“Now, before I start making more enemies and burning more bridges, I just want to thank my good friend whom we all miss, Joan Rivers,” Kathy Griffin opened Monday night’s return of Fashion Police saying. “Of course. So Joan, I know you’re watching from heaven. But don’t get it twisted. I will not be afraid to bring the hammer down on anyone and on everyone. I learned from the best.”
But just because she learned from Rivers, doesn’t mean they’re the same. And this fact seems to be the biggest issue with the new season.
Rivers, who passed away last September, might have had balls of steel, flinging insults at friends, foes, and the young (seriously, even poor Quvenzhané Wallis wasn’t safe from her red carpet reviews), but the sardonically comedic manner in which she ranted resulted in genuine laughs. So far, her replacement hasn’t delivered with the same gusto. Under Griffin’s watch, the newly reformed team—Kelly Osbourne and Giuliana Rancic are the only remaining original cast members (George Kotsiopoulos was unceremoniously and mysteriously let go and replaced by Brad Goreski)—struggled with awkward transitions, flat jokes, and too many sexual innuendos strictly said for shock factor.
When Rivers was around, she would catch Rancic’s lobs to her, using the “dumb blonde” tactic to hit a pre-crafted witticism out of the park. The lack of chemistry between the new crew means that these lines are being delivered flatly. No one was safe from Rivers, but Griffin seems to pick on people just for the sake of it.
The new face of Fashion Police chose Amal Clooney as her worst dressed of the night even though the newlywed has wormed her way into America’s hearts. “I thought it was weird she had those gloves that remind me of, like, a porn scene, where the guy goes home and there’s the naughty dishwasher and she only has the gloves. And when she said she made them herself I was like ‘Yea, no s–t,’” she said. “But, I’m fascinated how we’re like, not supposed to make fun of her because she married the great George Clooney. Look, everybody’s on the table, George! Nobody’s safe, nobody gets a pass.” As for the others, Goreski and Osbourne agreed that Lana del Rey’s vintage aqua gown was the worst and Rancic chose Keira Knightley’s Chanel dress as hers.
While Griffin certainly didn’t spew any jokes with kid gloves, her taste was noticeably different than the rest of her Fashion Police squad. Choosing Jennifer Lopez as best dressed—she was wearing a Zuhair Murad gown with a high slit in the front and plunging cleavage—Griffin commended the 45-year-old for wearing a gown that was “one false move” away from a wardrobe malfunction. Osbourne and Goreski deemed Emma Stone’s Lanvin jumpsuit the winner, while Rancic picked Kate Hudson’s cut-out Versace number.
Obviously the red-headed comic has some massive (probably designer) shoes to fill—even Rivers had her ups and downs. The Golden Globes is only the first of many awards shows to come in the next few months, so there’s time to work out the kinks and continue pissing people off in the funniest way possible.