Review: ‘Oprah: Behind the Scenes’

Watch out, Baba Wawa! Here comes Oprah Winfrey.

Watch out, Baba Wawa! Here comes Oprah Winfrey.

Launched into prime time with this hourlong special, the denizen of daytime dirt and details has decided to drop in on a few of the biggies, namely Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn and Michael Bolton; but don’t look for any dirt under the fingernails here.

Instead, “Behind the Scenes” is the kind of tame and often tedious stuff of which Walters has made a mini-career.

No, we don’t learn what kind of tree these superstars would like to be, but Winfrey–usually not so gun-shy–goes so far as to ask Meryl and Goldie why they “think they came to this planet?”

Her interview with Streep and Hawn, done on the set of “Death Becomes Her,” is the kind of giggling encounter that bounces around such lofty subjects as motherhood and going to the market when you’re a superstar.

Bolton, with his blond locks flowing, gives a little more of himself as he talks about the rough road leading to stardom. With Oprah watching backstage, we see the singer in action while on tour, both onstage and off- with his three daughters, and the result is a fairly sincere and credible interview.

Yet Winfrey quickly dons the kid gloves again for her talk with Hoffman, visiting him on the set of “Hero.” We find out that Hoffman was insecure in school, that he was a class clown and that he’s soon to be 55–not prize-winning , or really very interesting, stuff. For all the tenacity and wit that has made her daytime show a powerhouse, Winfrey doesn’t generate the same kind of humor and observation here. Instead, “Behind the Scenes” gives very little real behind-the-scenes kind of scrutiny. It’s mostly just fluff.

Oprah: Behind the Scenes

(Tuesday (19), 10-11 p.m., ABC-TV)


Exec produced by Debra Di Maio. Supervising producer, Oprah Winfrey; producer , director, Lloyd Kramer; coordinating producer, Wendy S. Roth.


Camera, Alex Zakrzewski; editor, Jon Vesey; audio, John Duvall; sound, Pam Bartella; lighting , Corey Bibb, Michael Katz.


Host: Oprah Winfrey.
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