Friday, October 05, 2007

Offensively inoffensive TV

This sort of thing really makes me wary of watching anything on the major TV networks. From the AP:
A scene in TV's Desperate Housewives that used Philippine medical education for a punchline prompted angry calls from viewers, an online petition demanding an apology and criticism from Philippine officials. In the season premiere that aired Sunday on ABC, Teri Hatcher's character, Susan, goes in for a medical checkup and is shocked when the doctor suggests she may be going through menopause. ... "OK, before we go any further, can I check these diplomas? Just to make sure they aren't, like, from some med school in the Philippines?" Susan fires back. Viewers called the network to complain but the number of callers wasn't available, an ABC spokesman said Wednesday. As of Wednesday evening, more than 30,000 names were attached to an online petition seeking a network apology. ... ABC said it was considering editing the episode.
If an ill-informed and self-absorbed fictional character isn't allowed to say anything ill-informed and self-absorbed, I don't know why I would waste my time watching the TV show she's on. The chilling effect of ABC's "maybe we'll edit this out" statement scares me away from a series like Dirty Sexy Money, which is ostensibly about badly behaving people with money. I'm afraid it even makes me reluctant to watch Friday Night Lights, given how many story possibilities must be off limits on NBC. (There is, for example, the rule against TV characters choosing to have abortions.) Thank God for even below-par HBO shows.

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