Last week, I kept calling it the Television Event of the Year. And, well, that wasn’t an exaggeration, was it? Now that we’ve finally seen Oprah’s two-hour special with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it was clear from the very first block that it would live up to the description – and it just didn’t stop. Never mind stopping, I don’t even know where to start. In this space though, how about a quick note on Oprah. Because when I posted about it on Friday, ahead of the interview that Oprah had already apparently called the best she’d ever done, I wrote about how this would be a showcase of Oprah’s skills, and that it would be her work that would draw out the information we want and need. She came through with the follow-up questions. And there have been times in the past when I’ve thought that Oprah doesn’t push for follow-up enough. With Meghan and Harry though, Oprah was pulling every thread she could. So many threads, evidently, that they couldn’t fit it all into two hours, which was already extended from the originally planned 90 minutes – and now they have to talk about it some more on CBS This Morning. None of that happens without Oprah’s masterful command of the situation, all her skills on display. Think about it, the whole special could have been… “Kate made me cry…and we’re having a girl!” and it would have been enough to satisfy the “exclusive” quotient and given everyone enough to talk about.
I mean, we got that, but we got so much MORE that “Kate made me cry” became an afterthought within five minutes and the fact that Harry and Meghan are expecting a girl is, like, headline number five. Seriously, we are going to be unpacking this for a long, long time. (In addition to the content on the site today, Duana and I are recording the podcast tonight and we’re going to try to get this episode posted tomorrow, with a Show Your Work angle to the Television Event of the Year.)
But first, caps off and big ups to Oprah for doing the work. She was as prepared as she’s ever been, as sharp as she’s ever been, as curious as she’s ever been, so now that we know, now that we’ve seen what she’s called her “best interview” ever, she seems to have been right about that too. I wrote on Friday wondering “what will be the significance of Sunday night? After Sunday, will we start talking about the time before Sunday and the time after?” For Oprah to consider it her “best interview”, by her standards, could it be something that results in a fundamental, tectonic shift? What I meant by that is: how will history look back on these two hours? We don’t know, because we’re still in it, and I’d like to live it in the moment, but I wonder, some day, when we look back, what will be the significance of Oprah’s special? What will – or won’t – be the direct lines and consequences we can draw from whatever happens back to Oprah presiding over this moment?
Yours in gossip,