Last night marked the first episode of CNN’s new 8 p.m. hour, Parker Spitzer, and everyone was a critic. Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker were too fast. The show was too long. There wasn’t enough time for questions. Their table was too small. Ms. Parker looks like she’s having bowel trouble (well, of course after all the 5-Hour Energy). They were congenial but unconnected. Ms. Parker seemed like she was babysitting. Mr. Spitzer seemed like he had his own agenda.
If anything should be said after the first night, it’s that Parker Spitzer will make good fodder for commentary. Last night after Jon Stewart was finished eulogizing Rick Sanchez’s career, he cut to a clip of the Parker Spitzer promo. “Johnny hungry!” he screamed.
Here’s a roundup of some of the best reactions to night one of Parker Spitzer.
David Hinckley: On their debut show, Spitzer and Parker came off as slightly stiff pros who don’t yet quite know how to talk to each other. Spitzer in particular tended to jump into everyone else’s sentences, which was annoying, though not fatal. It takes any show awhile to find its rhythm. (Daily News)
Dan Kennedy: The programme – an hour-long talk show – presented a paradox that could only be explained by one of Einstein’s equations about the time-space continuum. The segments between commercials were over in a flash, hurtling by so quickly that the guests barely had a chance to get in a few words. Yet, taken as a whole, Parker Spitzer felt like it was never going to end. (Guardian)
Steve Krakauer: Spitzer and Parker are both compelling television personalities, and with that foundation the show has a great chance to ultimately succeed. But one major area of concern is the taped nature of the show. None of it is live, which matches Bill O’Reilly but no other cable news prime time show. While O’Reilly is pre-taped, it doesn’t feel edited. Several time throughout Parker Spitzer, jump cuts are clear in the middle of interviews — it’s a jarring news viewing experience. Also, the program suffers from the new CNN theory of naming (and essentially branding) every segment. John King, USA does this too, and it hasn’t worked there. Why can’t an interview with Henry Blodget just be an interview with Henry Blodget? The content can stand on its own. (Mediaite)
Alessandra Stanley: But while the co-hosts worked hard to give off a loosey-goosey feel, the levity seemed a little forced. There wasn’t strong disagreement between the two anchors, perhaps because they didn’t address the same topics in the segment called “Opening Argument.” … Mr. Spitzer tried to engage Ms. Parker at times, usually to override a point, but mostly they spoke on congenial but unconnected tracks. Mr. Spitzer is a CNN anchor on a mission, and there’s not room for two in his climb to redemption. (The New York Times)
James Poniewozik: CNN is devoted to the idea that Spitzer is a potential star and yet — his public-image liabilities being what they are — can’t put him in an environment where he is what he is, which is prosecutorial. You get the feeling he might be better suited to a show on his own, as would Parker, who so far is being treated less like a cohost and more like a chaperone. (Time)
Foster Kamer: This is the 8PM News Show for Kids With ADD. At this pace, it’ll make great background noise, but it’s not engaging if you don’t want to be watching. (Village Voice)
Tony Ortega: Getting a preview of Parker-Spitzer on CNN right now: Spitzer talks, Parker wears a look like she is suppressing serious intestinal trouble. (Village Voice)