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I Adore Rosie O'Donnell (Updated)

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 5, 2006

Rosie's 10 minutes or so into her debut on ''The View'' and a show I have recently considered unwatchable has instantly become something that I might start DVR'ing.

She's energized the show. She also, in the opening of it, pretty much dominated it -- steering the dialogue, playing to the viewing audience and seemingly having a splendid time. Barbara Walters looked shrunken and ancient next to her (and the reference to never reading a blog didn't help). Joy Behar seemed nervous. Only Elisabeth Hasselbeck looked as if she was at ease.

I had forgotten how much I missed Rosie in her talk-show day. Of course, the talk show near the end wasn't what it was in the beginning. This is more like Rosie when she was new to talk -- bracing, refreshing, nice when the occasion warranted but tough when she thought that was right.

All right, they're into the chatting thing -- Andre Agassi, Steve Irwin, ''Hollywoodland'' -- and it's back to that disjointed, stream-of-consciousness banter that can make me crazy. (A clip of Irwin ran while they were in a long digression about ''Hollywoodland''). But even this is entertaining enough, so much that I'm dawdling when I should be heading to the office.

And did Tom Cruise really send the flowers?

Later, after watching the second half of the show: Well, I saw pretty much everything I needed to in the first half, since the second was eaten up by Jessica Simpson ''singing'' (with all this talk about her throat problems, I suspected the vocal was prerecorded) and a long taped segment with Rosie. It was handy for her, since it covered a lot of topics without her having to discuss them in the show's regular segments (although she had already brought up the hair issue). Still, it might have been more exciting to see her covering that ground in conversation with Joy, Elisabeth and Granny Clampett -- I mean Barbara.

I did like that she went right to the John Mayer question with Jessica; Rosie has long had that knack for asking what regular people want to know. On the other hand, shouldn't someone have said, ''Gee, who fed all this 'source' stuff to People? Anyone you know? Anyone interested in getting more publicity for your new CD? Hmmmmm?''

And I might have asked her about her seeming discomfort at the VMAs. But I am, let's see, 2,550,677th on the list of people who might someday get to guest-host ''The View.'' No, wait. I am the 2,550,677th MAN on that list. There's a separate list consisting of every English-speaking female on the planet.

Still, I liked Rosie. I liked the vigor she brought to the show. And I may indeed be back.

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