NBC's Megyn Kelly says she's 'done with politics' on debut

Ryan Seacrest Boosting'Live Ratings

Ryan Seacrest Boosting'Live Ratings

Megyn Kelly says she's done with talking politics "for now", but she's still facing controversy on her new "Today" show. Here's a look back at some.

As a CNN reporter wrote,"Kelly is working awfully hard at being herself", in her Today show makeover.

For starters, she'll be doing the show in front of a live audience at 30 Rock each morning. Kelly gave viewers a rundown of her upbringing as she pointed out her grinning mom in the audience, shared a story about her relationship with her late father and accepted a bouquet of red roses from her husband, who emerged from the audience to greet Kelly with a kiss onstage.

But what has happened with Megyn Kelly makes some of the transformations of Madonna or Lady Gaga's seem rather tame by comparison.

The problem is that Kelly, for all her forced bonhomie, is more chilly than chill.

"Settle for More" seemed to be a side of Kelly the host meant to lean into elsewhere during her program, which featured some of the very people mentioned in her New York Times bestseller.

Conditions Growing Dire in Hurricane-Hit Puerto Rico
Residents walk around a roadblock caused by a mudslide in Hayales de Coama, Puerto Rico , on September 24, 2017 . A local doctor plans to deliver medical supplies Tuesday to the hurricane-ravaged island of Puerto Rico .

In the aforementioned taped segment, which was followed by a welcoming toast from the "Today" crew, Kelly asked Kathie Lee Gifford for the secret to success in daytime.

After interviewing the four chiefs, Kelly said stories like that are why she wants to do the NBC morning talk show.

During the launch episode she announced that the show would avoid politics entirely (although it'll include some news coverage). Her monologue came most vividly alive when she described her own ambition - her longtime dream of hosting "a more uplifting show". Yet whatever her interests and concerns about psychic health, it's at best questionable to introduce a show that so consciously seeks to create space between itself and serious news at a moment when there's such an abundance of it.

Before Kelly interviewed the police chiefs, she had a segment interviewing the cast from the hit drama "This Is Us" in a taped section. Nor will they find her attempt to be the combination of Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres (wrapped in the package of a pretty, straight, white woman) appealing.

This whole thing just feels like trying to take an NBA All-Star center and, in middle age, turn them into a Kentucky Derby winning jockey.

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