THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SOME EXPLICIT LANGUAGE.
The mid 1990’s.
I was working at WTMJ Radio and covered an appearance by some of the cast members of “Happy Days” in downtown Milwaukee. They were in town to promote the popular TV series going into syndication.
The recently deceased Erin Moran (Joanie) was there but politely refused my request for an interview.
Marion Ross (Mrs. Cunningham) was more than happy to speak with me, but only questioning me as my tape recorder was rolling if I had done all my homework and finished all of my dinner, including veggies.
The best interview that night came from…
Tom Bosley, Mr. Cunningham.
He used the opportunity to hoist himself on a soapbox and gave great answers. Bosley warned that the quality of television was soon about to deteriorate. Incredibly questionable material was just ahead, the likes of which had never been seen before on our living rooms screens.
Bosley’s prediction was a little more than 20 years ago.
Have you heard the news? A tentative deal was reached today between screenwriters and producers preventing a strike that one news report said “could have crippled TV and film production.”
How on God’s green earth could we even begin to function without the brilliant talents of those TV and film writers.
What would life be like without “The Mick” on Fox? Imagine having to go through a week without an episode like the one about a teenager, 17-year-old Sabrina, and her desire to get breast implants. She told her guardian that “…you’re working the room like you’re mayor of tit town.” There was graphic sexual dialogue and double-entendres. Fox considered it appropriate for viewing by children as young as 14 years old.
Other episodes centered around a boy of about 13 planning to have two adult men photograph him naked so that he could falsely accuse his guardian’s boyfriend of possessing child pornography; a teenaged boy receiving a “sext” and fantasizing about the girl in the photo – only to discover it is his own sister; and a middle-school-aged boy planning a threesome with a high-school aged girl and his best friend.
Writers can now continue to crank out “American Horror Story” programs that, according to TV critic Jordan Crucchiola are filled with “unspeakable acts of human debasement, sexual perversion, and gratuitous violence.”
During the study period of February-May 2016, language used by child and teen-aged characters included: (bleeped) “s**t” and “s**tting,” (bleeped) “f**k” and “f**king,” “erections,” “boobs,” “penis,” “masturbating,” “nymphomaniac,” “ass,” and more.
What a relief “The Walking Dead,” one of the most popular shows on cable has been salvaged, a program that shows graphic instances of murder, decapitation, and dismemberment, complete with blood, brains, and viscera as human beings ruthlessly chop up other human beings.
Between February and May of 2016, the Parents Television Council studied numerous television programs and found language used by child and teen-aged characters included: (bleeped) “s**t” and “s**tting,” (bleeped) “f**k” and “f**king,” “erections,” “boobs,” “penis,” “masturbating,” “nymphomaniac,” “ass,” and more. The enlightened folks putting those words to scripts should not have to be silenced by a strike.
We can only hope VH1 will re-consider its recent cancellation of “Dating Naked,” a reality dating show where strangers go on blind dates completely naked. Those writers need jobs after all.
And that’s only television. We didn’t even delve into those cinematic wonders Hollywood is tossing our way.
America, take a big sigh of relief. The high-quality programs you love, that you have personally accounted for big ratings, have been saved.