I'm very surprised to read the only comments posted about this show are quite negative. I guess I'm not the typical target audience of the show: I'm a male New Yorker in my late 30s. I spent part of the summer of '04 in Ireland, and I really enjoyed getting a chance to sample the local programming, and this show was actually one of my favorites. It's sort of the British version of our "The View," which I don't particularly like.
(On "The View," the ladies are constantly trying to outshout each other; they fawn over some guests like giddy high school girls; and last year Star Jones went so overboard talking about her upcoming wedding you'd think she was the first person to ever get married.)
BUT, we're talking about "Loose Women" here, and I found it to be almost completely opposite of "The View." The main host kept things on track and helped the panel stay focused. She and her cohosts were witty, opinionated, and intelligent (mostly -- a slightly ditsy blonde showed up for a few of the episodes I caught). Even though a lot of the current events they were talking about were unfamiliar to me, they put an interesting spin on it all -- so it felt a little bit like eavesdropping on a smart group of ladies sitting at the next table in a foreign restaurant.
While the women did talk a bit about their personal lives, Ms. Jones and company could learn something about how to keep that in perspective. The format of the show (looking more "newsy" than not, with the ladies sitting at a traditional-style news desk, rather than in a faux living room) lends itself more to keeping things semi-professional.
Overall, I felt like I got an interesting glimpse at how a specific group of women felt about their lives, national current events, and the culture they live in. Maybe if I'd been watching for longer than a month, I would have gotten tired of it, but as it was I didn't, and I plan to tune in again next time I'm able. I wish an American cable system would pick this up -- or at least that highlights could be presented on DVD here. (Oxygen or Lifetime would get a much- needed does of international flavor -- replacing just an hour or two of exploitive content, like "Bliss" with this.)
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