The Surfies

Locally produced TV shows deserve to be honored for their intelligence, their wit, their impeccably bad taste. Don't touch that remote control!

Quote-O-Matic: "I try to stay away from the political stuff," says the host. "This is a good-time, positive kind of show."

Network Equivalent:
Jon Tesh
Fun Fact: Beach gadfly Joe Fontana, Cohen's evil twin, may soon have his own show, entitled Backfire.

Airs: Gold Coast Cablevision Channel 3 (Miami Beach) on various days and times

Lifestyle Program
And the Surfie goes to...
Life's a Beach

While Steve Cohen sticks to the pedestrian, Life's a Beach -- another Gold Coast entry -- is a celebration of SoBe's better-known assets. Specifically breasts, self-promoters, trendy clubs, trendy sports, and oily breasts. The show rolls chatty interviews, comedy skits, sports footage, and shots of native fauna into one not-very-filling burrito. The writing is often clever -- one segment features a Socratic dialogue between Jean Paul Sartre and Chewbacca the Wookie from Star Wars -- and the hosts are appropriately perky. Which brings us to the show's specialties: the Bikini Contest and the Bikini Oil Wrestling Contest.

Cheese Factor:
Production Notes: Those who look carefully during selected beach shots can spot a fully exposed sunbather's breast.

Quote-O-Matic: "I want to thank those of you who are tuning in to Life's a Beach intentionally." (from host Bill Cross)

Network Equivalent: An amalgam of MTV Sports and that network's House of Style

Parting Gifts: Free copy of the Oil Bikini Wrestling segment
Educational Value: Breasts look good oily.
Airs: The show's producers are now seeking national distribution for two spinoff shows. As a result, Life's a Beach is no longer aired locally.

Aerobics Show
And the Surfie goes to...
Kidz Aerobics

Shunning the convenient myth that kids are exempt from lethal arterial blockage, tiny Dena Cicale leads viewers through 30 minutes of pulse-racing exercise. Clad in purple spandex, matching sash, and spangled legwarmers, the six-year-old aerobics dominatrix barks out orders ("Take it low!" "Squat and up!") while her mom (a pro aerobics instructor, wouldn't you know it?) hollers encouragement from the wings. A concept well before its time, Kidz Aerobics has gone the way of so much revolutionary programming. (Recall FishTV and Ugly George.) The show, aired last year on Channel 36, is no more.

Cheese Factor:
Kraft Fat-Free Singles
Quote-O-Matic: "Wiggle those hips, oh yeah. Let's make some monkey faces."
Network Equivalent: Mary Lou Retton

Fun Fact: The show was sponsored by the Knights of Pythias Booster Lodge Number 132. Huh?

Educational Value: Small children are in better shape than you are.
Variety Show
And the Surfie goes to...
Sabado gigante

At the bidding of puffy host Don Francisco, entire Latin nations shake their booties, demean themselves for money, and send their virgin daughters on-stage in crack-crawling bikinis. A mindless variety show? Hah! Univision's Sabado is actually a brilliantly conceived tool of cultural imperialism. How better to disseminate the tenets of North American culture than via satellite feed?

Cheese Factor:
Nacho cheese
Production Notes: Don Francisco has played host, inexplicably, to Elizabeth Taylor, at least two of her husbands, and Rock Hudson.

Fun Fact: Don Francisco's real name is Mario Kreutzberger. He is a wealthy Chilean Jew.

Airs: 7:00 p.m. Saturday on WLTV-TV (Channel 23)
Comedy Show
And the Surfie goes to...
Salvese quien pueda

The wickedly clever Salvese quien pueda -- which translates as "save yourself if you can" -- holds nothing and nobody sacred. The ensemble cast uses sketch comedy to poke fun at everything from the Catholic church to politicians to pop stars to Telemundo's own self-serious news anchors.

Cheese Factor:
Sharp cheddar
Quote-O-Matic: "We were the first ones on Spanish-language TV to use the girls in the thong bikinis," says producer Norma Osorio. "Now everyone does it."

Network Equivalent:
In Living Color
Parting Gifts: Telemundo flack sent windup toys and chocolate.
Airs: Sunday nights at 7:00 on WSCV-TV (Channel 51)
Comedy Show (Unintentional)
And the Surfie goes to...
your local municipal government

Pop yourself a bag o' microwave corn, check your local listings for the next meeting, and settle in for a dose of improvisational humor. Whether it's an arrogant city manager bawling out a gadfly or a politico being led off in handcuffs, Dade County's elected officials never disappoint.

Network Equivalent:
Fun Fact: Generally speaking, the smaller the municipality, the funnier the performance

Parting Gifts: -- healthy mistrust of the electoral process
Airs: Varies by municipality
I Want My OwnTV!
A public-service interlude

By now you are probably saying to yourself, "Wait a second, I'm a decent, taxpaying American. I've done time as a cathode-ray tuber. I sat through that whole O.J. Simpson deal. Where in God's name is my teevee show?"

Okay. Here's the deal.
Step One: Incorporate yourself as a nonprofit. It's fun! It's easy! It's tax-exempt! Just send $122.50 to the Florida Secretary of State, along with a declaration of incorporation that sets out the specific purpose of your company.

Step Two: Order some stationery with your letterhead.
Step Three: Compose a letter outlining how a teevee show would help further your organization's goals. Send it to Martin Yoffe, WLRN Cable-TAP, 172 NE Fifteenth St., Miami, Florida, 33132. If your submission is selected, Cable-TAP will produce and air twenty hours of programming countywide on Channel 36 and/or Channel 37.

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