One paragraph reviews on art, movies, books, and pop culture by a know-nothing who knows it all

Friday, September 30, 2005

Once Smitten, Now Spittin'

At one point, watching "Charlie Rose" was a highlight of my day. Now, I watch only when I really want to see one of his guests and do so with clenched teeth and fists. Charlie recently "interviewed" writer Zadie Smith about her book, "On Beauty." When he wasn't half-flirting with her, he asked about the men in her life: her no-name husband, her aging father, etc. God forbid he might talk in depth about her book. He ended the interview by pronouncing, "I am smitten with you!" I wonder if he would have said the same thing to Jonathan Franzen or Michael Chabon.
Ever since C.R. started moonlighting at "60 Minutes II," the quality of the interviews and guests has sunk. Too many times he features actors who want to promote some dud (remember George Clooney in "Intolerable Cruelty" or Ethan Hawke in "Precinct 13"? Didn't think so). When he does have stellar guests, he either does most of the talking (poor Norman Mailer had to fight just to say, "Yes, Charlie.") or tosses off lame-o questions to befuddled guests ("What are your obsessions?!" he asked Catherine Denueve. "Gardening," she answered plainly. I don't think that was the answer he was looking for.) I wish I could feel the same way toward Charlie as he does toward Zadie Smith.