Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly made her debut Monday as a morning-TV host, declaring that she's "kind of done with politics for now" and instead focusing on more lighthearted fare, reports Variety. (See video here.) Kelly is hosting the 9am slot of the Today show on NBC, and Monday's show included the cast of the rebooted Will & Grace and a feature on a nun fighting gun violence in Chicago. So how did show No. 1 go? A sampling of reviews:
- Warm and fuzzy: Episode No. 1 "felt like something of a coming-out party for the new, warmer Kelly," writes Jeremy Barr at the Hollywood Reporter. Especially when her husband emerged to give her flowers. Kelly also spoke emotionally about the death of her father when she was a teenager, notes People.
- Better balance? At USA Today, Kelly Lawler writes that the episode was a "bit awkward" as Kelly, who displayed "some stiffness" at times, transitioned into her new role. "There's a difference between choosing to focus on lifestyle and entertainment over political news, and ignoring the fact that politics exist in everyday issues," she writes. "Megyn Kelly Today would do well to strike a better balance."
- Questionable strategy: Brian Lowry at CNN also found the debut a little awkward. He cautions that it's too early to draw conclusions, but writes that it seems NBC landed Kelly without a clear sense of how to make use of her talents. What's more, "it's at best questionable to introduce a show that so consciously seeks to create space between itself and serious news at a moment when there's such an abundance of it."
- Harsh take: At the Washington Post, Hank Steuver delivers a particularly negative review. "The debut was like watching a network try to assemble its own Bride of Frankenstein, using parts of Ellen DeGeneres, Kelly Ripa and whatever else it can find," he writes. Kelly "moved stiffly" and "interviewed people nervously and so awkwardly that they were cowed into giving monosyllabic answers. She also never missed an opportunity to talk about herself." Ouch.
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