- Too Damned Handsome to Be Good at His Job?
Variety's Andrew Wallenstein identifies the problem in his headline: Ronan Farrow: Awesome on Twitter, Awful on Television.
[H]e’s awesome on Twitter. That may sound trivial, but to think otherwise is naive. There are plenty of policy wonks out there with resumes that can fill a phone book, but very few of them boast a built-in audience on the strength of their online personality....It’s an interesting test case in the tricky translation to a different platform of a star best known in social media. The logic behind making such a conversion seems as sound as it is simple: Bringing over someone with a powerful direct connection to 238,000 followers gives a TV show a running start in the ratings. But somewhere on the way to TV, Farrow’s appeal got lost.
Wallenstein wonders if Farrow—with his Sinatra head and bottomless blue eyes—is "just too damned handsome" for cable news before tossing that theory in the direction of the garbage can where it belongs.
But being too telegenic isn’t really the problem here. In his opening weeks on the air, Farrow has seemed tentative and ill at ease, prone to stumbling on his words. More to the point, he just doesn’t resemble the guy who is so dazzling on social media. But concluding that the kind of personality that succeeds on Twitter is just a totally different animal than the type conducive to good TV would be wrong. Because it’s actually MSNBC that needs to fall on its sword for failing Farrow; the network put him in a format that doesn’t capture the essence of his Twitter persona.
Wallenstein's proposed solution: Dump the attempted journalism and let his star shine:
[G]ive him the kind of forum that makes people like Keith Olbermann or Bill O’Reilly famous, in which the questioner and commentator are essentially the same person; those they interview are really just furniture. It’s here where Farrow could have employed the wit and opinion he puts to such good use on Twitter, but is totally muffled in his current vehicle.
As for me, I'm kind of grossed out by everyone who's ever come in or out of Mia Farrow.
(And lest anyone accuse me of denigrating alleged abuse survivors, let me remind all that Dylan Farrow was adopted.)