Watching any part of morning TV used to never happen unless it was summer or a snow day. But now, as someone who doesn’t usually have to start work until 9:30 a.m., at the earliest, I have plenty of time most mornings to piddle. I enjoy mornings. I used to call myself a “morning person.” I will say, underemployment and the lack of sunlight in our bedroom has made me way less of a morning person in the last year and a half, but nonetheless I enjoy being up earlier than most.
Besides the coffee, email checking, and social media rounds, one thing I am in the routine of is turning on the TV first thing in the morning. I took a brief hiatus from this while The H and I went with absolutely no TV a few months back, but now we have basic network channels, and my routine has resumed.
After we moved here and I had more time on my hands, turning on the TV first thing became a comforting part of my routine. I had always liked the Today Show. Light-hearted enough, yet it adequately informed me of current events. Then Matt Lauer became Brat Lauer, yet I still faithfully tuned in too see the rest of “the gang.” Truthfully, I still tune in, but more out of habit than actual enjoyment. Then, Today added something they call “The Orange Room” with Carson Daly being your live-in guide to social media and trending topics. In this obscene, all-orange lounge with interns huddled at their computers and a tacky giant touch-screen TV where Carson reads us tweets and shows results for tantalizing live Twitter polls. They should have just made a morning, middle-aged TRL show within the Today Show. I’d be more comfortable, Carson would be more comfortable, and America would be happier. (If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about with TRL you weren’t a teen in the late 90s, early 2000s.) But no, Carson now gets to sit on the end of the anchor desk at times pretending to be a journalist. Who am I kidding? They’re all pretending at this rate. With my frustration mounting and Lauer’s ego making my own living room stink of snobbery, I thought I’d give Good Morning America a spin around the block.
GMA is nearly all fluff, but I love it. It is like I’m their friend. They don’t have as good of exclusive interviews and spend more time watching You Tube videos than giving me deets on current events, but they live up to the show’s name. They’re enthusiastic, cheery, friendly, and seemingly very welcoming. GMA has also poached a couple former NBC faves of mine in Sarah Haines and Amy Robuck. (Why do I always like the B and C team more than the A team?) Bonus – ABC also lets you stream live TV from your computer. So, during our TV breakup, I could get my fix by using our friends’ Comcast login. Call it beautiful, ironic cheating seeing that Comcast now owns NBC, and I wasn’t paying them a cent to watch a different network. Suck it Comcast!
Then the Olympics started and I resorted back to Today like an obedient Russian, solely because they’d be the ones with the athletes on and more dedicated coverage to my favorite worldwide spectacles. Then they had a Russian Orange Room, Lauer got double airtime while filling in for Bob Costas, Savannah wore horrendous primary color puffer coats almost every day, and Meredith Viera didn’t get near the airtime that I was hoping she would.
Once the Olympics had finished, I kept tuning in mostly to Today because I want so desperately to enjoy watching it and feel informed. I can say that neither happen on a consistent basis, let alone both on the same day. I’ve ping-ponged back and forth between shows and recently was on a GMA streak. Until this Monday.
GMA had a “big reveal” – oh no. This never bodes well for morning television shows, in my opinion. Sure enough, Lara Spencer goes through these magical doors into their own version of the bloody Orange Room (pun, ftw!)! They call it their “Social Square.” The only redeeming qualities it has over the Orange room are: 1) It isn’t orange, 2) Carson Daly isn’t the king of it, and 3) Waiting as their first visitor to the Social Square was the ever-lovely Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars FTW!!!!!!).
What had they DONE!? For the first time in my life, I consciously switched to the CBS Morning News just to see if maybe they would provide some relief. They were interviewing Senator Al Franken – it was relief enough, but not enough to give Oprah’s fave gal pal the ratings.
Is it time to move on from morning television programs altogether? You might be thinking, “Well, if you want news watch a more news-heavy program?” We don’t get those channels.
“What about just reading your news online?” I don’t like to read in the morning, it makes me eyes itch. (Not really, but I need an excuse.)
“A newspaper subscription?” They still do that?
“Fox? They are hard-hitters, right?” Crickets…
“Twitter?” Yep, that’s what I’m going with.
The H has never been one to really enjoy the morning news shows. He would prefer I didn’t eat breakfast on the couch anyway. But he let’s me do my thing, just like I let him read KUsports.com and tech articles that keep him not up-to-speed, but behind-speed on current events.
So, while I consider my morning news show habits, I must reflect upon the fact that: It is a silly privilege I even have the time for morning TV. And, I need to just keep two words in mind as I ponder what the future of morning TV holds – Willie Geist. He gives me hope. Until then, I’m going to try to be more conscious about my morning TV habits. I’m not giving it up entirely, but I’m going to be much better friends with the “off” button from here on out. After all, I’ve got time on my hands and there sure are a lot of other things to consider than Carson’s tweets or the Play of the Day.