Monday, January 29, 2007

"Drop it, punk! I've got a hose!"

Have you seen the SOPRANOS on A&E?

TONY: "You motherf-ather, you been sleepin' with that fu-dgin' cun-iver, haven't you, you piece of s-oap? I have a good mind to take this f-utzinheimer gun, shove it right up her sn-oot and blow her s-ocks away!"

And that's just the language.

Now it seems that Congress may take on the BIG issue that confronts this crippled nation (not the war or economy) -- too much violence and gore on TV. I imagine the first step is to form a committee to look into selecting a subcommittee. Then they'll schedule hearings and fact finding missions until it’s finally determined that Tony can't kill anybody, he can just fire warning shots. And 24 can set off a twelve megaton nuclear bomb but not a fifty.

By the way, it will be a bi-partisan committee. THIS they can work together on.

So as they put aside the issues of health care, job outsourcing, and spiraling gas prices to focus on the more important matter of policing police shows and doctoring doctor shows, here are a few questions I would like to submit.

Where should gore-fest NIP/TUCK draw the line? May they show a face lift but not liposuction? Is it okay to see them operate on Kelly Carlson and not Rosie O’Donnell? (Well, in that case, yeah).

And those simulated close up cameras that zoom into peoples’ bodies and crash into aneurisms on CSI and HOUSE – ick!!!

Instead of a gun, should Vic Mackey protect himself only with a fire hose on THE SHIELD?

Is the only acceptable episode of OZ the one where Johnny Cash comes to perform?

For every gunsel that Tony Soprano threatens must he complete 100 hours of anger-management training?

Christopher can no longer slug Lauren Becall? At worst he can make fun of her for doing Fancy Feast cat food commercials?

Instead of torturing suspected terrorists, should Jack Bauer give them treats if they talk?

Men can be IN trees but not fall out of them?

Excuse me, dear elected officials, it is impossible to set guidelines. What show is bloodier, CRIMINAL MINDS or MASH? Name me a more sympathetic protagonist than serial killer DEXTER.

Don’t we have more important things to do than regulate television shows? The offending programs all have disclaimers. And there are alternatives. TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL is still showing on one of those cable networks.

And it embarrasses me to say that all of this nonsense began as a result of my generation. Yes, we baby boomers all became violent homicidal maniacs because according to Congress back then – we watched CAPTAIN VIDEO.

What five year old boy didn't see that Atomic Disentigrator Rifle and not want to kill? And what five year old girl didn't see that Cosmic Ray Vibrator and...oh wait a minute, now we're crossing into too much sex on TV. Motherf-ather! That Captain Video corrupted us all.


Anonymous said...

On a side note, I hate how carefully one has to tiptoe in order to avoid offending someone. Continuing on the Nip/Tuck theme, if we're watching a sex scene, does it make it all that more "wrong" if they are naked? Or when they are doing a breast augmentation, does showing the entire breast but sticking a patch of surgical fabric over the nipple somehow sanitize the scene?

Sigh, I'm just getting bitter after a myriad of HBO/Showtime shows. It still makes me cringe when I hear about the censored "fuck" scene from The Wire.

John F. Opie said...

Hi -


It's amazing that any problems get solved at all by the folks on the Hill.

Great blog, always a pleasure to read...

Rays profile said...

Ken - my greatest complaint (listed in great detail at my blog Bloody Channels. is that so much of the violence and gore - which I physically cannot stand to watch - is keeping me from watching shows that I am told are excellent. I am told The Sopranos is a top-quality show, but after one try, I had to run to the bathroom to vomit. I enjoy police procedurals, but do we really need autopsy videos? I get the feeling producers - and writers - are afraid they won't have large enough ratings without putting on a sick freak show. I do worry it desensitizes us; never have the graphic effects of violence been so widely available, not only in TV and movies but video games. And I do worry about future generations believing, after shooting up the landscape in some violent game, that that's the way you handle any other problem.

(I'm less concerned about language, by the way; words never killed anybody.)

prince said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mary Stella said...

Congress examining violence and sex on television = a weapon of mass disruption.

Anonymous said...

My favorite(?) language subsitution is when the censor uses "Mother Fletcher" for Mxxxxx Fxxxxx.

It's bizarre to hear someone insult another by calling them a nun.

The Curmudgeon said...

I can think of nothing that Congress can investigate that it wouldn't make worse. That's not a slap at the current Congress... it's my belief about all of them.

But having said that, would it be so terrible if TV was cleaned up so people could watch it without embarrassment? And without being grossed out? So I could watch it with my wife or kids in the same room?

I don't watch the network shows because someone is always showing or talking about body parts or functions -- but if I take refuge in the History Channel, I get Bob smiling from ear to ear because he's now such a 'big' guy in the community. If I flip over to ESPN I get to see Flomax commercials during every timeout. ("It's not a going problem, it's a growing problem.")

You bet it's a growing problem! A couple of years ago Viagra got away with listing side effects during the Super Bowl and life has been a living Hell since. And the government got involved then, too -- in Janet Jackson's wardrobe. Missing the problem entirely!

Meanwhile, my wife looks at me, if I can't find the mute button fast enough and says things like, "Four hours, huh?"

And that's just sex. What about all the profanity on TV?

Profanity has it's place, like when I'm trying to collect a bill. But, thanks to movies and television, profanity has lost it's power to shock. Little kids swear like drill instructors -- and it's all written out on their Facebook profiles. Lenny Bruce would be yawned at today -- and now that profanity has lost its power to shock, what are we going to replace it with?

(You're in the business: Maybe you have an inside track. Let me know soon, because I'm going to try and copyright the new words like Pat Riley did with "threepeat." We can work out a split....)

Anonymous said...

Married couples must have seperate beds.

One foot must remain on the floor at all times.

It must be visually obvious that "the bad guy" is the of whatever violence ensues. Han Solo CANNOT shoot Greedo first.

dave said...

When it comes to overdubbing "offensive" dialogue, the gold standard remains the network-version of "The Godfather".

Sonny, on learning Carlo is beating up Connie: "Son of a buck... son of a buck!"

Sonny instructing Clemenza on placing the gun in the restaurant bathroom: "I don't want my brother coming out of there with just a stick in his hand!"

Anonymous said...

Over at another site, we were discussing why it is that the "easily offended" always go where they know they will be easily offended, despite all sorts of warnings about the easy offending in store for those who watch a show/read a book/listen to a record, etc., etc.

A guy whose background is as an evangelical who works as a prison guard in Idaho had the best answer:

"They do it because it's their hobby. They offended easily if you didn't allow them to be easily offended."

Unfortunately, it's true.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Somebody -- I think it was Conan O'Brien but I could be wrong -- had it perfectly: "A&E is showing 'The Sopranos' with all the violence, sex and profanity removed. They're calling it 'Everybody Loves Raymond.'"