I never had sisters, and my mother was usually out numbered in the house-gender battles - thanks to my father, my brother and I. Still, as a lot of Italian families are, our extended family was very matriachal. Often at family get-togethers it would be my mom and her sister, my grandmother and her sister, my three older female cousins - usually sitting around after dinner talking or playing cards or such. I enjoyed observing that, and I get a similar feel from watching the program.
Barbara Walters' plan from the start was to mix the show up with various women from various walks of life - to provide differeing views. The younger woman spot tended to rotate a bit - from Debbie Matonopolis to Lisa Ling to finally Elizabeth Hasselback (IMHO, from best to worst – Lisa, Debbie and then Elizabeth). Meredith Viera, Joy Behar and Star Jones were sort of the foundation for years - and the three really could be a riot when they got into a topic. But things change. Meredith went back to doing news - which is where she started (that always made her the more 'credible' on in my eyes). Star got into the whole brewhaha about her accepting sponsoring for her wedding and then her quick weight loss (I saw yesterday she finally admitted she had gastric bypass surgery after denying it vehemently for years - yeah, in her own words she's a hyprocrite). Rosie O'Donnell, whom I actually met once and partied (I'll tell you the full story another time), came on-board and brought both higher ratings and controversy.
Now, with Rosie out before a year is up, Whoopi Goldberg is coming in as a full-time replacement. I think Whoopi will do an awesome job - she is smart, well-spoken, self-motivated (she brought herself up off the streets) and more than willing to get into an intelligent debate without shouting someone down (I'm looking at you, Rosie). She also adds to the minority role - a spot lacking since Star's firing. I think this was a very smart choice on the part of Barbara and her producers. This will allow the show to move onto a new era after a bumpy transition period.
So, take a little time each time and enjoy the view - Martin's View that is (and that other one too).