"Rosie": Slow start, strong finish

The worst and best moments of Rosie O'Donnell's new show came at the beginning and end.

The worst, surprisingly, came with the opening monolog. O'Donnell, a smart stand-up comic, had hired joke-writers, but there was little evidence of them here. She had some mild remarks, then turned to questions from the audience -- never a good idea unless the whole thing is sharply edited -- and (belatedly) a witty song.

And the best came at the end. Her first mini-game show was quick and fun and let O'Donnell play off the contestants cleverly.

In between? This daily cable show -- see O'Donnell interview, two blogs ago -- had a zesty band, a shrill-and-grating announcer and a long chat with Russell Brand.

This wasn't quite the leisurely, in-depth interview that was promised. (Too many other things broke into the Brand time.) Still, it was an enjoyable chat between two intelligent and opinionated people. In its own, erratic way, "The Rosie Show" was kind of fun.