Life in the Box: Miami-fied TV
Miami television is a hoot! I tell ya, there is glitz and party time on local television there. One of their local shows featured two thirty-ish women who girlfriend-talked (some would say “hosted”) a show about Miami events: parties on the beach, fundraisers, wine and cheese tastings, burger competitions and the like. They noticed what people wore and what they would like to wear if they went there. Maybe they would get their nails done before, maybe not if the polish would get chipped.
It was fun! No, not deeply moving, not in any way inspiring or educational. Just play time. TV mind candy. But, for me, I knew I wasn’t in Des Moines, anymore. Local color just fascinates me. Who decided to make this show, and who watches it? Who funds it? Okay, I can tell you the local car dealers advertise incessantly.
Oh, and Miami’s news… what in the world? They would have a news story, say a local car crash, then a mention of what’s coming next on our show, then five commercials, and one more story and promo followed by more commercials. Huh? Well, they did drag their news out over at least an hour, but, sheesh. They make you pay for it, that’s for sure!
But look at this! They have a do-gooder series called Help Me Howard that blows me away. It’s been on the air for 16 years and they solicit calls from viewers who want help with something. Serious stuff!
They take that step beyond reporting and actually try to do something for people. Crazy! I think most local stations will report stories like these, but not solicit them! That’s real interactivity. Crowdsourcing before it was called that.
Of course, they also have stories with bling, and I quote, “Who doesn’t like bling?” Read about D’Luxe dog and see if this is how your local station would tell the story. Actually, your local station might tell it almost the same way, but your local reporter probably doesn’t wear more bling than these pampered pets do.
When you think about all the retirees in the Miami area, all the tourists and all the spring-breakers, it makes sense they would want to have television that includes lots of fun, sun and glitz. Who wants to hear about all those awful problems in the world when you can dress your dog with Swarovski crystal?
It’s not Disney, it’s not Des Moines, it’s Miami. You get that from just a few minutes of watching.
Nancy Heather Brown is an Emmy Award-winning television producer whose career has included interviewing, writing and editing for a span of four decades. Today, she uses gems from this treasure trove of life stories to add sparkle to her reflections on the creative process both inside and outside the box.
Miami Channel 7
Help Me Howard 2014 Year-in-Review
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