The Orlando Bloom-ing of The Weather Channel
Saturday, September 6, 2008
My novel that is being released later this month, "Man of the House," is set in Naples, Florida during a turbulent hurricane season. Many of we Florida authors have included the tropical storms in our most recent books. It's very easy to become infatuated with hurricanes if you live in the path of them. ... They're very similar to human characters: they have names, personalities, and they take unpredictable turns that greatly impact those around them.
My main character, Linc Menner, who is LARGELY me, loves The Weather Channel. I've been a Weather Channel junkie since college, when the forecasters had sideburns and ties as wide as coffee mugs. So I must tell you now that I don't like how my favorite channel has evolved.
I say in my book:
... "Our resident critic-at-large (Linc) has complained of The Weather Channel's evolution from the original, techy, unpolished production into something like Entertainment Tonight, with slick, packaged hour-long dramatizations like Storm Stories and surgically altered blond newscasters with names like Jennifer and Brittany. He says Weather Channel anchors shouldn't have silicone breasts or glossy lips that divert your attention from a hurricane's cone of uncertainty, and that it's hard to trust a meteorologist with a perfect dimple in his silk necktie."
Thank goodness they haven't taken away our nerdy, balding Steve Lyons. Unlike most of the others on The Weather Channel, he seems truly interested in the WEATHER and not the newest line of Hugo Boss suits ... or whatever it is those pretty boys wear.
Some time in the past year, storm tracker Stephanie Abrams got some kind of makeover. Someone in the corporate officer decided to babe her out. And I don't like it. She lost that girl-next-door persona that made her believable ... someone you'd want to go have a beer with.
Even my favorite dude of dudes, Jim Cantore, seems to have changed somewhat this year. I have always enjoyed watching the childlike excitement this tough-talking guy exudes when getting blown away on a beach at landfall ... but this year ... this year something's different with him. It's as if they told him, "Jim, you're a little too strong on camera. The female demographics don't like you acting so fierce. Try to look more like Orlando Bloom."
I'm serious: Watch how he's holding the microphone these days. In the past, he gripped it tightly as if it were a rope he dare not let go of. But now ... his fingers hold it loosely, more like a talk-show host or Wayne Newton in Vegas: "Okay, now, folks, I'm gonna sing you a song about a mighty, mighty storm named Gustav ..."
Hey, you guys up in Atlanta: Bring back the nerds! I miss 'em!