Thu, Feb

Breakfast on TV: the good, the okay and not on my TV (2)

Randy Abbey

Last week, we started to talk about morning shows and my view on what they were and should be. 

As was to be expected, not everyone was happy with my view on set, content, presenters and sometimes guests of some of the shows I spoke about. Well, you can’t please everyone.

This week, I continue with the review and I will touch on the last batch of breakfast shows. I should mention at this stage that my review is mainly on stations that appear on my digital television, thus your station or programme is not likely to appear here if I have to use a set top box to get it.

Metro TV’s Morning show has been around for a long time and Randy Abbey has been a key figure on it for as long as one can remember. 

They created a late night show called Good Evening Ghana with Paul Adom-Otchere and then also created a morning show known as Good Morning Ghana. Simple.

But it is a known fact that this programme has gone through many ups and downs with change and swap of presenters and many in-between. 

It would seem, from my viewing lately, that after all the back and forth, the hosting of the show has fallen on Randy Abbey.

The show has a few segments with the newspaper review segment being dominant. Randy comes around to do that every day with the usual socio-political commentators, Kweku Baako and Kwesi Pratt being the neutrals and the others being the party communicators. It is always a show dominated by politics as thrown up by the dailies.

I think I like some aspects of the set, although I suspect it is a virtual set. That brown sofa on which Randy Abbey and his guests sit is beautiful and more beautiful is the brownish round raised platform on which the sofas are on.

They also have a very beautiful backdrop with this rising sun and the name of the show written in red on yellow background. What I don’t like is the busy background with many newspapers on the close up shots. But I can understand that is because it is newspaper review and they want to emphasize that.

Randy’s conversational approach to his show sits well with me. Except there are times you expect him to be hard and do some good follow ups, but he lets them go.

When the newspaper review with Randy and guests end, other segments such as news reports from location, etc continue to end.

ETV has struggled to get its coverage and signals shown across a wide geographical area. Until recently, I could not receive it well even on analogue, but that has been cleared and it has become clearer now.

The morning show on the station is heavily dominated by the newspaper review segment which is presented by the long serving presenter of the show, Bismark Brown. Together with his panel, they dissect the issues thrown up by the newspapers of the day.

The problem I have with Brown, as I do with Abbey and a few other presenters on television (which as a matter of fact may not be their problem, as it is that of the station) is when they read messages from their mobile phones. 

Can we put that on a big screen so it appears like they are reading from a prompter, and if we can’t do that, can we give them a tablet (iPad, Samsung, Android, anything) instead of them struggling to read from these small screens on TV?

Anyway, Bismark Brown does well to control his guests while interacting with his audience in a good balance. 

When his guests make allegations they can’t back, he calls them out and makes sure they retract. Their set for their various segments is simple.

ETV doesn’t have an elaborate studio, it seems, and so they make use of the space they have. They exposed on the long shots, but very good during close ups. Never mind that the backdrop is bland with nothing creative to show.

The best of TV Africa comes out in their creative way of making their set look good and you cannot have anything to say about the set that they use for the interview segment on the morning show, Maakye. 

Those adinkra symbols in the chairs, the ceramics and other metal sculptors on the background, the elaborate chair, the beautiful carpet sand the flower at the corner, all of that cannot be missed by even the casual observer.

There are other segments that I could speak about as a blot on this beauty, such as sitting arrangement for the newspaper review and the backdrop for the entertainment news segment, but the beauty of the set spoken above does it all for me.

Another morning show on TV which studio I could sleep in for years has got to be that of Adom TV’s Badwam show. 

If I were ranking morning shows just on their set design and the aesthetic quality that it comes with, that of Adom TV will be among the top three.

The one thing you should know about me by now is that I appreciate it so much when people put a lot of effort into something and make sure that it comes out very well and the guys at Adom TV, especially for the morning show, have ticked that box.

The wall frame with the adinkra symbols, the chair that the presenters sit in for both the newspaper review segment and the main discussion segment, the centre table, the carpet and the entire look and feel is amazing.

Nana Yaa Benefo works her turf well on the interview segment as one who understands the issues and asks the relevant questions for her guests to answer. 

On the other hand, Omanhene Kwabena Asante who is a veteran of a sort in this game seems to have mellowed from his fiery days. It could be the nature of the show, but I want some fire.

If there is one thing I do not like about the UTV morning show, it has to be the set. It seems that someone wants to cram everything onto that set and they are not able to do it well too. There are too many things in the studio: flowers, wall hangings, bric-a-bracs all over.

 I however like the seats that the presenters and the guests sit in. Simple, but elegant.

On the content side, they are mainly a newspaper review show with representation mainly from the two major political parties (which you already know) to talk about the issues that appear in the paper on daily basis. There is also interviews about other matters to add the conversation.

Homebase TV brings the rear on this two-part series on breakfast shows on TV. I find their set to be very homely and I like the backdrop of adinkra symbols and beautiful wall frames in the background. This compensates for the small studio they have.

I realise whoever directs the show prefers close shots to long shots and that could be because the studio is very small and they don’t want to expose too much of that. 

The chairs look good and comfy enough for the guests and the hosts. Content is newspaper and other issues.

It would appear from the analysis since last week that the dominant content for morning shows on television in Ghana is newspaper review. 

There are but a few of them who try hard to ensure that other well produced content dominates the show.

It would appear from the analysis since last week that the dominant content for morning shows on television in Ghana is newspaper review. There are but a few of them who try hard to ensure that other well produced content dominates the show.

Also, there seem to be some effort by most of the stations to into designing their set to ensure that it looks good. 

Adinkra symbols dominate most of these aesthetically appealing studio sets and that, in my arrogant view, need to be commended.

The presenters are doing their best and need to be commended to do more.



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