Oh, Oprah! I thought The Great One might not feature her annual Favorite Things episode this year, as she cancelled it in 2009 because of the struggling economy. But surprise! Oprah couldn't resist playing Santa on her show one final time, so last Friday she aired Part 1 the swan song special edition of her traditional gift extravaganza, and Part 2 airs today. Two hours, two audiences, thousands and thousands of dollars in gifts. I guess according to the Oprah Index, the economy is healed!
If you've never seen a Oprah's Favorite Things episode you have missed out on a fascinating phenomena that takes the juicy intersection of Oprah's influence and holiday consumer greed and stuffs it into television's biggest T-shirt cannon. Oprah reveals item after item -- diamond watch! shoes! camera! -- and the crowd goes wild, because each and every audience member receives each and every Oprah-kissed gift.
If you missed the episode, Huffington Post has a photo gallery of The Favorite Things from Part 1 to peruse, but more importantly you must watch the crowd reaction videos. Again and again. The annual revival at the Church of O is something to see.
So for the Part 1 episode, audience members were selected because they give back to their communities, and they thought that charitable service was the topic. Exciting enough to be in the audience of ANY Oprah taping, right? Oprah began the show in a black dress, and asked if anyone in the audience meditated. Then she pulled a stripper-velcro move on her dress and heralded in the hour-long meditation on Things You Didn't Know You Wanted Until Right Now.
Oprah doesn't disappoint.
Except, of course, if you are a fan watching from home. Or if you are a non-fan hearing about it later. Typically the stages of grief go like this:
1. Denial. Those people didn't really get all that stuff, did they? Every one of them got a cruise? Really? And I've never been to see Oprah or been on a cruise or made a panini in my house, and they get all of it? Really, ALL those things?
2. Anger. Why not me? This isn't fair! What the hell? I give to my community. Why don't I ever get cashmere throws and panini presses and stuff? All I got was a TB shot so that I could work in the homeless shelter -- the shelter who really could put thousands of dollars to better service than loads of $55 dollar candles given to hundreds of people. Who buys $55 candles? Well apparently Oprah does. Hrrmph. What's wrong with a votive in a paper bag luminary, hmm? And she gave out a DIET BOOK as a holiday gift? What kind of mother-in-law passive-aggression is that, to give out a diet book and macaroni-and cheese and a panini press and a lasagne pan on the same day? Oh, Oprah, this is whacked! I don't want any of these favorite things!
3. Bargaining. Well, I want a few of her Favorite Things, actually, I do. I admit it. Surely some of the people are going to put some of that stuff on eBay, right? Or those companies are going to have other giveaways on blogs or whatnot to continue to celebrate their Favorite Things status. Maybe I can set up a Google Alert for a Williams-Sonoma Panini Press Giveaway and win one of my own. I don't really want the shampoo or those ugly ballerina flats, I don't need everything! Even the watch, I don't wear a watch! Maybe just the panini press and, wow, that 52-inch TV would be nice. Just the panini press, the TV and the cruise, that's all I would need!
4. Depression. Sigh. I want all of it. It's true. I want all of it, even the things I don't want. Even the things I already have, like the Netflix membership and the annoying-to-clean brownie pan. I want them again, because they are from HER. I want to wear the drawstring pants and Oprah t-shirt while spending my Kiva giftcard on charities Oprah would like. I want to get my ears re-pierced to wear Oprah earrings which I would hear gently tinkle as I gaze at the horizon Titanic-style from the bow of my Oprah cruise ship. But I'm not getting any of those things, am I? Not. Even. One. Oprah, why have you forsaken me?
5. Acceptance. Oh, well. Good for them. I guess I could buy my own panini press if I really want one, but truthfully the cast iron makes delicious grilled cheese sandwiches. Oh, Oprah! I'm going to go watch that video again. I love that blonde guy, he's just precious.
Did you watch Part 1 or 2? Have you processed your grief yet? Just know that you are not alone and it's going to be okay. These bloggers weighed in:
- The Tumblr "Faces of the Last Season of Oprah" is full of awesome screenshots.
- Nordette of Whose Shoes Are These Anyway wonders where the recipients put all of their loot?
- Kim at Embracing the Least of Things prefers charitable giving to Oprah's extravaganza.
- Wendi Aarons shares some of her own favorite things. Like beer coozies.
Contributing Editor Deb Rox didn't realize how poignant it is to be saying goodbye to Oprah for an entire year. Why is it you don't know what you've got until it's almost gone to a different television station?
More from entertainment