In the last ten or so years, Australian television has become involved in the greatest program war ever witnessed since Neighbours Vs Home & Away saga of the late 1980’s-early 1990’s. Yep, it’s the breakfast television war. Every weekday morning, we are faced with ongoing conflict. Who do we eat our Conn Flakes with? Is it with the glorified financial adviser buffoon that is David Koch? Or the night-before antics of Karl Stefanovic? Of course there are other options. However these are the two main players of this war, the Hitler and Churchill. This is my take.
SUNRISE (CHANNEL 7)
THE HOSTS: David “Kochie” Koch and whoever has replaced Melissa Doyle
It is thanks to the producers of this show that we have this god-awful “news-tainment” movement. It all began when Kochie filled in for prolific journalist Chris Reason and demanded a white board. Had Channel 7 not caved in with this pathetic request we would not have to listen to his rants about superannuation that only he seems to have a clue on and comparing Evermore to Coldplay and Groove Armada (yes, this happened and thus began the rise and fall of this Kiwi version of Hanson). Gone was expert analysis of the overnight headlines and Walkley-winning journalism. It was good morning to mimed live performances, endless cross-promotion and a cringe-worthy rendition of “Where Is The Love?” featuring star-wipes and a pre-PM Kevin Rudd rapping with pre-Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey.
WHY SHOULD I WAKE UP WITH SUNRISE?: Larry Emdur occasionally fills in. Other than that, view with caution and keep the Wikipedia page for superannuation open. Unless you are my parents and you cannot change the channel.
WHY SHOULD I TUNE OUT?: David Koch. That should be enough reason.
TODAY (CHANNEL 9)
THE HOSTS: Lisa Wilkinson and Karl Stefanovic
Today was the nation’s preferred wake up call, along with Blend 43 and All Bran and the side-effects of this concoction. Then along came Kochie and his whiteboard. Despite the attempts to remain on par and catch up with their new competition, viewers were turning away in droves. In the last few years, ground has been regained, however they are still viewed as the cheesy impostor. The Promite to Sunrise’s Vegemite. The Pepsi to Sunrise’s Coke. The Dick Smith version of Tim Tams to the real deal. You get my point. However, Today has produced television gold. Who remembers the post-Logies show when Karl turned up to work drunk? And the morning of Michael Jackson’s death when Richard Wilkins falsely declared the death of Jeff Goldblum? And more recently, the “Furt” name saga? No wonder viewers are turning back this stalwart.
WHY SHOULD I WAKE UP WITH TODAY?: Karl may turn up to work drunk again.
WHY SHOULD I TUNE OUT?: I cannot trust Lisa Wilkinson. This is the woman who destroyed the greatest marketing gimmick and sexual awakenings of Australian women with the removal of the Cleo centrefold. The woman who married a grown man who insists on wearing a red doorag with the Brad Goodman-esque notion of, “I do what I feel”. I also fail to see the reporter credentials of someone who hosted an 80’s music quiz show that nobody remembers and became an international joke thanks to Stephen Colbert.
ABC NEWS BREAKFAST (ABC1 AND ABC NEWS 24)
THE HOSTS: Two journalists whose names I cannot recall at this point in time
This is a recent addition to the breakfast television war. And this should be the only news-worthy breakfast program Australians should watch. It is unbiased with no tacky cross-promotion for some flash in the pan reality show. It is comprehensive, covering local, national, and international stories. The real winner, however, is the look at the national headlines and constant coverage of the NT News and their front-page crocodile stories.
WHY SHOULD I WAKE UP WITH THESE NOOBS?: You just should.
WHY SHOULD I TUNE OUT?: Some mornings the NT News doesn’t publish killer crocodile stories.
So what are my other options in the morning, I hear you ask. Sadly guys, unless you want to watch 30 minute infomercials on pillows and vacuum cleaners, in this post-Agro and Cheez TV world, there are no other options. If you have little ones, maybe ABC2 will have Peppa Pig on. Or perhaps you prefer the stylings of SBS and whatever foreign news they have. So who are we to blame for this onslaught of three hours of crap?
THE PERSON WHO AXED CHEEZ TV. BRING BACK CHEEZ TV.
This is essentially the only thing to wake up to in this PC world that would find Agro’s cracks offensive. Two guys, a sign language girl and Pokemon. If Network 10 are reading this (I doubt they will be but a girl can dream), this is how you can win the ratings war. And you will have my word that I won’t be the only Australian relying on this as my wake up call.