Monday, January 15, 2007

WARNING! "24" SPOILER (if you haven't watched it yet).

After me bitching about not being able to watch the season premiere of "24" yesterday, I found myself miraculously home at 8pm. Thank God, because somehow, my Tivo hadn't caught the premiere and I would have missed it. First off, I'd like to say, it was a GREAT show and I'm really looking forward to this season. It was nice to see Jack Bauer, usually so strong and in control, a very broken man after his release from the Chinese prison. Although, one of the things I often find amusing in this show is how quickly he can bounce back from injuries and trauma. True to form, he was soon up and running around, doing his usual special agent stuff, despite having been stabbed in the shoulder and back.

The reason I'm bringing the show up right now has less to do with the show than my frustration with the department of broadcasting called "Standards and Practices." On "24" last night, around 8:30 pm on a Sunday night, we all got to see Jack kill someone by biting into his neck and ripping an artery open. Yeah, blood running down his chin, etc. This doesn't bother me at all. I've long been a believer that people should be able to pick what they want to watch and avoid the shows they DON'T want to watch. And if you have kids, try to stay on top of what they're watching as a parent. Although, I certainly think things like this should be shown a little later, such as after 10pm, when children are less likely to be watching.

This whole bitch session is because on my show, which airs at 10pm on a weeknight, has been repeatedly busted by Standards but stupid, petty thing, always sex related. We've been told a) you can't see him on top of her, b) we can't be able to hear them making the sounds of lovemaking, c) you can see him go up OR you can see him go down, but you can't see him go up AND down. Look, people...we all KNOW they're having sex. I'm not suggesting a Nip/Tuck full on soft porn sex scene, but let's be real. As long as you're not showing nudity, and it's not gratuitous, what's the problem? God forbid in this country, especially after the Janet Jackson Nipple Incident, that we might even IMPLY that two consenting adults are having sex. And yet, we can see Jack Bauer stab someone in the neck, or see him BITE someone to death.

Sometime last year, there was an incident here in Los Angeles. The details are fuzzy, but I'm pretty sure it was a policeman wrongful shooting of an innocent civilian. Someone caught it on video. In the video, we see the cop holding the guy at gunpoint, and the guy is trying to tell him, "Hey...seriously. I'm not armed, I'm not dangerous, please don't kill me," or something to that effect. The cop is saying, "Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up!" So, when they showed it on the news, they bleeped out the f-word, but then SHOWED the cop shooting the guy.

The word Standard should imply that there is an actual Standard being adhered to. That there's a book somewhere where you can cross reference sex and donkeys or whatever you're dealing with, and it will tell you what the guidelines are in any given situation. Seven dirty words, that type of thing. But here's the thing - there IS no Standard. It's totally subjective from network to network, and from Standards person to Standards person. I don't mind FOLLOWING a Standard, I just wish there actually WAS one and that is wasn't so random and unpredictable.

Anyway, that's my rant for today.

The song for the day is "Fortress" by Sting. There are so many Sting songs to choose from, but this has always been one of my favorites. In fact, the entire album Dream of the Blue Turtles, Sting's 1985 solo debut, is fantastic and one of my favorite albums from that decade. I always liked the clean, crisp guitar riffs in the opening of the song. I went to buy speakers for my stereo in the late 80s, and when I went into the store, one of the CDs they had to test the speakers was this one. I had them put on this song, and I was sold. If you haven't listened to this disc in awhile, I recommend pulling it out. It will still hold up today.


Blogger Diane said...

I agree with your rant. Let's be honest, the "f" word can be heard a million times a day wherever you live, whether you are an adult or a school kid. And the bias against sex and for violence boggles the mind, though I don't think we really need to expand the showing of either on prime time network tv - maybe I'm old school, but I think network tv can be entertaining without being explicitly violent or sexual - explicit is for another time and place

And I agree it is the parents' job to supervise both tv and internet content

And as for Janet - how can they show non-stop impotence drug ads (errr "E.D.") for 3 hours during the Super Bowl, but go bananas over a breast?

10:37 AM  
Blogger LA said...

Great rant. This has been an ongoing complaint of mine for years. Violence is completely glorified on American television, nay, in America, and I quit watching the news long ago for that precise reason. Sex, on the other hand, somehow remains taboo. To me, it's a testament of our culture's reverence of violence and aggression, especially intensified post 9/11. I find it all very disturbing.

Diane - Good point on the erectile dysfunction ads. It's interesting to me that E.D. ads are on during prime time but douche ads are almost exclusively limited to daytime television. What's the message?

12:38 PM  
Blogger EditThis said...

Totally agree with both of you. I don't watch the news anymore, either. And I would really rather NOT see an ad for ED.

12:46 PM  
Blogger wcdixon said...

good rant.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you, editthis. The system is F'ed up.

Sting...*sigh*...I'd already had an interest in jazz when Dream of the Blue Turtles came out, but went absolutely mad for it after listening to his arrangements on that 1985 release. I especially loved 'Englishman in New York', 'If You Love Somebody...', 'Shadows in the Rain' and 'Moon Over Bourbon Street'.

1:00 PM  

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