At home in the US, I generally have the TV tuned to The TODAY Show as I get ready in the morning. It’s nice background noise, and informs me of a few current events as I eat breakfast, pack my lunch, and get dressed.
Before Mr. HalfFull changed careers and we were on the same morning schedule, he would also hear bits of TODAY in the morning. For some reason, the content would drive him to yell at the TV. He’s the calm, cool optimist, remember?
I am able to take The TODAY Show for what it is — some news with lots of entertainment and human interest stories. But the segments on celebrities would drive Mr. HalfFull to shout, “That’s not news!” I always found his vocal disdain for TODAY rather amusing and unwonted until we were in New Zealand for three weeks.
Three weeks of watching the morning show in New Zealand drove me crazy. If Mr. HalfFull thought The TODAY Show was all fluff, I don’t even know how he would describe the Kiwi news. It made me feel dumber by the minute.
At least The TODAY Show doesn’t disguise infomercials for sponsored products as real interviews during the show! TVNZ’s Breakfast show interviewed life insurance people like it was serious Q&A, not a scripted commercial. The Steam Mop was another favorite product for these fake segments. But the worst was the Ahh Bra. They showcased this product in a whole interview with a spokesperson and models. Plus, they had regular Ahh Bra commercials during the breaks too. After three weeks, I was definitely Ahh Bra-ed out! Instead of a relaxing “ahh,” it was more of a screaming “ahhhhhhhhhhh.”
The other annoying part of the Kiwi Breakfast program was the incessant commentary. I think it can be fun when anchors have a cute comment or segue, but when they chit-chat about nothing for minutes on the air, my nerves get frayed. The Kiwis also love audience participation on various “controversial issues” they bring up on the show. They display emails from people all over the country and discuss the different points of view. I think that’s fine, but not on the “news” portion of the show. At least TODAY has the decency to wait until the fourth hour when most people are at work. Then they switch to Kathie Lee & Hoda, so you know the real news is over and can prepare yourself for fluff.
Perhaps after three weeks of the New Zealand Breakfast show, Mr. HalfFull will finally be able to appreciate the quality of TODAY. Who’s being half full now?
- Do you watch morning news programs?
- Does the lack of hard news in the morning upset you? Do you yell at the TV?
- Has the format of news programs abroad surprised you?