Thursday, June 28, 2007

If they have to tell you....

For those of you not living in the Seattle area, one of the news stations around here is the first to broadcast in high definition. King5 news. I saw it a month or so ago when they first started it, with a flashy intro like a laser cutting across the screen and a noise not unlike someone pressing 20 keys on an organ simultaneously. You know the sound--you hear it often at the beginning of movies when they want to brag about the sound quality. I wish I could tell you what it was called, but frankly, I don't really care. But I recognize that sound.

But here's the thing for me. I don't have a high definition television. The broadcast looks exactly the same to me. But now they make it sound like the news is so much glitzier because whew! Thank God we can see the pimple on the face of the news anchor. Well, at least if you have a high definition television.

I find the whole thing annoying, though. It's like a smack in the face to everyone who doesn't have a high definition set, and those that already have it--shouldn't they be able to SEE the difference anyhow? If you have to tell people you're broadcasting in HD, does it really count?

If that wasn't enough, the meteorologist on that station now has new software that can take you "into" a storm. You can view it in three dimensions. Is this really helpful? When I want the weather report, I really want answers to questions such as:
  • How hot will it be today?
  • How cold will it be today?
  • It is going to rain today?
All those satellite images of the clouds forming off there in the Pacific Ocean--I don't need that. Just tell me when it's going to rain! I don't really care what the temperature is 2,000 feet above me--I want to know what the temperature here on the ground is.

And then I realized. They're trying to dazzle you with all these pictures because.... they don't really know how hot it is going to be, or if it'll rain today! They're distracting you with useless information so you won't notice how little information they do have. It's all fluff. I don't care that an area of low pressure is coming in. What the heck does that mean? There have been times I've wanted to pay attention to the weather to see if it would rain, and while presenting all that fluff, my eyes glaze over and next thing I know, they're thanking me for tuning in and they'll be back at 5:00 the next morning. (And who the heck watches the news at 11:00 at night then gets up at 5:00 the next morning to find out what happened during that time?) And I'm thinking, "Damn! I missed the weather report! How did that happen?"

Now there's a little sketch they've been showing, where the news anchors tell you what they like most about summer. One of them says they like to lounge around in the backyard, and another one talks about how they can get together with friends and family and have a 'really good time.' And she says that in the same tone as if she's reporting the death of seventeen kids after a school bus ran off the cliff. Do these people even know what fun is?

I tell you, I would absolutely love to watch the late night news if the anchors actually had any personality at all. Why do the powers that be feel that they have to suck the personal element out of the news?

And finally, one last pet peeve about the news. I first noticed this while watching the news down in my hometown of San Luis Obispo. It was Kimberly Romo. I'm not sure why I remember her name so well, but I couldn't take my eyes off her whenever she was on. I'd just stare at those impossibly white teeth of hers, like a ship drawn to a lighthouse. I had this incredible urge to rub dirt all over her teeth.

Then I started noticing it on other people. Those blinding, white teeth. Impeccably straight. I've noticed it on actors and actresses. I've noticed it on family members and friends, who I won't name to protect their embarrassment. It's a terrible trend, and I'll tell you why:

They actually looked too perfect. It's look their teeth are fake! Ewwww! Granted, you don't want to walk around with brown or green teeth, but snow white teeth are ugly, people. Don't fall for their tricks. Lightening your teeth if they're badly stained from coffee or smoking is one thing, but they aren't supposed to be white either.

Not to be all negative, I have noticed a woman filling in for the sports recap on King5, which I absolutely love. A woman, telling the sports? It's the only time I've ever seen that happen. I can't say she's any better or worse than any of the men who've done the sports, but I love the fact that it's a woman who's doing it. It's about time one station has broken that particular gender stereotype. =)

I really hate television news, though. I watch it, but usually because it's late at night, I'm bored, and there's nothing else on. Especially now in this time of summer reruns.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Two of the four Atlanta stations broadcast in HD. Since I'm watching on a CRT model, it does nothing for me, either. I ignore their HD bragging.

I take the TV weather with a grain of salt. Okay, a pinch... sometimes quarter cup. I get my weather from Kirk Mellish on WSB Radio 750 AM. Dead-on every time. It's like the guy has precognitive abilities. And he says that all that fancy-schmancy 3D Neighborhood Storm Tracking B.S. is just that: B.S.

And while I agree that teeth should not be as white as paper, I couldn't help but notice the sidebar Google ad for a Las Vegas teeth whitening clinic...