The talk show in the age of Monti

The age of Berlusconi saw the Italian TV current affairs talk show become just that: a show. Endless burble, plenty of self-promotion, little substance, formulaic hostilities, presenters as prima donnas rather than hosts eliciting opinions from guest speakers, the same faces week after week, year after year. In short, mildly entertaining provided you didn’t think too hard, but fundamentally pointless. Mario Monti is the antithesis of Silvio Berlusconi. Will the more sober spirit of the times, the new technocratic government and the need to build consensus for the painful reforms Italy sorely needs result in TV becoming more divulgative and less of a spectacle? Or will everything remain much as before? Se vogliamo che tutto rimanga come è, bisogna che tutto cambi.