Picks and Pans Review: Outlook on The View

updated 08/07/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/07/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

ABC (weekdays, 11 a.m. ET)

With a string of sweet-natured subs—Kelly Monaco, Deborah Roberts, Kellie Pickler—taking Star Jones Reynolds's seat for the past few weeks, The View has never been sunnier. And I've never been more bored. Brandy was so amiable, she had Barbara Walters cooing: "You're adorable on this show—everyone loves you!" Zzzzz. One of the few memorable moments came when Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba, who had been on a fasting diet for seven days, went on a hilarious eating binge during a dessert-tasting segment.

According to View producers, official auditions for the empty seat won't begin until after Rosie O'Donnell arrives, when the show returns from hiatus on Sept. 5. My vote? Gayle King, one of the first rumored to replace Reynolds. On a July 19 visit, she was self-assured when discussing the rumors about her BFF relationship with Oprah. As a mom and a former reporter, she has the right mix of personal and professional experience. Plus, she'd add some much needed diversity to the panel.

Meanwhile, I'm still mourning the loss of Star. I haven't been this sad at the demise of a love-hate relationship since The Swan went off the air.

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