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Thread: "Up Close and Personal" TV bios

  1. #1
    SkateFan4Life
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    "Up Close and Personal" TV bios

    In my opinion, the television stations that broadcast the major figure skating competitions would be doing themselves - and especially the fans - by reducing the number of those lengthy
    "up close and personal" bio pieces so that more competitive performances can be aired.

    I'm not bashing Michael Weiss, but if I see another one of those syrupy, cutesy bios of him, his wife, and kids, and have to listen to Michael again explain how he's going to focus on his training and have a successful season - I'm turning off the television set.
    Enough is enough, already.

    Honestly, is anybody out there really so interested in every little detail of the skater's personal lives? Sure, it's nice to see small bios, 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. 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.

    With all due respect to Michelle, Sasha, Timothy, etc - and I wish them all the best - unless the "up close and personal bios" are limited strictly to figure skating AND are kept to a minimun lenth -
    I'm simply going to turn on the "mute" button and do something else while those featured are aired. They are a waste of time, in my opinion.

    Just my two cents, of course.

  2. #2
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    "Up Close and Personal" TV bios

    SkateFan4Life:

    I totally agree. A few minutes talking to the skater is okay, but we don't need to know their entire life history or what did you do this summer type of interview. ABC is the worst offender especially during the Olympics. It's almost as if the other skaters who are not as well known or have not made it yet are not important enough to broadcast. CTV is much better, they usually spend a few minutes with a skater like Elivs or Jennifer before the televised event and talk to them after their performance - good or bad, but the focus is on the competition.

  3. #3
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    I agree. I could do without the Up Close and Personals too. Sometimes, like during the Olympics, they may show the same ones on the same atheletes during the different nights of competitions. Talk about a waste of TV time. One of the networks said one time about all their athlete bios that they want to make it about the athlete not just about results. That's good to a certain extent but I think most people tune in to watch the competition, not bios and commercials interrupted by a little bit of competition.

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    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    BLAH BLAH BLAH

    If I see one more UCAP (Up Close And Personal) where Michelle is sitting under a tree or walking along the beach looking PENSIVE while her own voiceover plays in the background ("What skating means to me... blah blah blah") I am going to HURL! :\

  5. #5
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    ITA. At fitst, I thought it was interesting; in fact, having say a 3 minute bio is often fun. But it's almost like there is more bio than actual skating!!! Also, the media has ad some favorite stories over the years: Elena Berezhnaya's head injury; Oksana's soap story; Surya's adopted mom. In each of those cases, I just felt like "ENOUGH ALREADY!!!"

  6. #6
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    I agree, but I have liked certain featurettes that have been done (Kristi's Making of Malaguena from 92, the Making of Nancy's LP Dress in 94). Some of them are interesting, but most of the other stuff is so cheesy and a waste of time that could be used to show other skaters.

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    I don't mind "fluff pieces" every once in awhile, but if they contain nothing about a skater that we don't already know (ie. all the fluff pieces about Michael Weiss and his family) or if important portions of a competition have to be chacked in order to make room for them, I could very well do without them!

    But the worst, IMO, is when networks broadcast the exact same fluff piece more than once during two entirely different events. I definitely remember seeing a fluff piece with Michelle Kwan on the beach (around the time she first started going to UCLA) and another with her standing underneath a lightbulb in a fluffy sweater more than once. I'm sure there are probably more "repeated" fluff pieces, but those are the two that first came to my mind!

  8. #8
    SkateFan4Life
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    Amazing -- we're all in agreement on this topic! As much as I admire Michelle Kwan, if ABC or any other network airs another UCAP segment of her sitting on the beach trying to explain her thought processes concerning whether or not she remains eligible, etc. - I'm going to throw something at my television set.

    I think the networks must consider us a bunch of twits - folks who live vicariously through these skaters and who just ooze affection and glee at these bio pieces. Honestly, ABC, NBC, and the rest - while a very small bio segment or two is nice (when it's not repeated, ad nausem, as in the Michael Weiss pieces) that's what I want to see - not the family relationships enjoyed or not enjoyed by the skaters.

    And, while not wanting to sound critical, some of the skaters are hardly what I would call articulate. Their opinions just aren't that interesting. I can recall one, at least, who I won't name, who used to hem and haw whenever interviewed. Yuk.

    STICK WITH THE SKATING!!! :D

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by Verbalgirl77
    I agree, but I have liked certain featurettes that have been done (Kristi's Making of Malaguena from 92, the Making of Nancy's LP Dress in 94). Some of them are interesting, but most of the other stuff is so cheesy and a waste of time that could be used to show other skaters.
    ITA, pieces like this are actually interesting. The rest are just time fillers.

  10. #10
    Minusaramadad from Arctaroon John King's Avatar
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    "Up Close and Personal" TV Bios

    Well,to each their own.Oksana Baiul has had 4 hour-long bios on her life,Intimate Portrait,A&E Biography,Beyond the Glory and E! True Hollywood Story,I guess there is that much interest in the Lass.In Canada,Liz Manley,Brian Orser have had their own bios,as have B & E, U & M,and Barbara Anne Scott King.Tonya's of a life is probably more titalating than K & O's story,but I am just not interested in her.

  11. #11
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I guess I'm the only one who loves to see Michelle Kwan walking along the beach trying to explain her thought processes or looking pensive while sitting under a tree. *sigh*

    Mathman

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    They are a waste of time, IMO. I wan't to see more programs. I watch skating for the skating, not some few minute bios that aren't even that informative.

  13. #13
    Figure Skating Is A Dangerous Sport Dee4707's Avatar
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    If I see one more UCAP (Up Close And Personal) where Michelle is sitting under a tree or walking along the beach looking PENSIVE while her own voiceover plays in the background ("What skating means to me... blah blah blah") I am going to HURL!
    RealtorGal, especially the hurling part

    Dee

  14. #14
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    I love the bios. And I'll take a piece on a skater I already know about over having to watch the boring lower ranked skaters any day. At a comp it's different, I don't mind watching the entire field, but on TV give me only the top 8 at the most.

  15. #15
    average opinionated skate fan
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    and another thing....

    In most sporting events, biographical info is done by the color team calling the event. One does not have to break out the sentimental music and "vasiline and gauze" lens on a camera to evoke some emotional appeal for skaters. It would also give the commentators so much more to say.

    Talk about hurl, if I have to listen to Terry Gannon tell me for the squillianth time that " The top 3 have their destiny in their own hands. Whoever wins the freeskate takes the gold." Since this has been the case for nearly 15 years do we really need to be reminded of that fact.

    It's like tuning in to a tennis match when they are serving and saying " any serve that hits the net when being served is a 'let' and must be played over again" Well duh! It feels like the commentary on figure skating treats its veiwers as if this were their very first time watching skating on TV.

    I'm also of the opposite opinion from the above poster that only wants to see no more than 6 skaters. Sure it's painful to watch someone who isn't going to score higher than 12th pop jumps and fall down, but I think it helps illustrate just how difficult what the top 5 are doing in a competition. Also, when the competition is international, I really like to see the "up and comers" and find out who to "look out for." Perhaps with the advent of the Ice Channel we'll get to see that more, however, I'm afraid that the "biograph-o-thon" may just get worse.

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