CITY-TV’s “Breakfast Television” Introduces Full-Scale Infantilization to Local Morning News

17Oct06

We don’t expect much from breakfast television in general — and CITY-TV’s Breakfast Television in particular — but this morning may have been a watershed moment in its steady decline toward preliterate programming.

Local early-morning news is never pretty — Toronto’s CTV affiliate starts the day off with last night’s late-news broadcast — and, for the most part, entertainment consists of bar bands and chanteuses who clearly haven’t been to bed yet from the night before. Or someone shilling a book or course or hair makeover or is far beyond what we would normally consider mere gay stereotype.

And it’s been statistically-proven that 98.3% of all Breakfast Television segments concern marriage and/or babies. This morning, however, was especially special, and so family-friendly I found myself looking fondly at my copy of Iron Giant:

  1. Professional garden gnome and weather reporter Frank Ferragine — also known, embarrassingly, as “Frankie Flowers” when he does his doltishly common-sensical gardening segments (overwatering is bad? who knew?) — is inside at the desk with Kevin “Suspenders” Frankish doing what they do best, which is shilling for some product an advertiser has dumped on them as cheesey “prizes”, in this case DVD copies of Over the Hedge. We’re treated to crayon drawings of the film, from children as young as 2 years old. On the “#1 Morning Show” in the largest city in Canada.
  2. Jennifer Valentyne‘s on location this morning, as she almost always is, playing dress-up in whatever she’s infomercialling that day (even swimwear, ugh). Today she’s dressed up as, oh, yeah, Raggedy Anne, shilling for a costume house. Because Jen is considered “sassy”, if not “sexy”, her Raggedy Anne is sporting stiletto heels. My favourite is her enthusiastic reading of birthday wishes: “Happy birthday today to Janna from Mommy, Daddy, Nana, No-no, Shi-shu, Fa-fa, Cha-cha, Ca-ca, Pee-pee, Auntie Fah-fah, Nay-nay, Uncle La-la, Po-po, Poo-poo, Jo-jo, Lee-lee and James.” On the “#1 Morning Show” in the largest city in Canada.
  3. The pièce de résistance, though, was the weather graphic. You know, the li’l black clouds with rain pelting down to indicate thunderstorms, here or ahead? And a li’l, cartoony baby duckling in red rubber boots with a red umbrella, splashing happily in the puddle and what the fuck?!? Was the cloud and rain not enough for reasonably intelligent viewers to get that it’s wet outside? On the “#1 Morning Show” in the largest city in Canada?


2 Responses to “CITY-TV’s “Breakfast Television” Introduces Full-Scale Infantilization to Local Morning News”

  1. 1 Paul

    So why do we watch? I can’t answer that question either. Although I used to think Jennifer V. was one of the sexiest women on TV. A couple of kids on her part, and a couple of years more maturity on mine, and things change, you know. Now she’s just vapid, and I go back to reading whatever blog’s on my little screen when she appears on my big screen.
    Now, this new airhead, who replaced the airhead who’s just had a baby, is making me grind my teeth. Someone needs to slap her, and tell her, “it’s not all about you.” Of course, you’d get to, “it’s not al–,” and she’d run out of attention span and be pointing at kittens out the window, and giggling, so it wouldn’t help, would it?
    Thanks for the e-mail comments.

    -Paul

  2. 2 bstewart23

    Oh, I can answer that “why do we watch?” question in three ways:
    1) There is, of course, a certain, schadenfruedelicious fascination in seeing just how low they’ll go
    2) It’s more likely that I’ll be able to catch the inaccurate weather forecast on BT than it is to catch the inaccurate weather forecast on The Weather Channel, and
    3) Of the six captioned television sets facing the cardio machines during my morning gym regimen, there’s at least one tuned to BT and, seriously, aren’t the eyes always drawn to the most appalling material?


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