This Quirky Talk Show Scored 19% on Rotten Tomatoes—and It’s the Best Thing I’ve Seen All Year
Tiger King, The Queen’s Gambit, Princess Diana’s debut on The Crown—all highly buzzed-about shows, sure, but it’s time they watched the throne. There’s a new series worthy of being crowned most binge-watchable: The Drew Barrymore Show. Yes, as in the show Saturday Night Live skewered, that’s been called “absurdist theater” and “a master class in emotional whiplash,” and that currently has a 19 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That alone may get you to watch it, just to see what happens, but when you do, you’ll be hooked. You might even become the type of person who—stay open-minded here—actually tunes in to watch a TV show each morning. Here’s why I’ve become a convert.
1. It Holds A Mirror Up to Your Inner Josie Grossie
The whole concept behind The Drew Barrymore Show is acknowledging what’s going on in the world—and seeking out the silver lining. There are celebrity interviews, craft segments, home makeovers, all with a spin toward the positive. And it seems like Barrymore’s unbridled enthusiasm is what bothers people the most. She doesn’t just introduce a guest; she gushes about each one. If she’s complimented—like when soccer star Megan Rapinoe’s mom said she’s a fan of the show—she’ll leap out of her chair and do a happy dance.
One of the complaints I’ve heard is that she’s trying too hard to be likable, but honestly, I’d argue the opposite. She’s the antithesis of Gone Girl’s “Cool Girl” trope, where you’re never really impressed by anything and will do whatever you can to make it seem like you can hang.
Barrymore’s willing to be goofy and vulnerable, just like her Never Been Kissed character, Josie “Grossie” Gellar. Does it always work out in her favor? No. In fact, she recently portrayed Josie Grossie in a segment on “Drew’s News,” where she runs headlines “Weekend Update”-style, and admittedly, it felt like a nostalgia-soaked, after-school special. But she’s willing to be her whole self, and in the process, gives you permission to do the same.
2. It’s Simultaneously Relatable and Unrelatable
We’re all walking contradictions, and this show embraces that. Barrymore’s a mom of two, and we can connect with her parenting struggles one second, and then the next, she’s sharing a photo of that time she handed Princess Di a stuffed E.T. at the movie’s world premiere back in 1982. That marriage of the mundane and the marvelous makes the show fascinating. Drew doesn’t try to pretend that her childhood was just like most Americans’. Even if many of her experiences aren’t relatable, they’re real—delivered with honesty and self-awareness. And there’s a certain juicy appeal to getting an inside look at what really went on in her Hollywood life.
3. Her Segments Are All Over the Place
One minute she’s making zucchini lasagna, the next she’s starring in a sketch with Adam Sandler about what 50 First Dates would be like in 2020. Then she’s helping a fan redesign her entryway for less than $30. It’s hard to keep up, but in a year that’s coined terms like “Blursday,” where everything feels the same, that variety keeps things interesting.
4. Her Rants Might Just Be the Best Part
While making a birdhouse with Naturally, Danny Seo Editor-in-Chief Danny Seo, Barrymore erupts: “What bird is fitting in there? Why are birdhouse holes so small? Does the bird become liquid when it goes through these? Because I don’t get it. And it’s every birdhouse. The openings are literally the size of a quarter.” She’s not wrong. They are really small, and to Seo’s point, maybe they’re all designed for very small birds, but still. Why did that design become the universal standard? We need answers, birdhouse manufacturers of America!
I get that there are many, many more important things to worry about in the world, but on a micro level, she’s simply asking: Why do we have to accept things as they are? If we can’t find a good answer to our ‘why,’ why not try to craft one? That’s not so absurd to me.