Is it me, or has everything gone to hell?
Let me first say that no one – NO ONE – is more in favor of adults having their own entertainment than I.
I love the idea that after the kiddies finish their homework and go to bed, we adults can flip on the tube and enjoy some entertainment with adult humor, adult themes and adult references. The kind of shows and movies that can get away with doing and saying the things they do because their intended audience has heard it all before and (hopefully) has the maturity to take it in stride and understand that the ideas being presented are being done for the sake of humor and shock value and NOT as viable options for the ways things are or should be.
When I was growing up these kind of shows never began earlier than 9pm, lest running the risk of being viewed by impressionable eyes. But now, not only are comedies with heavy doses of adult-themed humor like How I Met Your Mother and Rules of Engagement being shown at 8pm, but they’re being accompanied by adult-themed dramas like 90210 and any number of violent police procedurals as well.
And again, I LIKE these shows! I’m not a prude by any means, but I do think we need to exercise some semblance of responsibility when it comes to the scheduling and marketing these programs.
For instance, words like “ass” and “bitch” were never even allowed on TV before. Now, not only are these words allowed at 8pm, but some expletives are actually slipping into the TITLES of shows!
Earlier this year, a film called “Kick-Ass” was released to theatres by Lionsgate, a studio known for catering to the lowest common denominator. Now, of course, that movie wasn’t intended for children, but a child can’t even REFER to that film by its correct title without breaking some house rules.
“Dad, can I see Kick-Ass with my friends this weekend?”
“No, that movie’s for adults. Also, you’re grounded for cursing.”
CBS might be patting themselves on the back for the success of their show $#*! My Dad Says, but it doesn’t change the fact that standards and practices have never stooped so low as let a show literally titled “SHIT” hit the American airwaves at 8:30.
Two weeks ago, my current favorite show Parenthood had Peter Kruse’s character Adam calling someone an “asshole.”
On Conan last week, a barely intelligible Harrison Ford managed to grumble the phrase “shit and die”.
The Ashton Kutcher film No Strings Attached was literally titled “Fuckbuddies” until some sensible soul at Paramount finally decided maybe audiences weren’t ready for that kind of thing just yet, although at the current rate we’re sliding into Idiocracy, my best guess is that 2012 might be a good street date.
And of course, we have Cee Lo Green’s “Fuck You”, a song that’s been nominated for song of the year and may be performed live at the Grammies.
Look, I’m all for artistic expression and freedom of speech. After all, that’s the power of living in America. But with great power’s got to come some sense of responsibility, right?
It’s just sad to think that while Justin Timberlake was spending all his time and money bringing “sexy” back, “classy” still sits alone in an unmarked crate in some forgotten warehouse collecting dust.
Ain’t that some shit?