Celebri-spiral™: Enough Already

Our culture is in a celebri-spiral. We're conflicted over our ridiculous, growing celebrity culture consumption via magazines, websites, and TV shows. In 2007, my love/hate conflict made me take to the blog-o-sphere. All writing on this site © Dave Singleton 2009.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

February 14, 2007: Morning Shows Part Deux-Smarmy and Overly Sanitized

Another writer this week is questioning morning talk shows, but with a slightly different perspective.

In her New York Times article 'We’re Not Dating’: A Morning Show With Sex on the Brain (2/8/2007), Virginia Heffernan agrees that morning talk shows are all about celebrities, with a typically glossy and cleaned up sheen, but she asks who exactly is this audience so in need of stripped down and sanitized morning puffery?

Her focus is on two relatively new morning anchors who are breaking with tradition by bringing their personal lives to the forefront. From Heffernan's article:

"He’s smarmy. She’s contrived. He leers at girls like an old stage ham. She talks about freezing her eggs and getting her breasts done. Together they’re Mike Jerrick and Juliet Huddy, Fox’s new morning pair, who use their unholy chemistry to pervert the breakfast hour on “The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet.” We owe these two a warm, warm welcome.

Each makes innuendos about the other’s sex life and off-camera carousing, and in every episode they come across as teenagers or freshly divorced 40-somethings after their first Long Island iced teas. In the spirit of Valerie Cherish of “The Comeback,” I reflexively thought at first, “I don’t want to see that.” Especially not in the morning.

But as I watched more and more “Morning Shows,” which meant missing Hour 12 or whatever of “Today” and the whole hour of “Live With Regis and Kelly,” I began to doubt not my initial conviction but my mental autonomy: Have I been conditioned not to want to hear gruesome double entendres with my toast?

What is it about the hours before 10 a.m. that make a person want nothing but news, traffic, family values and sanctimony? And, really, what has brainwashed us into thinking we need our homeroom teachers married?

The openly single hosts of “The Morning Show” are far and away the program’s stand-out feature. Certainly no one will tune in for the brown and off-brown set, brightened by some o’er-the-river-and-through-the-woods Currier and Ives window backdrop, which makes no sense at all. (In summer can we expect to glimpse children at the swimmin’ hole?)"

I love how she ends the piece:

"This is a kind of marvelous city duo — and a nice breakthrough for morning shows. No giggly hot mom like Kelly Ripa; no model of rectitude and self-sacrifice like Ms. Vieira. And no good old Reege. Or good young Matt.

Instead they’re a little sleazy, Mike and Juliet. And a little lonely. Morning shows have long been seen as having two audiences: busy, important people on their way to work, who want to know news, traffic and weather, and stay-at-home mothers and housewives, who like mellower segments about relationships and household economy.

Mike and Juliet suggest that morning shows, at least those that start at 9, might have another audience: single people who have been out late, talking about “American Idol” and drinking, even, only to wake up alone, in no important rush to get anywhere. That’s probably a lot of us. And we have mornings too."

Damn right we do. Some of us listen to Howard Stern and other real-talk radio programs. But morning talk shows remain the sacrosanct domain of celebrity-loving, sanitized Stepford.But for how long?

Reports like Wake-up Call to A.M. News: Moms Tuning Out suggest that the valued 25-54 year-old mom demographic may be growing tired, and can get their celebrity fix quicker and easier on the Internet:

"When her children were young, Jenny Lauck used to flip on Today or Good Morning America as she brewed her morning coffee and tended to her babies. But several years ago, the 34-year-old mother of three stopped watching the morning shows. After getting TiVo, she had no patience to sit through multiple commercial breaks during a live newscast. On top of that, the segments began to seem more and more frivolous. 'Watching morning television for me is the equivalent of reading People magazine in the dentist's office,' said Lauck, who writes for websites from her home in Santa Rosa, Calif. 'They don't have anything new or particularly relevant to my life. It seems like a lot of fluff. I feel like I can get information faster and cleaner on the Internet.' Lauck's not alone in souring on network news programs. In particular, this season has seen a significant erosion of the morning shows' demographic sweet spot: 25- to 54-year-old women."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol the guy totally looks like fred willard, i thought it was a clip from for your consideration, not an actual talk show!

Friday, February 16, 2007 1:37:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Singleton said...

No they are quite real. And a total mess. I watched them myself this week.

Saturday, February 17, 2007 5:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is hysterical.

Sunday, February 18, 2007 12:55:00 PM  

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