TV Review: ‘The Queen Latifah Show’

The Queen Latifah Show Review

Syndicated vehicle needs more direction than just the Queen's Q Scores

Nobody in syndication has filled Oprah Winfrey’s shoes, and “The Queen Latifah Show” doesn’t seem interested in trying. Rather, the multifaceted star looks content to walk several miles in Ellen DeGeneres’ loafers, positioning this as light (bordering on empty) chat and a safe haven for celebrities. Still, the premiere highlighted a challenge most generalists face in the talk space, which is unless they discover some mild journalistic chops, the shows can feel awfully flat. Latifah is clearly a winning personality, but it’s going to take more than that to make this series run years on end, as she forecast at the close of her debut.

“Everything I’ve done has led me to this moment,” Latifah enthused near the beginning, later — in the midst of a John Travolta interview — gushing, “I get to do this every day!”

But in truth, very little about rap, acting or any of her other sundry activities approximate the requirements of carrying a talkshow five days a week, and without a specific shtick — a la those daytime doctors, Phil and Oz — it takes a lot to fill all those hours. Comedians tend to fare best — they’re at least well schooled at riffing with an audience — but even they have to possess skills associated with broadcasting.

The producers sought to front-load the premiere (no surprise there), from an opening musical number to a pretaped segment in which Latifah surprised a deserving inner-city school teacher and his class. To that extent, the show did establish a pleasant, feel-good vibe, but without delivering any real incentive to return other than one’s level of admiration for the host.

Granted, there’s a lot to like (the Queen probably has great Q scores), and in crass demographic terms, her ability to cross over to various audiences — and potentially do a cooking or diet segment without making average-sized women roll their eyes — explains why Sony and the producers would bet on her appeal. (Said producers include Will Smith, whose daughter, Willow, sang “Summer Fling” on the premiere.)

Even so, there was such a winging-it sense to the Travolta segment — so you have kids, it’s so great you’re here, etc. — it doesn’t bode especially well for those days when the bookers can’t line up an A-list star.

Having secured plum timeslots on CBS stations in key cities, “Queen Latifah” has as good a shot as anybody to survive the fall’s syndication derby, which has already seen Arsenio Hall get off to a solid start.

Unless the show finds more direction, though, Latifah’s syndicated sojourn could wind up being just another one of those fall flings — and her “moment” shorter than she imagined.

TV Review: 'The Queen Latifah Show'

(Series; Syndicated, Mon. Sept. 16)


Produced by Flavor Unit and Overbrook Entertainment and distributed by Sony Pictures Television.


Executive producers, Corin Nelson, Diana Owens, Shakim Compere, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Will Smith, James Lassiter, Miguel Melendez; co-executive producer, Todd Yasui; supervising producers, Jack Mori, Catherine McKenzie, David Harte, Sierra Lindsey. 60 MIN.


Host: Queen Latifah

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  1. Roni says:

    I really like Queen Latifah as a person and I was excited to see her new show. My opinion – and I do not mean to be disrespectful – is that she goes overboard in “gushing” over her guests. It’s nice to be complimentary, but again, she goes to the extreme. It seems she is taking some of Ellen’s ideas with requesting the public to send in funny videos, playing games with the audience and the guests and I find this very boring. I can’t say that I’ve seen a lot of “A” list guests. Some shows I watch in entirety and others I “fast forward” because I just don’t find a guest and/or a segment interesting. I wish her success on her new show, but come up with some different ideas. The presentation of a tiara andf flowers yesterday to an audience member – I think she was voted most enthusiastic- was silly. I guess this is suppose to pump up more audience members. Really, who wants a tiara and flowers? I’ve been to talk shows (i.e. Oprah, Windy City Chicago) and the show’s staff pumps the audience up to jump up and down, clap forever, etc. so while we are excited to see the shows, all the audience reaction is not “natural”. I will watch periodically for a few more times, but I sense I won’t be a regular viewer unless there are some improvements.

  2. Amy says:

    Do people really watch her?, this show is complete trash. The queen is fake and not funny.

  3. Carol Jefferson says:

    Greetings Queen Latifah,
    I have followed your career from a bold young rapper to the Silver Screen to a Sultry Jazz singer. We do need someone to pick up the Baton after “Sarah” and “Ella” have gone on to sing Jazz in heaven by now the world knows you are a “Perfect Fit” My children for the last 12 years have told me mom you look like an older Queen Latifah, of course I said “older” in jest. I have acting experience and would love to play your mom in a film of yours with an available part meanwhile I would just settle for some tickets to come see your show, what is the procedure to getting tickets. Oh I did not find the site to win the phone must have been an oversite. You have such a compassionate heart Queen, Love your show and keep up the good work. Peace and continued Blessings
    Carol Jefferson

  4. Safia Alrawi says:

    I always want to meet u. I was part of make a wish and I got my wish to meet the cast of you again. I was really happy when I saw Jamie lee Curtis. Have a good show this year. Friends from Facebook for a long time.

  5. Queen, Congratulations on your show.
    The show is great.Please give us some political stuff and current events. I think then you would be on and popping. So far great guest, great causes.Queen indeed i love everything about you,rapper,singer
    actor,talk show host and everything else in your bio. Queen i want to see you live on reign daytime talk
    show.The set is awesome.
    Long live the QUEEN.
    Carolyn Hayes

  6. Lucretia miller says:

    Queen keep up the good work u will never be forgotten

  7. Valerie Donelson says:

    I’m sitting in my living room in tears. That group that you had on your show, the singing group from Chicago. I Love your show and love your purpose!!! Amazing!!!!

  8. Michelle Moore says:

    I love the queen show ….I would love for me and my four best friends attend her show….we are finicial unable to visit but she’s one my favorite people even no talk show host ever comes to Raleigh NC our little country city but we still love the queen will and jada

  9. Sam says:

    It’s reassuring to see a woman behave in a calm, mature way – talking without the hand gestures that make women look like they’re guiding in small aircraft, with a vocabulary in which good things are something besides “amazing”, with the knowledge that the fight for the rights of women to use graphic words and swear words was fought and won 40 years ago. I like this show, and I am going to stay with it.

  10. Martina says:

    Have to tell you, I live in Canada and I worked from home one day and saw the show with Will Smith. I think it was great and I love the way you present yourself…You are a real woman… Keep up the good work as I now record your show for future viewing..GOOD JOB GIRL!!

  11. alice says:

    Love her !!!!!

  12. chris valverde says:

    I enjoy show.bring some current trends. Ordinary everyday people

  13. Marquita says:

    Queen I’m Marquita N Honey let Me tell u…..I adore u To the fullest I’ve always been A Fan Of Urs, Ur My insperational I Luv u Queen oh Yeah tell Mom HBD,Ur Show Was Bomb Keep Em Coming.

  14. Aletha Johnson says:

    tried to sign up to win phone,but couldn’t find web site Queen Latifah! love your show just the same

  15. art gomez says:

    tryed to win,,,no where did i see how to win,,,QUEEN YOUR THE BEST,,,,

  16. Betty young says:

    Queen Latifah show is great it’s funny the show will make you laugh,cry i’ll be watching everyday…keep up the great work.

  17. rocknitat55 says:

    I love the show. I felt it was uplifing and I tuned in for a second day.
    I also like steve harvey but I choose Queen.
    I am 58, a professional. Sometimes its good to just get away and just feel good, laugh. I also love Ellen for that.
    People can watch cnn, fox, msncb for formative news and discussions.
    I am glad she’s here and I hope its for a long time!

  18. Jazz says:

    Thank you for this review. I watched the entire show and cannot believe that others reviewed the show well. Vacuuous and fawning and self-congratulatory. Simply a waste of time. How the ratings did not fall off after the first 30 minutes is beyond me. It took everything in my power to keep it on.

  19. Hi queen l i love y and your show i would like to try to win a phone in your sweepstakes entering that y gave away on your show this week i wish y the best of luck with many more years to come and guess what my name is the same as yours its elaine denise owens and im from wichita falls texas luv y 9406131766

  20. oniel Austin says:

    Morning my queen,i love your show it shot mi woulda dum if mi no talk,we Jamaicans love u girl,the show tone up,my queen can i ask u for one of those phones please and thanks,love always,,kisses

  21. Janice Watson says:

    I am obsessed with Queen shoes on today Tuesday, September 17, show, cab you please tell me who is the designer. I LOVE it.

  22. Rashida Cruz says:

    I want to thank Flava Unit and Overbrook Entertainment for orchestrating And producing The Queen Latifah Show! It is inspiring, refreshing and entertaining!
    Rashida Cruz

  23. Queen I know you dont know me but I have to meet with you.please Queen after coming out of class tonight. I couldnt wait to see your show. Ive actually recorded it. There is so much love and gratitude that I get from your show. I would like to know if we could meet. Its regarding this Masters Program that Im in. I would like to get some professional opinions from you.I have followed you all of your career.Even if its coming to your studio.

    I thank you if you can and I understand how busy you are and might just cant make it.

    My name is Frankie V. Baylor, I could be reached at 773 664 5122. Thanks for taking the time to listen.

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