Denise Koch is hosting one of her quarterly "Get to Know" shows tonight, a half hour with profiles of three Baltimoreans. It is this show's usual mix of interesting subjects portrayed in a too-soft focus.
On tap tonight at 11:30 on Channel 13 (WJZ) are interviews with dancer and teacher Sylvester Campbell, Realtor Mary Bell Grempler and lawyer/politician Billy Murphy.
Campbell, who was spectacular on the stage with the Maryland Ballet and now teaches at the city's High School for the Arts, comes across as an interesting, articulate man, but the profile is skimpy with the facts.
You learn he went to Europe to dance in part because of prejudice against black classical dancers in this country, but you never hear where in Europe and for what companies he worked.
Grempler, who built a real estate empire at a time when women building businesses was a rarity, also is never asked about the nuts and bolts of her success, but instead is lobbed some softballs about being a woman in a man's world and what a beautiful house she has. She is also drawn into a confusing and perhaps pointless discussion about her separation from her husband.
WJZ deserves praise for putting local figures, often the types you don't see on the news, in such a spotlight, but you have to wish that Koch would display more interest in solid, fact-filled portraits that might even lead into unpleasant areas, instead of following in the Barbara Walters tradition of showing her audience what good friends she is with these people, how well she gets along with her interview subjects.