Most agree there are some areas that need tweaking (mostly regarding the content) but the show also seems to have scored a preliminary thumbs up for a first day.
Wake Up is one part breakfast show with all the requisite tools — news, weather, sport, celebrity gossip, cross-promotional plugs, previews of the coming day’s big events — and one part The View-like chat show, the hosts and guests primed with a handful of ready-made talking points.
The show was largely sold on the hook of its beachside setting and being the only morning show with localised news, with Nuala Hafner delivering the headlines and weather from a studio at Melbourne’s Federation Square. A counterpunch, one imagines, to the accusation of Wake Up being too Sydney-centric.
In the end, though, it plays to the morning TV rulebook, geography less important than conviviality, chumminess and a running-sheet that ensured that the viewer didn’t suffer too much repetition (though a moratorium on the phrase “the race that stops a nation” when introducing the obligatory Melbourne Cup item might be in order).
The two-hour show contained endless “talking points” segments devoted to seemingly random topics such as Catholicism, weight loss after childbirth, drinking in front of children, office affairs and drug taking.
Do we really want to hear non-experts talking endlessly about their opinions? The chatty format works brilliantly on The Project, because it is very tightly produced, with live crosses and interviews kept short and punchy, and naturally funny hosts, Charlie Pickering and Dave Hughes. Here it’s not as effective.
First-day jitters presumably accounted for the hosts’ nervous giggles, awkward glances and slips of the tongue – Exelby at one point welcoming us to Queensland rather than Queenscliff. That might improve: Belling handled the conversation and jokes like a pro.
Ten standout moments on Wake Up
1. The crew member walking through the middle of the set with the surfboard at the start of the show as the voiceover asked what our message was to Cardinal Pell.
2. Tash. Early prediction: she’s the new Paul Henry in this Tash-Tarsh-Matho mix. Did I imagine some jaw-tightening from the other pair a couple of times? I don’t think so. Her best bits: when she said her brother wanted to know if he had to watch the whole show, likening it to a horror movie, and then saying Tarsh is not a Chucky Doll. And her contribution to the discussion on office romances: “The guy who hired me is gay so that didn’t work.”
3. Sam Mac, roving reporter, meeting the neighbours outside at Queenscliff. He was the liveliest person on air all morning. He told them he hadn’t been this excited about a launch since Yasmin’s Getting Married. Background in case you’ve forgotten: a Ten show from 2006, axed after a week on air.
Sunshine Coast Daily:
The hosts look relaxed, despite Exelby admitting to being nervous.
Exelby was the first to christen the show’s blooper reel, introducing the show’s Million Dollar Nipper promotion as a partnership with the Queensland Nippers, rather than the Queenscliff Nippers.
“I’m from Queensland, it’s going to happen from time to time,” she laughed.
“I’m glad it happened on the first day.”
Helping to launch the show’s “housewarming week” will be Perth rockers Eskimo Joe, who are slated to perform in the “beach house” later this morning.
The show is also promising interviews with heaps of film stars this week, including Harrison Ford, Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth.
It’s certainly a more impressive start than Ten’s ill-fated Breakfast program last year.
But does the show offer something different enough to attract viewers?
I think the hosts have good chemistry but they will take a little while to bed in. Tomorrow’s ratings results will be the first litmus test.