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March 09, 2005

Fox Fudges Fucking

Tuesday night, as the Triskaidekaphobia staff settled around the TV to eat and relax, briefly, before returning to work, a familiar Tuesday cheer went up: “Turn on House!”. House being the reigning king of network programming with the staff these days, a justifiable guilty pleasure.

Previews had given away the fact that this week’s episode would be a repeat, but it didn’t matter. A brief, sarcastic respite was necessary as the shift changes were made.

Having seen this episode before (via BitTorrent - Triskaidekaphobia HQ is fully modernized and doesn’t tape to tape), it was amusing to see the warning about sexual content before the episode. The beginning of this particular episode featured some semi-passionate simulated sex. However, “featured” is the key word here. Why? “They’s chop’d up th’ bloody ep’sode, they did!,” as our cook, Bristol Bob, so eloquently put it.

Yes, Fox, the network that has brought us such programming greats as Married… with Children and My New Butt is Secretly A Fake Lesbian Skydiving Chickenstrip, seems to have bowed to some outside pressure and edited the episode.

To appease the prudes that be, they cut down the length of the scene. They also overdubbed some horrible, tinny, ABC After School Special-style guitar riffing over the sounds of passion that were previously there. We’re talking moans, not squishing. Not anything different that isn’t show on Seinfeld or numerous other television ads, TV shows, and movies ever since When Harry Met Sally made the fauxgasm acceptable to air.

Why does this send the staff into a cursing, plate-throwing frenzy? It’s not just the fact that the edits (especially the music) are ridiculous and out of place. Nor is it the fact that this episode already aired without the world coming to an abrupt end. The fact is that at almost any time of the day or night, including Saturday and Sunday afternoons, we can put Fox on and see people getting shot, stabbed and killed. Just a few weeks ago, 24 showed a woman in a pool of blood with big, jagged, bloody cuts up her arms. Explain that to junior.

So the message, again, is clear: Blood, murder and death are ok for prime time. Two 20-somethings having consensual sexual relations? Not for America’s delicate sensibilities!

It’s good to know groups like the Parents Television Council are watching out for everyone else. Too bad about that war in Iraq though, huh?

posted at 11:39 AM | find it forever

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