On her social media accounts, Barrymore routinely displays a pure enjoyment of the world around her, Syme observed. Even as the talk show's ratings aren't outstanding, Barrymore continually brings this sense of wonder to the stage.
From the beginning, 'The Drew Barrymore Show' felt like an uncanny experiment exempt from the dictates of network television. In the première episode, Barrymore stepped out into her cavernous—and, because of the pandemic, empty—studio and started squealing with excitement. She was wearing a tea-length dress and high leather boots that made her look like Jane Fonda in 'Klute.' After a monologue about 'rebranding Mondays,' she paused and scowled into the camera. 'You may think you know me,' she sneered, as if in a gangster film. 'And you do,' she added, throwing her arms out in a cuddly gesture.
Barrymore frequently brings fans on a journey into her own past, Syme noted:
Barrymore has brought on exes, including her ex-husband, the comedian Tom Green—whom she hadn’t seen in fifteen years—and, in the première of Season 3, her ex-boyfriend Justin Long, whom she tells, through tears, 'When we used to talk and Facetime, I was always, like, you know, I’ve really grown up, Justin.'
Recalling one Season 2 segment, in which the actress visited the Los Angeles apartment in which she lived after emancipating herself at 14, Syme remembered:
The whole thing is weird and weirdly endearing, both authentically raw and aware of its canned, showy rawness. In short, it’s great television.