Myrta Merlino e Bianca Berlinguer: Nervoso esordio a Mediaset

Myrta Merlino and Bianca Berlinguer have immortalized themselves together on Instagram in front of Studio 1 of Palatino, tanned, smiling, and bold, like the Thelma & Louise of talk shows, fleeing from La7 and Rai Tre. They are the new guardians of the revolution of Mediaset. The queens of this new era, the anchorwomen of the turning point season, the first in the post-Berlusconi era. Once upon a time, it was all about Maria De Filippi and Barbara D’Urso here. But the climate has truly changed. There is even a sense of settling scores. And here comes Barbara D’Urso, bidding farewell to everyone and leaving Italy like a political refugee (not like those intellectuals who said they would leave the country every time Berlusconi won the elections and then stayed). She is going into exile in London, like Mazzini, to study English, to “enhance” her curriculum. Then we’ll see. But she symbolizes the end of a television era. After the denials a la Nuremberg (“I was just following orders”), after heartfelt regrets for too many reality shows, too many freaks, too much sensationalism, the new course begins: more content, less gossip, more in-depth analysis, more quality, more Rai 3, less Fox News. This is Pier Silvio Berlusconi’s disruption. The “phase two,” as he calls it. His personal decontamination of trash. An idea that has come from afar and that finally, at 54, allows him to mark a difference between father and son (there is indeed a lot of “Oedipus in Cologno” behind this quality revolution). Already in 2017, the CEO criticized television that “desperately chases ratings,” television that, again and again, “slides into shouting or falls into trash.” There is an old television proverb: when ideas have hit rock bottom, you can always start digging. And so, the great carousel of the summer telemerchandise begins, the shuffling of formats, networks, hosts, the reshuffling of parts with the sum remaining the same. Surviving oneself: this is the miracle of television. However, ever since he distanced himself from Barbara D’Urso (and then Belen and Ilary Blasy), ever since he brought some left-wing voices to Mediaset, ever since he started talking about “quality” and viewers’ sensitivity being “hurt by excesses and vulgarity,” ever since he circulated the new rules of engagement, “no influencers, no OnlyFans,” in short, ever since he muzzled trash, Pier Silvio Berlusconi has also received the first pats on the back from the progressive media, once the fierce enemy of his father’s television, starting with Gramellini’s praise shortly after the funeral. He is now presented as the architect of a new “popular quality,” whatever that means. A Gramscian turning point, legitimized and framed by the “Berlinguer” brand, the company’s new trophy. After all, nobody defends television made solely for entertainment and not for “telling stories,” “capturing moments,” “depicting the country.” Not even Barbara D’Urso defends Barbara D’Urso’s television. However, there is also a lot of confusion in this new, more serious, mature, and authoritative Mediaset. This frantic search for legitimacy can also be stressful. It’s like that episode of “Boris” with director René Ferretti caught up in the “quality” trip (“enough with the crap on television”) and therefore using dollies, tracking shots, Storaro-style lighting, melodramas, complaints, and storytelling of reality, until he can’t take it anymore and bursts out (“quality has fucked everything up!”) and everything goes back to how it was before.

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