Alessandra Stanley Misses Katie Couric’s Clickety Heels

Alessandra StanleyPhoto Illustration: Everett Bogue;
Photos: Getty Images

The Times has had some great moments in cattiness: Caryn James takedown of Angelina Jolie (“While visiting orphans in Africa; did she think viewers wouldn’t spot her cat’s-eye makeup and heavily glossed lips?”); Maureen Dowd’s Hillzilla column; in fact, most of Maureen Dowd’s columns about women. But Alessandra Stanley’s 2005 categorization of Katie Couric’s Today show persona as a “downright scary” is one of the greats. “America’s girl next door has morphed into the mercurial diva down the hall,” Stanley wrote. “At the first sound of her peremptory voice and clickety stiletto heels, people dart behind doors and douse the lights.” But like a woman that loves a man even though he treats her bad, two years on, Stanley is still missing the frisson, the danger, the excitement brought by La Couric. “Changes on Today have smoothed out some of the more interesting quirks,” she writes in her column about the pastel dullness of lady-friendly TV shows like Today and The View. “Ms. Vieira, who replaced Katie Couric more than a year ago, is pleasant but bland, and not forceful enough to dim the ascendance of Ms. Curry, who was passed over for the top co-host job but seems determined to play the role anyway.” Aha! We think we see the healing beginning. Could Anne Curry be the television dominatrix Alessandra needs to hurt her so good?

Morning TV Veers From News to Frills [NYT]
Previously: ’Today’ Seeks Yesterday’s Glory [NYT]