Rated M for "Mature"

Good news for pay cable viewers who like their sex scenes graphic, bloody and spiked with an unhealthy dose of violence.  You can pay for shows like “True Blood”, and enjoy them in the “comforts of your own homes.”


  I didn’t watch it the past seasons, but it remains to be seen if “True Blood” can top (or did top)  a scene from a previous season in which a male vampire twists a female’s head around 180 degrees during a bout of blood-drenched “hate sex,” the promoters make clear that the season won’t skimp on the sex and violence.  Wonder why?  Could it be because that’s what people want?  Unfortunately, it appears so.

  Since the premium channels began to produce their own original series. HBO, Showtime and Starz churn out shows complete with dismal characters and repulsive dialogue, all with a heavy dose of pornography and blood-soaked drama. And, as critics have pointed out, as goes pay cable, so eventually will go broadcast programming.  Broadcast tv (abc, nbc, etc) is already starting to piss me off. 

   

Back to pay cable…HBO’s “Game of Thrones” had a pretty brutal sex scene and specializes in “sexposition” – characters say their lines, as if nothing is going on, while they are engaged in a variety of sex acts. “Spartacus” a popular series on Starz, drew praise from Huffington Post for “generous helpings of graphic violence, orgiastic nudity, and racy sex.” Showtime’s sex-laden historical drama, “The Borgias” included incest, and a porn industry editor said of the network’s reality show “Gigolos,” “Please, it’s porn! they’re showing hardcore sex.” I didn’t watch that show.  I just couldn’t, even if for the need to research.  Therefore, I can’t really speak on “Gigolos.”  However, the name speaks an abundance of words to me.  Not interested, much like “Diary of a Call Girl”.  Really?  Is that supposed to be empowering for women?   

This tidbit of research below is what has disheartened me the most.  It’s short, sweet, and to the very scary point.

The MRC’s Culture and Media Institute analyzed the original series of HBO, Showtime and Starz and concluded:
Pornographic sex and bloody violence are found in the majority of premium content, and producers seek to add more in the future.
Broadcast TV is sinking to pay cable’s lack of standards as free network channels include more soft-core sex scenes and violent drama in their original series.
While the FCC has precise regulations against indecency and obscenity in broadcast TV these provisions do not apply to pay cable channels, since the viewer chooses to pay extra for them.   And if you’re thinking about now, “if you don’t like it, don’t pay for it or watch it,”don’t bother.  Let me ask you this?  How is it, that the Teen Choice Awards nominated True Blood as Best show?  The average age of those involved?  14.  So, people are watching no matter what.  Children are watching.  Little girls are watching women get abused, and sexually objectified, and and and, well, that’s what they think guys want.  And boys are watching and thinking, I need a girl like that.  Wonder if she exists…And I am concerned about it.  I liked some of the shows in the beginning.  I wanted good characters, plots, and suspense.  I now watch so I can have a clue what I’m writing about.  I watch because perhaps, I like to know that destruction of our society is imminent.  I need to watch and know and stay aware.  I guess I’m a masochist after all.  And I used to be angry, well, still am, but I’m mostly deeply saddened.

The most profound statement I’ve seen in years:
“Pay cable defines deviancy for everyone. It is essentially the porning up of popular culture,” Benjamin Shapiro, Breitbart.com Editor-at-large, said.  Good for you Ben.  Good for you.  If only there were more of you.  If only…

HBO hits regularly feature pornographic scenes. “True Blood” has featured characters engaged in orgies, glorified drug-induced sexual encounters, regularly mixed blood and sex and subjected audiences to the scene described above –  television’s goriest sex scene yet.  And grown women on my facebook page go ga-ga over this.  Over THIS?  My guess is they are the very same who drool over the fictional and ridiculous made up man called “Mr. Gray.”  Men, watch out.  Women all over want vampires and men that treat us like shit.  You better stop being nice!

HBO’s actors aren’t bothered by it, or at all affected about nude scenes. Anna Paquin who plays Sookie Stackhouse on “True Blood” said in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, “I don’t pretend to think that on the 18th hour of shooting anyone on set gives two flying whatevers that I have my tits out.” 
Paquin appeared with fellow cast-mates Stephen Moyer and Alexander Skarsgard on a smutty Rolling Stone cover, which featured all three stars naked and covered in blood, with Paquin posing seductively between the two men. 

Producer Alan Ball told Rolling Stone that he believed vampires are sex. “I don’t get a vampire story about abstinence. I don’t care about high school students. I find them irritating and uniformed,” Ball said. Wait….HUH Mr. Ball?  High-schoolers are your biggest customers!

Stephen Moyer, who plays Southern vampire Bill Compton gave explicit and gory praise for “True Blood” and its undead cast. 
“It’s a de-virginization — breaking the hymen, creating blood and then drinking the virginal blood. And there’s something sharp, the fang, which is probing and penetrating and moving into it. So that’s pretty sexy. I think that makes vampires attractive,” Moyer said in an interview. Oh. My. God.  He didn’t really say that?

Rolling Stone happily produced an entire spread to “True Blood’s” sexual deviancy. “On True Blood every available orifice is used for intercourse: gay straight, between humans and supernatural beings, and supernatural being on supernatural being, whether he be werewolf, dog, or an enormous Minotaur-looking being called a maenad.” 
“It’s about taking things to the point of where normal frames of society wouldn’t think was an okay thing for a young, Southern girl to do. It’s interesting to think about sex as the search for a moment together which is a glorious combination of orgasm and sexual oneness that might lead to death,” Moyer said.  I’m sorry, but this guy is a complete idiot.  Actors are so annoyingly fake anyway.

The wild popularity of “True Blood” paved the way for HBO’s next original show, “Game of Thrones.” The series is a medieval drama, based on George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series, and while the plot drastically differs from “True Blood,” it too features ridiculous amount of graphic sex.  What a shame.  Truly.  The books were apparently fantastic.  And my husband couldn’t even watch the show it was so bad.  He was gravely disappointed.  As was I.

“Game of Thrones” has been criticized even by left-leaning critics at Huffington Post and The Washington Post for its appalling amounts of sex and nudity; specifically for a savage, sexual torture scene where child-king Joffrey forced prostitute Ros to beat another prostitute, Daisy, with a spiked bronze scepter. Joffrey held the two at crossbow-point, and a sadistic smile played on his face as Daisy’s screams echoed across the walls of his bedroom. 
“The show’s relentless use of nudity has become so outlandish,” said Anna Holmes of The Washington Post, “that it often overshadows or distracts from the natural story.” 
HuffPo’s Lorraine Wilke commented, “Apparently the writers and show-runners holding the reins at premiere cable land are bursting to expose every sexual anecdote they’ve ever heard, witnessed, or experienced.” 
“Game of Thrones” on a website called Vulture tallied the “greatest sexposition moments” in “Thrones,” complete with pictures.  Isn’t that sweet?

At the Daily Beast, writer Jace Jacob observed:
While frank sex in HBO shows is common (just look at True Blood), Game of Thrones appears to be placing it front and center … There’s been a litany of such scenes: Harry Lloyd’s Viserys recounts his family’s sordid history to a pleasure slave astride him in the bathtub; Alfie Allen’s Theon offers a full-frontal view of his manhood after having sex with a prostitute; there’s Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion, abed with multiple whores in the series opener; and a scene between Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys and her handmaiden turns into a steamy lesbian-tinged sex training sequence.  
Esme Bianco, who played the prostitute Ros starred in her own provocative lesbian sex scene, as an audition for brothel owner Petyr Baelish.  Baelish then delivered a monologue while the two prostitutes graphically pleasured each other. This scene was created for television, and didn’t appear in the books. 
“The above scene came out of left field,” commented Ben Shapiro. “To write this scene in, it was obvious HBO thought they needed to add more graphic sex.” Gratuitous at it’s best.


HBO’s rush for the gutter began to accelerate with series like “Entourage,” and “Big Love.”  
The LA Times gushed about “Big Love,” saying, “For three seasons, the HBO drama about a polygamist family was astonishing in its narrative agility, able to persuade increasingly devoted audiences that the Henrickson clan — one husband, three wives — was not all that different from their non-polygamous counterparts.” 
“Entourage” happily held up a mirror to Hollywood’s debauchery. The Hollywood Reporter described“Entourage” as “The concoction: fame, money, sex, drugs, parties, more parties, more sex, more fame, more money and then a bunch of detours for everyone else in the entourage to have either a lower-level semblance of the same happen to them or, to prove a point, not happen to them at all.” 
ABCNews.com described the scene in the show “Girls” as “borderline date rape,” but the awful sex doesn’t stop there. Allison Williams, daughter of NBC anchor Brian Williams, was featured in an explicit masturbation scene. Fellow characters Jessa and Shoshanna regularly have sex and perform oral sex on the show. Brian must be so proud.
   
Showtime loves prostitutes. Two of its original series focus on the trade. “Gigolos” is a reality show which follows five male escorts who service women in Las Vegas, while “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” focused on a female prostitute. 

Historical dramas like “The Borgias” and “The Tudors” trade facts for foreplay, and are laden with gratuitous sex. “The Borgias” chronicles the life of the corrupt Borgia family who rose to power in the Catholic Church and is fraught with bed-hopping and rumored incest. 
“Brother-sister duo Cesare and Lucrezia look like they are mere seconds from making out with each other,” said Morgan Glennon of Huffington Post.
“The Tudors” included a bounty of sex scenes and bordered on a
“soft-core skin flick” in most episodes, and “The Borgias” is following suit. 
“Californicaton” takes pride in showcasing the graphic sexual escapades of failed writer Hank Moody. His immoral landslide included sleeping with a violent 16-year-old girl.  
The moral standards of pay cable are non-existant, and Showtime producers take pride in how far the network can push any boundary. Ten of its original series are fixated on explicit sex and often descend into violence-porn. 
Showtime’s most depraved series is “Dexter,” which glorifies murder and violence, and (of course) boasts lots of casual sex. Dexter is described as television’s “anti-hero,” a man who at a young age discovered joy in murdering humans. But to Showtime that’s just fine if the victim is a criminal. The characters are great, and evil as it is, even the story lines have potential.  But this years season 7 did me in.  They throw in the strip club and it’s bouncing members often, and it has become way too uncomfortable for me to watch women being objectified as either manipulative bitches, prostitutes, strippers and mostly naked.  I’m a woman.  I’m officially offended.



Other  Showtime offerings include  and “Weeds”,  “House of Lies”, etc.  The list goes on and on, with each show just as horrible as the next.


The media loves to highlight the filth of pay cable television.   “True Blood” has a long list of awards, including nominations for 12 Emmys and three Golden Globes. Both “Game of Thrones” and “Dexter” were nominated for Emmys in their respective categories. 
“Game of Thrones” and “True Blood” regularly receive positive reviews from both The Washington Post and The New York Times. 
Sarah Anne Hughes, a blogger for the Post, seemed very emotional about the “Game of Thrones” second season closer, “Take a moment. Exhale. Wipe away any remaining tears. It’s not goodbye, just see you later,” she wrote.  Really lady, you need to get out more.  

The New York Times’ Gina Bellefante couldn’t get enough of True Blood’s gritty sex. Bellefante wrote, “The sex is served in such luridly voluptuous, viewer-satiation-guaranteed portions that the show feels like nothing else on television, by which I mean television that isn’t available exclusively on $15.99 hotel-room pay-per-view.”
 New York Magazine  raved about the abhorrent plot of “Girls.” “As a person who has followed, for more than twenty years, recurrent, maddening ­debates about the lives of young women, the series felt to me like a gift. Girls was a bold defense (and a searing critique) of the so-called Millennial Generation by a person still in her twenties. It was a sex comedy from the female POV, taking on subjects like STDs and abortion with a radical savoir-faire as well as a visual grubbiness that was a statement in itself,” wrote Emily Nussbaum.  Oh. My. God!!!!!  These are women too.  Women find this all so sexy and free and wonderful.  What the fuck people.  Really?

Another profound statement…well, not so much, but Ben is my new hero:

 “Pay cable can deliver content no one else allows you to have because they make the big bucks in debauchery,” Shapiro told CMI. “The liberalism is obvious. They are happy to be pushing boundaries and take great pride in degrading American discourse (don’t forget the degradation of women Ben!). From now on the entertainment industry will be competing at the lowest common denominator.”  

The lack of standards in pay cable is giving audiences a glimpse into the nasty future of broadcast television. Regular cable networks regularly feature ribald behavior and vile rhetoric.  FOX’s “Glee” is a series geared toward kids ages 12-17, but the dark agenda of the show is masked behind a peppy, musical world.   
“To me, ‘Glee’ is more dangerous than ‘Game of Thrones.’ It has a specifically designed political and adult agenda set in a high-school musical world,” Shapiro said.  
A recent episode of “Glee” centered around teenagers losing their virginity and featured a gay sex scene.  Gay is fine.  Hetero, all good.  But do I have to watch it on tv?  No thanks.

FX’s “American Horror Story” was so horrifying that even the cast was shocked at the content, and questioned whether it was appropriate for broadcast TV.    
American Horror Story” featured voyeurism, dual masturbation, and a masochistic minute-and-a-half long sexual encounter between characters.

 The perversion and objectification of women in premium content is no longer contained to pay channels only. In fact, Ryan Murphy, creator of  “American Horror Story” and “Glee,” said it is his goal to “remove every barrier to the depiction of explicit sex on TV.” Slowly but surely, he’s succeeding.  Way to go Ryan.  Thanks so much for your contribution in dumbing down Americans even more.

I recently had a blow out with someone that is very close to me.  About Dexter.  About how society views women.  About the episode with at least three graphic strip club (completely unnecessary) scenes.  He knows how I feel, and says “gets it”. But he doesn’t “get it.”  This is my fight.   I need to not be chastised for my fears and apprehensions about what tv is doing to women.  And he doesn’t understand.  If he did, he would turn it off like I’ve finally decided to do. That would be supportive.  But he chooses not to be. If I am truly alone in this like I feel daily, then so be it.