Over the weekend Kathy Griffin announced that she will be leaving E! Fashion Police. Kathy gave it a great effort and she was the best possible replacement for the show if it wanted to continue as close to the original as possible. She eluded to the fact that it wasn’t a good fit and the show was more scripted and formulaic than she had expected. She also mentioned that it she had trouble criticizing people based purely on appearance. While at first you might scoff at this, it holds weight the more you examine it. Griffin is known for her sharp critiques of pop culture but if you really pay attention she only goes after people for their actions not their appearance. Her jokes are about a pampered pop star’s diva demands or a right-wing politician’s infamous past. She never makes fun of someone for being fat or having an ugly dress. Due to this we could tell she never felt completely comfortable. While she knows celebrities she’s never been a fashion lover. The reason why Joan Rivers was such a good host was because she was outrageously funny while also having a genuine love of fashion. Beyond the jokes I don’t think Kathy ever really cared about the clothes. I respect her for bowing out gracefully early before she got too entrenched in things.
With Griffin out, along with Kelly Osbourne, it’s time to overhaul the whole show and shake off some of the memories of the past. If I were in charge, here is what I’d do:
- Demote Giuliana Rancic. She doesn’t have to be totally fired but she needs to be removed from the regular show. Maybe she could be a sort of field reporter and have a short segment from time to time. They need to start fresh and Rancic will always be a reminder of the Joan Ranger years. Getting her off the set will force the change the show needs.
- Hire Stacy London. Fashion Police need a cast with a little bit more fashion cred. London has a strong upbeat personality and her years of fashion and TV experience fit well with the job. (I still love What Not to Wear reruns) While she doesn’t have to be the official host, London would be great as the leader and top chair similar to Whoopi Goldberg’s role on the View.
- Keep Brad Goreski. As I said before, no one was more surprised than me by how much I liked Brad. He’s genuinely funny and has the fashion background to support his opinions.
- Don’t hire Khloe Kardashian. While the show needs someone with a younger perspective KK is not the answer. E! is already 90% Kardashian as it is.
- Hire a solid supporting player. London and Goreski will provide plenty of comedic relief so the show will need someone who is comfortable taking a backseat. They need a person who has a lot of fashion expertise even if they are a little unknown, a Randy Jackson type if you will. In American Idol’s early years Randy Jackson was a good supporting player to Paula and Simon’s constant antics. He never tried to steal a spotlight but instead was the “industry” insider that added a bit of credibility to the show.
- Melissa Rivers needs to come back. Melissa already executive produces the show and she needs to come back out in front of the camera. Fans of the show already feel comfortable with her so she will help ease the transition without feeling like they are trying to replace Joan.
- Make it a weekly show again. When Kathy Griffin took over FP it was only on after award shows. Making it a weekly show again will help the cast and views get used to a routine again. Having shows so sporadically prevents everyone from getting into a groove.
- Choose fashion over funny. While we don’t want a ultra serious dissection of weekly outfits, try to create an atmosphere that puts fashion first and comedy second. Have panelists with quality opinions that may or may not make you laugh.