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Joseph Scarbrough launched what he called "The Scarblog" as a way of cataloging his work over the years, as well as going into greater detail of things on his mind (known as "Unfinished Thoughts").

Friday, May 30, 2014

My Unfinished Thoughts on Sex on TV

Where do I even begin? Honestly, I'm not really much of a big fan of what's on television today, just about the only current shows I watch are WORLD'S DUMBEST... (the pre-Season 16 retool that got rid of Danny Bonaduce, Todd Bridges, Leif Garrett, Tonya Harding, and most of the original cast) and THE CARBONARO EFFECT (I can't help but feel some of it might be staged, but it's still interesting, nonetheless). And of course, many sitcoms today are just plain boring... if you sat me down for an episode of THE OFFICE, GLEE, MODERN FAMILY, PARKS AND RECREATION, I honestly couldn't tell you if I was even watching comedy or not; that, and the mockumentary style is played - it worked well for movies, it feels out of place for television. Finally, there's the serious lack of good writing: it seems to me that most writers today go for the quickest, easiest laughs possible, which is why most comedies today rely on bottom-of-the-barrel, low-brow, gutteral humor. But the one thing that bothers me the most about television today? Sex.
Actually, this has been an ongoing problem for years, as far as I'm concerned, and Chuck Lorre seems to be the biggest offender of this, I find, and I'm not just talking about TWO AND A HALF MEN, which was always a bawdy show to begin with, I mean all of his shows, even THE BIG BANG THEORY, which kind of leads me to believe that perhaps Lorre is a sex maniac, who likes to live out his perverse fantasies through the characters on his shows. Still, though sex has been on television for decades, it seems like we've hit a critical low point now, as almost practically every single new show on TV today is about sex. I'll give some credit to Chuck Lorre's shows, even though sex is a major focus, it's not the main focus: TWO AND A HALF MEN is, after all, the story of a divorced father and his son living with his swinger brother, and THE BIG BANG THEORY is, supposedly, about nerds; and looking back on the last 20 years or so, even SEINFELD (which I agree with many critics to be the last good show TV has ever seen) has subtext to it: how a comedian gets his material. And I really wanted to like SUBURGATORY, I really did: it seemed like it was going to be a refreshing change of pace from most of TV (especially casting a relatively unknown in the lead, whereas most shows today either cast big-named A-listers for star power, or has-beens in attempts to revitalize their careers), until a box of condoms showed up in the promo for the pilot episode, and my hopes went right out the window. Fast-forward to today, and so many of the new shows that have come along are pretty much all about the sex.
UNDATEABLE? HEH! More like unwatchable!
So, what's NBC's lastest contribution to the primetime landscape? Their new sitcom from the creators of [SCRUBS] and COUGAR TOWN: UNDATEABLE. What's it about? A group of losers who wish they had better sex lives. Yup. Heck, the show's promo on TV has one of the guys coming out of the bedroom in his bathrobe, asking his buddies not to say anything as the girl he was fooling around with leaves, and as she does, one of them remarks in a smart-alecky tone, "We're not judging you." Hey, there's even another promo on YouTube right now where the same guy (the shaggy guy up front in this photo) basically sums up love as a feeling you get in your penis. That, I won't even touch on (and that's lust, by the way, not love), but what else does television have to offer? Well, ABC has this show that's entering its second season, called MISTRESSES. So what's this one about? Even better! Cheating on your loved one! An entire series dedicated to glorifying infidelity! ABC even brags about how sexual the show is in their promos! ABC also had, a couple of years ago, DON'T TRUST THE B---- IN APT. 23 (yes, that was the actual title), where a rhymes-with-witch gets it on with her friends' boyfriends behind their backs. ABC Family even has shows about teen pregnancy and baby daddies... and to think, ABC Family was once a Christian-owned network.
So, what is up with this preoccupation with sex in entertainment these days? Well, according to many producers, showrunners, executives, what have you, this is a reflection of life, and offering viewers a look into what they're going through. Yeah, I know society today is corrupted and decayed, but honestly, isn't this all a wee bit excessive? Forget wee bit, isn't this just plain excessive all and all? At this rate, we're one step short of basically broadcasting porn on network TV. Just what is the FCC even doing these days? Is the FCC even still operating? I know there's no longer any Practices and Standards regarding what you can or can't say and do on television, but really, aren't we going a bit too far? To think: sixty years ago, you couldn't even show two married people in the same bed on TV... sixty years later, all you ever see on TV is two unmarried people in the same bed. Seriously, is the FCC broken or something?
Where does it go from here? As I said, we've pretty much already hit a low point, so what's to come after this? Will there ever be an end to the kind of filth and garbage that pollutes the television landscape? Probably not. Networks themselves are in complete control of what's on TV today, and apparently, therefore, they decided what everybody wants to see based on what they want to see, all networks want to see is... this... I cringe to think what we'll be seeing on TV in the years to come.

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