Monday, January 19, 2009

The weather outside...

It used to be that we would follow the weather through our local television channels, though in Southern California the weather never changes and the differentiation between today and tomorrow is a matter of a couple degrees and perhaps a threat of early morning cloud cover. We know it's going to be hot in Woodland Hills, windy in Porter Ranch, and mild in Pasadena. Guys like Fritz Coleman and Dallas Raines would keep us updated with Doppler, or Doppler 7000, or even Doppler Mega. In high definition and with computer graphics that seem like they should be better, it seems that we should be pinned to the television, but we aren't. Are we? The web and my iPhone provide everything I need and in what seems real time. The 7-day forecasts are usually wrong on television and when a threat of rain comes on to the radar, you know Raines and Coleman crack their knuckles and get to work early. And sure enough some correspondent will perch themselves on the corner of Ventura Boulevard and Van Nuys near the deepest part of a pothole, waiting, yearning, hoping that some sap will hit it just right so as to splash a 6-foot wave of run-off on to the sidewalk. Golden!

Since we are more concerned with traffic patterns and morning drive time, the weather is now insignificant to us. It's like how NBC posts "Kath and the Kim" (the worst show on television) in between "My Name is Earl" and "The Office"... It's just there and I will likely watch it just so I can get to "The Office". It's purely an example as I don't watch any of these shows, but you get the idea. And for all of you "Office" fans, the US version pales in comparison to the UK version. I digress.

So this brings me to why, all the sudden, the weather on my local channels now intrigue me. It's the women. Yep, plain and simple. I think the network people have concluded that the weather is insignificant to the people of Southern California too, and that they had to spruce it up. It's also the only position on the local news that involves movement, meaning that the talking head actually has to interact and move around the set (blue screen). The people who "report" the news sit or stand behind a table or desk, but the weather person is at one with the wind patterns and cloud movements and the happy face sun and sad drizzle graphics. They bend and swerve, look at you, look sideways, make endearing gestures, click the tiny remote in their hand and slide from one end of the map from Santa Clarita to Big Bear all the way over to Ventura and back again to Burbank. It's Nintendo Wii and it looks better when it's a hot little Asian girl or blonde-headed hottie doing the deed. I look forward to it now!

So what was the process for making such a move from "crusty old dude" to "hot young woman"? The aforementioned interactive aspect is certainly one thing and of course the fact that the weather is insignificant to us is the other. There's no debating these 2 concepts. The interview process must have been interesting too. I could picture a lineup of hotties mixed in with a few male weather dorks and the contemplation of the upper management when determining who would become the next weather person. Done deal: hot woman rules out over square, boring, crusty guy named Chip or Garth.

Is it sexist? Nope. See the pictures and the sweet video below. Who cares if it's 75 degrees and clear tomorrow!