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Afternoon Five: the debut of Myrta Merlino, between emotion and a little too much coldness

Inherit a historical program such as Afternoon Five and finding him on your shoulders overnight, reading praises to the former landlady almost everywhere and a preventive distrust marked by the first promos broadcast on Canale 5 in July, must not have been easy for Myrta Merlin. At the most because, when he decided to leave La7, he should have hosted a prime-time program on Rete 4 dedicated to politics, and not an afternoon container which must mix a little with everything to captivate an unabashedly mainstream audience and be pop. Myrta Merlino, however, accepts the challenge and gets dressed Afternoon Five of a new presentability, far – at least for now – from any trashy drift and marked by an austerity which, however, is not so easy to familiarize yourself with on a network that until a couple of years ago offered us Denis Dosio and Follettina Creation. The change of course decided by Pier Silvio Berlusconiwho decided to make a clean sweep of all the most controversial content that could be attacked by public opinion and the press, was immediately clear, and the fact that Myrta Merlino intends to refound a Afternoon Five closest to the competitor Live life than in the Durrsian eraall euphoria, dizzying colorful stilettos and «shock» envelopes, is clear from the very first minutes of the new edition.

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Leaving aside an avoidable gag that sees her confabulating with the authors pretending not to notice she’s live, Myrta Merlino enters an extremely bare studio studded with LED walls and starts a zero bet which, as such, is very difficult to judge because we know very well that a fair and equitable evaluation of the new Afternoon Five we could only release it in a couple of months, when the journalist will have become familiar with the network and the public will be accustomed to a new cut which, however, would need some urgent changes in order to survive. Beyond the emotion and palpable fear, the biggest flaw that grips the new presenter of Afternoon Five And an excessive dependence on the hunchback which makes her as cold as an automaton, more interested in not getting stuck in her speeches than in transmitting a minimum of empathy which, unfortunately, other elements present in the studio do not help her to guarantee.

Like the fact that the guest-columnist, from Rita Dalla Chiesa to Merlino’s friend Claudio Amandola, do not occupy a place in the center of the scene but are seated in the audience, increasing a distance with the conductor which is not good for relationship and conversation dynamics and which ends up weighing down an air already tense – we would need, to be clear, a table ala Matano and at Fazio -. It is the first episode, it is clear that the authors could intervene in fieri to correct the shot and, in this case, we would suggest doing something on another front as well: that of rhythm. Merlin’s narration, although supported by a good dialectic but also by some little too much Dursian phrasing here and there-like when he says he wants Giulia Tramontano’s photo behind her «while he looks at her belly»- , it is too slow and at times nervous. We realize this from the interruptions with commentators and correspondents who seem to suggest that Merlin wants at all costs to prove to herself and to the public that she is in full control of the situation. There will be time and ways to recover and return Afternoon Five more comfortable, but now the real question is another: we are certain that the public, which has in fact associated the afternoon of Canale 5 with excesses, videos with giant writings of all colors and caffaucci, will appreciate such a drastic change of register and so close to Rai1? We’ll see.

Source: Vanity Fair

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