Pines & the cultural revolution
"It still isn't easy to find your voice in the vast ocean of culture and entertainment," Pines notes. "On the news, they might call it culture and do a report on the new play at the theater, but when it comes down to it, the bosses there really just want to see the star."
The success of "Good Evening with Guy Pines" seems inextricably linked with recent upheavals in the culture and entertainment market in Israel, and particularly in the media and the manner in which this field has been covered since Pines' program first aired. This is all closely related to the communications revolution that has been going on in the country since the 1990s - with the advent of cable television, the rise of Channel 2, the introduction of satellite TV and the Internet explosion. It appears that "Good Evening" had a direct influence on this dynamic process. It's enough to recall the 11 straight years in which the program won the award for best local entertainment show, and to look at the topics that it has considered worthy enough to concentrate on.
"Nowadays everyone focuses on these topics a lot more," says Pines. "One reason for this is that we brought these things into the legitimate mainstream."
Pines speaks modestly, but his contribution to the revolution in the culture of entertainment cannot be minimized. Following his lead, competitors sprang up, such as the parallel satellite program "Y at Ten" (which later became "Y in the Evening"), the Israeli Entertainment Channel and weeklies like Pnai Plus and Rating. All were latecomers to the niche that Pines was the first to identify. Especially interesting is his influence on the "serious" news programs. Topics that were formerly considered too frivolous to cover - from Mizrahi singing stars to overseas fashion shoots - became legitimate.
"It still isn't easy to find your voice in the vast ocean of culture and entertainment," Pines notes. "On the news, they might call it culture and do a report on the new play at the theater, but when it comes down to it, the bosses there really just want to see the star. They'll cover the Berlin Film Festival, but what really interests them is Ofer Shechter goofing around on the red carpet. In the end, what they want is Bar Refaeli in Sports Illustrated. In some way the viewing habits that we helped create are now more widespread. On the other hand, the media today shouldn't be judged by using the mirror of the past. Things change. The audience changes and technology changes."
Even though, until a few years ago, these sorts of items were considered totally frivolous.
Pines: "I think we know how to deal with materials related to entertainment in a way that doesn't make people feel like teenage fans of starlets. It's possible to feel comfortable with the material and to learn from it what people are talking about in the world, and it also makes for some fun and laughs. It's true that now everybody is dealing with this realm, and the competition is tough. Even the Channel 2 news goes to battle with us to obtain exclusivity in reporting on a new underwear catalog. And I'm not kidding."
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