"Up Close and Personal" Television Bios
In my opinion, the television stations that broadcast the major figure skating competitions would be doing themselves, and especially the fans, a huge favor by reducing the number of those lengthy "up close and personal" bio pieces that have become such a large part of those programs.
For example, I've seen just about enough of the syrupy bios of Michael Weiss with his wife and kids. I'm not bashing Michael Weiss, but if another one of those bios is broadcast at US Nationals or any other competition he's in, I'm changing the channel for five minutes. Enough is enough, already. :banging:
Honestly, is anybody out there really that interested in every little detail of the skater's personal lives? Sure, it's nice to receive a small amount of background on the top skaters, but all of the major figure skating magazines carry in-dept interviews that go far beyond the bios presented by television, as far as detailed information is concerned. Hardcore figure skating fans can read all they want to about the skaters from these publications, as well as from a host of websites.
When it comes to the competitions, I want to see as many skaters perform as possible. Let's see more than the medal contenders for a change. Let's at least see a few of the skaters from the second to last flight.
I personally don't have a problem with those bios,because it shows that the skaters are real people just not a machine that goes out there and performs.
Besides the majority of skate fans don't read the skating magazines.
The bios are so boring, to me at least, because they just rehash the same old stuff. Michael Weiss and wife/kids for years on end. This stuff is just a waste of time, as far as I'm concerned. I'm really not that interested in the skater's hobbies, families, or favorite television shows (!). I am interested in seeing them skate!
Originally Posted by skatergirlaj
If this silly stuff was eliminated, or at least greatly reduced, we could all enjoy watching more performances! Oh happy day!
Figure Skating Fan
I don't have a problem with the bios, except that they usually repeat it in many competitions, and that is what makes them boring. It's nice to hear a little bit about the skaters, to get to know more about them, but I would like to have them with more variety and not to repeat the same bio of the same skater over and over again.
Considering skating has become little more than a splatfest this season where would the great skating come from?
Originally Posted by SkateFan4Life
For every ONE person that ins't interested there tends to be two to three who are. If it's the case of Irina, I like an update every once in a while on her medical condition, especially when it first came to light...
Yeah I could live without the reminder that Tanith and Ben have citizenship issues, but at the same time they are so personable when they do the fluff pieces.
These aren't just done because the people don't know what their doing at the stations... this is to promote the "stars" so that the average joe who sits there and knows nearly nothing on the sport can get to know these skaters and maybe stay on for the 2-3 hours a week that it's on.
I say bring on the fluff
I don't have a problem with the bios (at least, unlike with horseracing, they usually back the right 'horse', so to speak), but I do have a problem when they repeat the EXACT SAME ONE every time.
What annoys me more are stupid "cultural" expeditions, like "Peter Carruthers orders a crepe from a French street vendor", or "Kimmie Meissner wanders through French cultural landmarks trying to come up with something informed to say and failing." (At least Johnny Weir, though he may be the finickiest, oddest eater of blini and caviar I've ever seen, KNOWS SOMETHING about Moscow--why didn't we get a tour with him? He even speaks a little Russian. Instead we get a rehash of caviar-eating with him and Peter.)
But the problem with that is the skaters are preparing for the championships and don't have time for all that. Kimmie was featured so much only because she wasn't skating at the actual event. JMO
Uh...she was skating at TEB. I said "France", not "Moscow." She was skating, and wandering all over the place for ABC/ESPN. Probably because they're pushing her as the next big thing in American ladies, on the basis of that shaky 3A last year.
Originally Posted by Red Dog
Heh, maybe she should have spent more time on practice than on Notre Dame or commenting how high the Eiffel Tower is...
I hate the inordinately-high amount of time devoted to the bios & other fluff pieces by N.Am. networks, too. Why do they exist? To lure viewers into watching & taking more interest in skating...and, thus, spend more time in front of the TV watching commercials. [Commercials are what it's all about for ABC, ESPN & the rest...don't ever forget that.]
Alas, North American TV networks know, through marketing surveys, that the casual viewer ('Joe & Jane Public') wants to see such human-interest stories. He or she is lured into watching more of a competition -- translated: more COMMERCIALS -- when he/she is familiar & interested in particular skaters. Familiarity is bred through the fluff pieces. Hence, we see a heck of a lot of them here in North America, compared to other parts of the globe.
If you don't like fluff pieces, commercials, etc....if you want to see full coverage of skating events or other sports, move to European countries with state-subsidized TV (such as Spain) or to China.
[LEFT]I personally could do without the constant Michael Weiss and his wife and kids, Tanith and Ben have citizenship problems, and Sasha goes to a resteraunt fluff. I rather they show all the best skating from the competition in question then if there is any time left they can show the godforsaken fluff- that would be my bathroom break.[/LEFT]
Sorry if I came off as downright mean but c'mon do we need to see the same d@mn thing over and over again? Do they need someone to think of new ideas for them to spice it up? I understand that the more interesting skaters(the Asians and Europeans might be very busy) but it would be nice to see them in the spotlight. I might as well move to European in a few years and enjoy Eurosport.
Sorry for the misunderstanding. But I do agree with your last point- the TV networks should film all their footage BEFORE the competition (but how do we know when they filmed the Kimmie footage? Maybe they flew her out early to film that ) and let the skaters do their thing. I also don't understand the backlash towards the "city features." I think it's interesting to get a little of the "life" of the culture around the site, but that's JMO.
Originally Posted by julietvalcouer
The fluff pieces seem to cover the same skaters over and over. Plus, they have time to run fluff and then cut off so-and-so's skate.
The problem with the city features, at least recently, are they...well, they're not informative to anyone halfway literate. Kimmie's were just painful--she obviously didn't know anything about the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre or, heaven help her, Notre Dame. At least if they'd run around Moscow with Johnny he probably would have had something original to say.
And watching Peter Carruthers eat is not my idea of entertainment any day! YMMV.
One of the dumbest bios that was aired, IMHO, was one on Tara Lipinski that was broadcast during the Nagano Olympics. It tried to portray her as "just a normal girl who loves to skate". She was shown lollygagging at the local shopping mall, giggling with her girlfriends, sitting on her bed at home and gossiping with her girlfriends, and standing on the roof of her house with her girlfriends and setting off firecrackers. Oh yes, the final segment showed her back in her bedroom, talking a secret language with her girfrields. It sounded as though they threw out the consonants as they "communicated" with each other.
Frankly, I thought it was hysterical. I was laughing my head off.