Review: “Turning the Tables with Robin Roberts” Finds Panels of Women Getting Personal

With the challenges of this past year keeping people physically apart, one thing I’ve missed most of all is getting together with my friends. Sometimes it’s nice to just gather with the ladies and talk. Disney+’s new series Turning the Tables with Robin Roberts might not allow you to add your voice to the conversation, but it will let you be a fly on the wall as Robin chats with three female celebrities.  

Robin Roberts has been part of the Disney family for a long time, starting out at ESPN before making the move to ABC where she now serves as co-anchor for Good Morning America. She’s a cancer survivor, but audiences most know her for her bright smile and infectiously joyful personality. Robin is the perfect person to host this series (which she also executive produces) as she has a way of treating everyone with genuine kindness.

Each episode of Turning the Tables features Robin and three guests as they gather to talk about life, love, pregnancy, overcoming a life of addiction, health, faith, breaking barriers and so much more. The series smartly pairs women from all walks of life and careers giving audiences a variety of perspectives and stories with each conversation. I was able to screen all four episodes with the following groups:

  • Jamie Lee Curtis, Mickey Guyton and Billie Jean King
  • Debbie Allen, Sofia Carson and Jenna Dewan
  • Melissa Etheridge, Betsey Johnson and Josie Totah
  • Sheila E., Tig Notaro and Raven-Symoné

The discussions are uplifting and positive, as the women focus on each other’s strengths and contributions to their individual industries. That said, each group takes the time to be personal and candid, sharing some of their biggest challenges or fears they’ve overcome. Tig Notaro talks about her double mastectomy; Josie Totah shares her trans journey; Raven-Symoné offers insight into why she stepped away from acting; and Robin of course tells a few of her most personal stories. Yes, it’s a love fest and yes there are tears, but Turning the Tables strikes a perfect balance between serious and uplifting.

Speaking of balance, I was pleased that every guest had equal time in the conversation. This is something that could easily focus on one person, but it never slips in one direction. Everyone here has a chance to share their story, answer and ask questions. Clocking in at just under a half hour, Robin and her creative team have timed these episodes well. They are engaging, even informative and the perfect length for viewing when you need it most.

One element that I found both helpful and but also unnecessary, was displaying some of the women’s quotes on screen as they were speaking. It’s not overused or distracting, but it does feel like the production team wants us to know which quotes they deem are important. Perhaps some viewers will like it, however I have very mixed feelings on the use of this technique.

Robin and her guests meet in beautiful locations that have a friendly and calming vibe, making it feel like you're stepping into someone’s living room or patio. While this adds plenty to the ascetic, I'd argue that it doesn’t demand your full visual attention. It’s great to just listen to, and I think Turning the Tables could easily be converted to a podcast format.

The series will debut with four episodes and I really hope that Robin and her team have plans for future conversations with additional amazing women. If you’re looking for a little more insight into your favorite celebrity’s personal journey or just want to listen to women celebrating women, then you’ll want to check out Turning the Tables with Robin Roberts.

Turning the Tables with Robin Roberts premieres on Disney+ on July 28th.