Drew Barrymore roared like a screaming comet into the talk show universe Monday morning with The Drew Barrymore Show, which aired live in New York, where it’s taped. Wow. Wow! More like a speedball than a shot of espresso, The Drew Barrymore Show’s energy was certainly boundless, if somewhat alarming.
The Drew Barrymore Show or Drew, for short, is merely the latest in a long line of celeb cracks at the daytime format. It seems to aim to straddle the fence between A-list interviews (Reese Witherspoon, Billy Porter, Gabrielle Union, and Charlize Theron are all set to gab with her this week) and uplifting human interest spotlighting average civilians. So, imagine Ellen...but hosted by an actual nice person, and frantically at that.
Drew’s premiere kicked off with a sketch that found Barrymore hollering (sometimes into a megaphone), “MONDAYS!,” with an Oprah-discusses-bread level of enthusiasm. During Barrymore’s ensuing monologue, she howled, “It’s Monday! My favorite day! ‘Cause we’re here to rebrand Mondays! Boy did they get the short end of the deal.” A noble cause with which I wish her luck. “We love Mondays around here because after obsessing over the weekend over all the things you need to do, I say MONDAYS is the day to get ‘er done and look ahead to all the great things that you can do this week!” she continued before unleashing a sigh and letting us know, “My heart’s beating.” Not two minutes in and already a wild ride.
Barrymore indeed seemed to be going for Oprah but landed somewhere closer to Tyra: the enthusiasm was massive, the veracity was questionable, the performance was distracting. She shifted gears in the next paragraph of her monologue to reintroduce herself, remind us that she is exactly who we think she is, and suggest that she’s so much more. With the impassioned face of a celebrity raising funds on a telethon, Barrymore said emphatically that, “I’m also someone who is learning all the time, and I’m so excited to figure out this thing called life with you!” Wait, that’s what we’re doing here? Then she started shouting that, “We’re gonna learn! Laugh! Cry! Cook! Heal! ALL OF IT!” Well, paint that on a piece of wood and hang it in your country kitchen. “And I’m committed to putting all aspects of life into this show every day,” she continued. It’s only an hourlong show?
Barrymore sounded slightly choked up when she thanked “everyone else” in her personal life for watching, as well as mentioning her two daughters. And then she cut to an intro of a segment called Drew’s News, which featured her pointing a microphone at a golden retriever and bumbling around Manhattan in an overcoat.
It’s a lot. It’s so much. She’s so much. Barrymore pointed out her nervous excitement a few times, not that she had to. While her amount of effort was never not apparent and always admirable, as a source of energy if nothing else, you have to wonder if she can keep up this frantic pace. Other segments included interviews with a guy who runs a food pantry in South Jersey, a family of essential workers who have been working throughout the pandemic (the Copenings), and a reunion with her Charlie’s Angels co-stars Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz.
Except Diaz wasn’t actually there, a reveal made well into the the interview:
Barrymore got choked up again when talking to Liu and Diaz. “I’m gonna be thinking tonight in my bed, wondering how I got so lucky to, like, live a life with you guys,” she said. At the end of the interview, she told the cameras, “We’re gonna celebrate a lot of things on this show and friendship is certainly one of them. We’ll be right back.” Can’t wait for all tomorrow’s parties!