBY, I'd have her over for Thanksgiving too. She's welcome to bring Stedman, Gayle, and the dogs, too. :)

NEWMUM, I'm hearing that a lot - I wonder if her audience/demographics is changing?
Good to hear from you!

BERNIE, Seems like we like some of the same things about her show. I've read a lot of books that were promoted on her show by authors, too. And the make-overs are sort of just mindless entertainment and I like to see happy people.
I'll probably watch Sarah Palin too.

JOANNE, welcome to my blog and thanks for adding your thoughts! I will visit yours a little later today. Right now,I'm on the run. :)


Midlife Mom said...

I go way back to the Merv Griffin Show and Donahue too. I used to watch Oprah more but now just occasionally if I am getting dinner ready, if it is something that interests me. I admire her for what she has done with her life but I think her religious views have gone a bit to the left. Just my opinion. I do think she is a caring person and has done a lot to help many people.

Anita said...

MIDLIFE MOM, I agree - she is definitely a success story and she's a caring person.
As for her religious views, I haven't figured that out - but tha's okayy because i just stick with my own. :)
Good to hear from you!


Hilary said...

I like her well enough. She's often on in the background while I work from home (or blog) ;) I do prefer the lighter fare during daytime though. Ellen is a favourite for that.

Anita said...

HILARY, that's often the case for me too - TV as a background. I can tune it out, but then hear a certain word or phrase, or see a particular scene, and tune back in an instant.
Thanks for telling us your thoughts. :)


Cindy said...

I'm a take her or leave her viewer. I check to see what the topic is (because I'm also a news/information junkie) and decide if it's worth my time to watch it or not. I don't relate to her "theology" because I'm not even sure what she believes any seems to depend on what pop guru she happens to be interviewing.

Anita said...

LETTERS FROM MIDLIFE, yes her "theology" has confused me over the years, too, but I have learned to shrug it off and respect her right to chart her own course.
Like you, I take from each show (that I decide to watch) whatever I'd like to know or see.

Thanks for adding your opinion!