‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ is a cure for the pandemic blues

Drew Barrymore on the set of her show.
(Ben Watts)

‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ focuses on positivity, friendship and fun


With much of the arts moving to online and streaming platforms, here’s a look at a weekly standout:

My pick: “The Drew Barrymore Show”

Why: Not since the days of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” have I faithfully watched a daytime talk show.

For all of the 1990s “Oprah” was there for me when I got home from school — comforting me with inspiration when I had a bad day, indulging my pop culture obsessions with celebrity and author interviews, and introducing me to perspectives from communities outside my own.

The show was cancelled in 2011 and I never found a replacement ... until one morning I happened to catch an episode of “The Drew Barrymore Show.”

Now, Barrymore’s show is nothing like Winfrey’s — Barrymore follows a format more like “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” or other celebrity-driven programs. But something about it fills me with the same sort of comfort as my “Oprah” days.

Actress and talk show host Drew Barrymore.
(Ben Watts)

Maybe it’s because the actress is over-the-top friendly, and after a year like 2020, spending time with someone so seemingly nice is a salve we can all use. Maybe it’s that she’s a lifelong familiar presence thanks to movies like “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Irreconcilable Differences,” “Never Been Kissed” and “The Wedding Singer.”

(Also, I ran into her twice in real life — at a PJ Harvey concert in L.A. and at game four of the 2004 Red Sox/Cardinals World Series in St. Louis — so in my head it’s like she’s my friend, hanging out with me via the television.)

“The Drew Barrymore Show” is a mix of celebrity interviews (mostly done via Zoom), cooking trends, style tips and celebrity gossip. She also spotlights small business owners, many from the BIPOC community. Because of her I’ve: tried pasta made from chickpeas (deceptively delicious); bought a lip balm infused with hydrocortisone (very healing); and tried eye yoga (kinda weird).

Since finding her show, I now force myself to take a lunch break to catch up on recorded episodes — something that I know is good for my mental and physical health, thanks to her interview with Dr. Oz (like “Oprah!”).

Find it: “The Drew Barrymore Show” airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on KSWB.