Ellen DeGeneres's talk show is no different than anything else that includes her name: Full of fans screaming their lungs out every time she says something, or makes a joke, or simply stares. All the fans (who are often invited to the stage during the show) come running from their seats, scream for about a minute, then catch their breath and have a "Oh my God, I can't believe! It's Ellen!" shouting period, then go on about how Ellen is great, because she's amazing. Ask them why Ellen is amazing, they say because she's great. And this vicious circle goes on and on.
The first thing you notice on this show is how limited the vocabulary is. Words like magnificent, wonderful, splendid, brilliant, gorgeous, stunning, excellent, charming, delightful etc. do not exist in the Ellen universe. All the guests, and all their work, whether it's movies or music or shows, are described as either "amazing" or "so good." You're more likely to hear "your show is so good. Sssoo gooood. Ssssssooo goooood" than something in the lines of "Your show is excellent."
Once I actually witnessed her saying to her guest, "You're amazing, you're just amazing, simply amazing. Your movie is really amazing and... (waits about 10 seconds here, trying to find the right words, and finally: ) ... it's just amazing." These five "amazing"s in a row prompted me to write this review. On the other hand, the audience doesn't seem to mind. In fact, they look like they would find it off-putting if she tried to use a more extensive vocabulary.
It's sad really, because in the rare instances where she breaks out of script and speaks as herself, Ellen can actually be funny. But the show is written exclusively to emphasize the "amazing because she's great, great because she's amazing" persona that she has built over the years, and that really brings the whole show down to an everlasting mediocrity.
This persona is something that could only work in our times: She gives away money and gifts in every episode, but only if she can make a huge deal out of it and remind it in the following episodes. She often invites nobodies as her guests, people who have become famous for nothing, and goes on about how amazing they are, expecting the same high praise in return. 5 minutes of the show is simply showing funny videos from the web. Another 5 minutes is often spent on some little kid who can do dance moves, whom Ellen noticed on the web and invited. Add these together, and more often than not, 10 minutes (that's 25 percent) of every episode is just fill-in stuff from the web.
Another few minutes of every episode is filled (or wasted, depending on your view) by Ellen promoting her merchandise and turning airtime into adspace for her personal shopping mall: We get to know about Ellen underwear, Ellen t-shirts, Ellen socks, Ellen mugs, Ellen water, Ellen bottles for Ellen water, Ellen cups for Ellen water, Ellen handkerchief for wiping your mouth after drinking Ellen water from Ellen cup... you get the idea. All this stuff is presented as if they are miracles of modern design and technology, while in fact they are the same stuff you see anywhere else, only with the name Ellen plastered on them.
What I personally find annoying, though, is the way she talks to her guests. She almost always repeats their answers, such as
Ellen: So what did you do with the prize money?
Guest: I gave it to charity.
Ellen: You gave it to charity.
And on and on, she keeps repeating almost all their answers, so the talks with the guests feel longer than they are, although in reality they speak even less than they would in another talk show. During games with audience members, she keeps interrupting whoever is speaking with a non-stop verbal barrage of "Yes. OK. All right. Yes. All right. OK." with no attention to what the other person is actually saying. And the worst is: if a guest or audience member says something truly funny and kind of steals the spotlight, so to speak, Ellen is visibly annoyed, and tries to interrupt in a hurry. Not a good sign for a host.
"A wasted chance" could be the best way to describe this show. She can be funny when she wants, and she does invite interesting people every once in a while, and the show is obviously quite costly, no expense is spared. Most importantly, Ellen is a very respected, beloved figure that could actually have an impact with her show, speak to people's intelligence, rather than their most basic "gimme stuff!" feelings. But this talk show has no appeal to anyone that's looking for interesting dialogue, or any kind of dialogue that contains more than 50 words.
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