Alternately intriguing and annoying, this weekly hour of winetastings, wine talk, industry insider gossip, and general gourmet chit-chat would be unbearably precious if hosts Mark Spivak and John List weren't so goddamn knowledgeable. The oenologically challenged may still come away with the sneaking suspicion that all the talk about noses, backbones, tannins, and terroirs is nothing more than the emperor's new clothes for alcoholics, but the hosts bring such panache to the patter that the listener has no choice but to be swept away, even when the air gets thick with self-congratulation. "Until next week," the weekly signoff goes, "drink no white zinfandel." Like we haven't already learned that much. A show has to be pretty damn entertaining to draw you back after that. This one is.
Alternately intriguing and annoying, this weekly hour of winetastings, wine talk, industry insider gossip, and general gourmet chit-chat would be unbearably precious if hosts Mark Spivak and John List weren't so goddamn knowledgeable. The oenologically challenged may still come away with the sneaking suspicion that all the talk about noses, backbones, tannins, and terroirs is nothing more than the emperor's new clothes for alcoholics, but the hosts bring such panache to the patter that the listener has no choice but to be swept away, even when the air gets thick with self-congratulation. "Until next week," the weekly signoff goes, "drink no white zinfandel." Like we haven't already learned that much. A show has to be pretty damn entertaining to draw you back after that. This one is.
We give up. We have succumbed. We tried to resist him. We tried to keep his charms at bay, tried to forget the way he soothes our collective psyche like a steady drip of aural opiates. We didn't trust him, not with that convenient, store-bought name and dangerously smooth demeanor. But Dwight Lauderdale -- or perhaps just his soft, bedroom eyes -- defeated us. We're now powerless under his dream-like spell. When he's serious, we're serious. When he gives us that warm smile, we smile back. We chuckle at his inane happy talk between weather and sports. We have no idea what is really going on in the world, and guess what? We don't care. We are Dwight Lauderdale zombies -- and we're coming for your brains next.
We give up. We have succumbed. We tried to resist him. We tried to keep his charms at bay, tried to forget the way he soothes our collective psyche like a steady drip of aural opiates. We didn't trust him, not with that convenient, store-bought name and dangerously smooth demeanor. But Dwight Lauderdale -- or perhaps just his soft, bedroom eyes -- defeated us. We're now powerless under his dream-like spell. When he's serious, we're serious. When he gives us that warm smile, we smile back. We chuckle at his inane happy talk between weather and sports. We have no idea what is really going on in the world, and guess what? We don't care. We are Dwight Lauderdale zombies -- and we're coming for your brains next.
When Benno Schmidt reports for NBC 6 News, whether it's live coverage of "Brazen Bandits" robbing a convenience store or yet another sad story about an elderly person found living ankle-deep in animal poo, his hair looks fabulous. Almost escaping the frame of his closeup, Benno's locks are like Clark Kent's: black and lustrous, with a sensible dollop of dippity-do (our guess is Aveda's Defy). How he achieves the particular shellac that holds his three-inch-tall Wall of Bangs in place despite the intense heat of TV lights is inspiring. From Texas originally? Naw, the East Coast. He graduated from Wesleyan University (with a New Times writer, to whom he once exclaimed, "Can you believe I'm on TV giving the news, man?") and sharpened his skills at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. No beauty-school dropout, Benno gets high marks for his big hair.
When Benno Schmidt reports for NBC 6 News, whether it's live coverage of "Brazen Bandits" robbing a convenience store or yet another sad story about an elderly person found living ankle-deep in animal poo, his hair looks fabulous. Almost escaping the frame of his closeup, Benno's locks are like Clark Kent's: black and lustrous, with a sensible dollop of dippity-do (our guess is Aveda's Defy). How he achieves the particular shellac that holds his three-inch-tall Wall of Bangs in place despite the intense heat of TV lights is inspiring. From Texas originally? Naw, the East Coast. He graduated from Wesleyan University (with a New Times writer, to whom he once exclaimed, "Can you believe I'm on TV giving the news, man?") and sharpened his skills at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. No beauty-school dropout, Benno gets high marks for his big hair.
Irony, thy name is weather. Especially here in South Florida, where the damn thing can turn on a dime and, historically, has been our greatest blessing, bringing tourists and settlers, and greatest curse, bringing Hurricane Andrew and its ilk. Dealing with this loaded material -- the one bit of news that always affects the viewer directly -- local cloud jockeys generally fall into one of two schools of delivery: upbeat Dr. Feelgoods or clinically precise Professor Krankenheimers. Lopicola alone, the weekend mainstay on this NBC affiliate, strikes a postmodern pose. His broad, pleasant face radiates both amusement and calm; the muscular body language -- cold fronts drawn down across the map with precise left jabs -- shows both engagement and control. This is the weather we have, for better or for worse, is his subtext -- and hey, at least we aren't shoveling snow. Lopicola's tousled brush cut makes him a "Best Hair on the Air" contender too, but his "love it or leave it" meteorology is distinctively cool.
Irony, thy name is weather. Especially here in South Florida, where the damn thing can turn on a dime and, historically, has been our greatest blessing, bringing tourists and settlers, and greatest curse, bringing Hurricane Andrew and its ilk. Dealing with this loaded material -- the one bit of news that always affects the viewer directly -- local cloud jockeys generally fall into one of two schools of delivery: upbeat Dr. Feelgoods or clinically precise Professor Krankenheimers. Lopicola alone, the weekend mainstay on this NBC affiliate, strikes a postmodern pose. His broad, pleasant face radiates both amusement and calm; the muscular body language -- cold fronts drawn down across the map with precise left jabs -- shows both engagement and control. This is the weather we have, for better or for worse, is his subtext -- and hey, at least we aren't shoveling snow. Lopicola's tousled brush cut makes him a "Best Hair on the Air" contender too, but his "love it or leave it" meteorology is distinctively cool.
Warning: Do not attempt to drive or bike down this winding, mile-long stretch unless you carry the maximum dental-insurance coverage. The opulent and luxurious multimillion-dollar estate homes on both sides of the road are sure to make your jaw drop. Many of the mansions are tucked behind lush vegetation and tall palm trees, but if you slow down enough (the speed limit is 35 mph anyway, and you'll fit right in), you can sometimes catch glimpses of the exotic and perfectly manicured gardens by peeking through the heavy metal gates and down the serpentine driveways. Architecture varies from the classic to the gaudy, and that makes the drive even more interesting. Among the oddballs are a medieval castle wannabe -- complete with tall, round turrets on each corner and gold-plated lions at the gate -- and a bright-white art deco mansion, with its walls and vestibules built in various geometric and pointy shapes. You can also catch a view of the sea here and there and breathe the fresh ocean air. If you're lucky, you might even spot Donald Trump or Oprah. Just don't forget to close your mouth if you do.
Warning: Do not attempt to drive or bike down this winding, mile-long stretch unless you carry the maximum dental-insurance coverage. The opulent and luxurious multimillion-dollar estate homes on both sides of the road are sure to make your jaw drop. Many of the mansions are tucked behind lush vegetation and tall palm trees, but if you slow down enough (the speed limit is 35 mph anyway, and you'll fit right in), you can sometimes catch glimpses of the exotic and perfectly manicured gardens by peeking through the heavy metal gates and down the serpentine driveways. Architecture varies from the classic to the gaudy, and that makes the drive even more interesting. Among the oddballs are a medieval castle wannabe -- complete with tall, round turrets on each corner and gold-plated lions at the gate -- and a bright-white art deco mansion, with its walls and vestibules built in various geometric and pointy shapes. You can also catch a view of the sea here and there and breathe the fresh ocean air. If you're lucky, you might even spot Donald Trump or Oprah. Just don't forget to close your mouth if you do.

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