Thursday, 5 November 2009

Here's the details of some TV sex you shouldn't watch, says Mail

The Mail's latest 'ban this sick filth'-type article comes in the form of a rant against HBO vampire series True Blood. Olivia Lichtenstein - who else? - writes:

True Blood is a shocking tale of depravity, explicit sexuality (bordering on pornography) and vile language. Even before the opening credits have rolled in the first episode, we see a young woman pleasuring a young man while driving her car.

That's just before a picture of the two leads having sex. Just so you can see how depraved it is. She continues:

There's oral sex, overt discussion of genitalia, graphic sex scenes bordering on the deviant, and foul language. We see a man having sex with a woman while watching a video of the same woman having sex with a vampire. The excitement engendered in the pair leads to rough sex and results in her murder.

Blimey! How outrageous! This is something that should never be seen! Oh:

it airs on one of our terrestrial channels at 10pm on Wednesdays.

The three mentions of Channel 4 make sure no one can possibly miss an episode now that our concerned journalist has told everyone when and where it is on and all the juicy details about what is in it. But Lichtenstein adds, apparently with no self-awareness:

I can't help but worry that children will find their way to this programme

Yes, they will now.

In fact, last week's episode of True Blood received just over one million viewers, so it's not exactly pulling in a huge audience. And this is the Mail - whose website has made it a priority to include as many pictures of half-naked slebs as possible. Indeed, its lead picture story this morning involved a pornstar.

The rant widens out into an attack on the state of television in general:

But a glance at our schedules reveals that sex, violence and vulgar language have become the staples that make up the British TV diet.

A 'glance' at 'our schedules' for tonight reveals no such thing: Watchdog, New Tricks, Question Time, The Restaurant, Defying Gravity, The Culture Show, Emmerdale, The Bill, Coronation Street, The Schoolboy Who Sailed the World, football and Location, Location, Location.

Of course, there are programmes with sex, violence and/or swearing but for every The Sopranos there's a My Family. And really, who would rather watch the latter? Why must adults be force-fed cookery, property and reality shows and soaps?

Frankly, it is highly unlikely that you will watch something with lots of sex, violence and swearing by accident. If you don't want to watch such programmes, turn them off. This faux outrage about television and films for grown-ups is incredibly boring.

Look at the most watched TV of 2008 - there's not one show there that wouldn't be classed as fairly safe family viewing.

But it doesn't end there. Lichtenstein's problem is with the internet too:

instant recording facilities and the internet, it's increasingly difficult to monitor children's viewing. Worryingly for parents, one quarter of 12 to 15-year-olds watch television or film content via websites (such as BBC iPlayer, Sky Player or ITV Player).

Does she really think teenagers with internet access in their bedrooms who are looking for a bit of sex are going to go to 4OD to watch True Blood (and, of course, risk seeing Noel Edmonds)? Of course they won't given what they could find on the web.

Then, in a statement along the lines of 'I'm not racist but...', she adds:

I am far from being a prude, but I find myself longing for the days when, in a movie, if a couple were kissing or lying on a bed, they had to keep one foot on the ground.

Yes, if only she had made Don't Look Now instead of Nic Roeg.

Of course, this is the same Olivia Lichtenstein who, back in March, watched a load of porn, just to say how disgusting it was. She included this paragraph, which was clearly imperative to her argument:

a man orders two 'take-away bimbos' over the telephone. They arrive, a specifically requested unmatched pair, one blonde, the other brunette, and under his gaze fondle and undress each other like automatons, mouthing filthy words of encouragement and pleading with him to join in. He does.

The article, which complained about the exploitation of women, included several screenshots of porn, including three girls kissing, a woman in the shower, and two bums in thongs.

She appears to be the go-to person when the Mail wants someone to look at representations of sex and say how awful and corrupting they are - she's also written about cybersex, internet porn addiction and erotic magazines for women.

Yet, strangely enough, she keeps accepting assignments which exposes her to more of the stuff. Could it possibly be that all this 'depravity' isn't as bad as she makes out for Mail readers? That grown-ups can watch grown-up material without being eternally damaged?

Or is it that people such as her can watch it, but you shouldn't?

1 comment:

  1. Suggesting the plot is somehow 'lazy' reveals the huge gaping hole left in her mind by her own ignorance. The plot to True Blood, having seen season one and two in its entirety, is genius and I can't wait to read the books.

    Of course it goes over Lichtenstein's head because she writes for the Mail, a newspaper and community of people who just don't get the whole equality and human rights vs ignorance and intolerance thing, because they are on the side of the latter.


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