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TELEVISION & RADIO | TUNED IN

KTLA hopes it's never too late to be 'Makin' Noise'

September 05, 2003|Mark Sachs | Times Staff Writer

It's 1 a.m., the surfboard has been waxed, the new wheels are on the skateboard and Mom and Dad are deep into their REMs. It's time to commandeer the TV remote and relax.

But what to watch? Conan and Kimmel are winding down, you've seen that episode of "Cops" at least a dozen times, and besides, you're kind of in the mood for some music videos. MTV? Get real -- the chances of flipping over there and coming across an actual video are about as good as your folks' wandering in and offering to take the parental block off the Playboy Channel. What's a young insomniac to do?

With this target demographic squarely in its cross hairs, the WB is rolling out another option tonight with "Makin' Noise," an hourlong show packed with all the goodies the youth market supposedly holds dear to its collective heart. Hot music videos, split-screen extreme-sports action, spokesmodels, surfing footage -- it's like something built from a generational checklist.

The show, which has had a couple of previous airings in other time slots but tonight gets its official debut on KTLA Channel 5 and a network of West Coast WB stations, is hosted by Hoyt Christopher (E! Entertainment), who has only the most modest duties beyond introducing the videos. And that's probably a good thing, because he displays only the faintest glimmers of anything resembling charisma. His brief banterings with the rotating spokesmodels are largely charmless exercises, but he seems to be having a good time, and after a while it's almost contagious.

But what saves "Makin' Noise" from being merely a bloodlessly generic pushing of hot buttons is the inspired selection of music videos.

Like '60s-era FM stations that blithely spun records by Tom Jones, Jimi Hendrix and the Archies back-to-back-to-back, the show mixes genres like mad, and because they're all top or at least interesting choices, it works. Hip-hop, alt-rock, emo, it's a heady brew.

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