Wednesday, November 23, 2005

IT'S CRAP, AND IT'S CONSERVATIVE! We are always being told by our wingnut brethren that the liberal media ceaselessly indoctrinates helpless citizens into buggery, bestiality, treason etc.

But when polls make conservatives gloomy, they apparently get in the mood for counterintuitive changes of perspective. Then it is time for S.T. Karnick, whose stock in trade is to find conservative-safe TV shows and report hopefully on them. Last December, in a review of House (!), Karnick wrote, "A few TV episodes do not a religious revival make, but they are much more than we had a decade ago."

Now Karnick sees double-plus-good messaging all across the boob tube -- but with this caveat: network TV in recent years the unconventional has increasingly been used to make conventional moral points. Thus comedies today are bluer than ever before, but they indicate a serious longing for more order in the characters' romantic lives. Similarly, today's dramas are blood-red but express a positive view of conventional morals.
Let's look at some of Karnick's examples of this Great Awakening:
Hot Properties (ABC) tells the story of three female real-estate agents, and guess what: more sex jokes. In the premiere episode, sluttish behavior by two of the agents came back to haunt them — but not enough to make a moral point.
Hear that, ABC? Next time make it more like Don Giovanni. That's TV comedy gold.
...CBS's How I Met Your Mother tells the story of a conservative, young, urban male who really wants to get married and has found the woman he thinks is right for him. The comedy flows from the fact that the cues regarding romance no longer make sense to such a person.
I've seen this show, and "flows" is not a good word for what the "comedy" does. The "cues regarding romance" appear to bellowed zero entendres which would not make sense to anyone, liberal or conservative.

I am particularly fond of this one:
Fox's Kitchen Confidential and ABC's Freddie follow the same format of showing the value of traditional morality while presenting lots of overly frank, sexually oriented jokes and story material.
What does it say for traditional morality that you have to spike it with tit jokes and sleaze in order to get people to swallow it?

Of course, under all the bullshit, there is a kernel, tiny and hard, of truth: very old-fashioned ideas can adopt a contemporary guise. That's why directors keep dressing Shakespeare characters like cowboys, corporate lawyers, etc. But this stuff here ain't Shakespeare. It's just the usual crap with homey sentiments stuck to the ass-end in order to fool suckers.

Looks like it works, too.

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