"The View" looked very different as it returned for a new season on Monday, but some things don't change, like Rosie O'Donnell making controversial comments about the news.
The ABC show had to do a lot of different things when it came back. It had to introduce a new set and three new co-hosts (O'Donnell, Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace), get them to discuss some Hot Topics, test out the chemistry, maybe throw in a celebrity or two. On this first day, not everything worked. There was a feeling that not everyone had completely figured out their roles—especially O'Donnell, who sometimes seemed to take on a co-moderator role with Whoopi Goldberg before pulling back. The hosts definitely looked like they needed more time to get comfortable with each other.
But "The View" brought O'Donnell back for a reason. She is eminently watchable and she says things that make you sit up. The moment where Monday's show truly seemed to come alive was when she weighed in on the ongoing Ray Rice scandal:
What's interesting to me is that we, as a country, support football. They've had studies that show it's life-threatening to every player. They have traumatic brain injuries. They're taking steroids, which really changes their judgment. They're encouraged and paid to be violent. Same with fighters, with boxers. It would be wonderful if they were able to separate the violence of their job with the violence in their life, but I don't think that's how human brains work. And believe me I don't excuse any violence towards anyone, but I do understand how a guy who knocks people over and pushes them down for a living and gets cheered might do that in his private life, even though it's wrong.
Rosie Perez, a boxing fan, disagreed with O'Donnell, pointing out that Nelson Mandela was a boxer and he was very peaceful. (He was also an advocate of armed struggle for decades, but that detail got lost in the discussion.)
Time will tell if the new "View" can survive the multitude of changes it's made, but it's a good bet that O'Donnell will stay interesting no matter what.