I'm going to start by telling you that when I sat down to write this article, I had nothing but pleasant things to say about Oprah and her Favorite Things. I'd never even heard of this insanely popular annual Oprah segment until today, and when I read about it, I thought it sounded nice.
I mean, it's basically a televised gift guide, right? Nothing wrong with that. And hey, the audience members actually go home with the gifts she mentions. Groovy.
Except then I read about the show that aired today and ... I don't know, you guys. An enormous number of lavish gifts doled out to a screaming, hysterical audience, while so many of her viewers are struggling just to make ends meet?
It's not that that I think the audience members were undeserving—apparently they were made up of folks who were handpicked because they "believe in giving back"—it's just that the list itself is so over the top. Historically, sales of products showcased in this segment skyrocket after the episode airs (Garrett Popcorn Shops' sales increased by over 100% after being a Favorite Thing), and I wish she'd included more relatively unknown products this year. That, you know, some of us could actually afford to buy as gifts.
Here's the list of Oprah's Favorite Things for 2010:
- Limited edition 25th anniversary "Oprah" diamond watch ($2,475)
- Tory Burch Gray Flannel Tote Bag ($250) and Reva Ballet flats ($200)
- Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera ($700)
- My Favorite Cashmere Placket Sweater and Cashmere Cable Throw designed by Ralph Lauren ($500 for the sweater, $600 for the throw)
- Judith Ripka Eclipse Earrings ($525)
- Andre Walker Keratin Treatment/Hair Care line ($60 for gift set)
- Set of 18 Lafco Candles ($55 each) (EACH) (REPEAT: ONE CANDLES COSTS $55 OMFG)
- Breville Panini Press from Williams-Sonoma with a recipe card for Winfrey's "Love Sandwich" ($100)
- Kyocera Ceramic Knife Set ($200)
- Beecher's World Best Mac & Cheese ($70 for a 4.5 lb tray)
- Baker's Edge Lasagna and Brownie Pan ($50)
- Book: A Course in Weight Loss ($25) (Presumably you'll need this after the mac & cheese and brownies)
- Book: Decoded, by Jay-Z ($25)
- The Black Eyed Peas' CD The Beginning ($14)
- Five-Year Netflix Membership ($540)
- 52" Sony BRAVIA LX900 Flat Screen 3D TV, Blu-Ray Player, and 3-D movies ($3,600)
- Kiva Gift Card ($100)
- Elfa Closet System from the Container Store ($1,000)
- O Store -- Special Season 25, the Farewell Season T-shirt
- Relaxed Fit Pant by Lululemon Athletics ($100)
- 4 pairs of Nike Free Run+ Shoes ($85 each)
- Royal Caribbean 'Allure of the Seas' 7-day cruise with flights by United Airlines (unsure, but these start at $850 for the cruise alone, assuming you buy the cheapest inside cabin option)
I don't think every single item is ridiculous—I actually own those Nike Frees, for instance, and agree that they're awesome—but as a whole the list seems out of touch. Linda's Favorite Things most assuredly do not include candles that cost $55, unless said candles are also capable of changing diapers and whipping up a nice vanilla latte.
As extravagant as today's show was, with actual no-shit paramedics standing by in case of audience members spontaneously combusting in joy, Monday's episode will officially be the final one and "the biggest yet."
What do you think of Oprah's favorite things this year? Too much, or just right?
Image via Oprah.com