20 February 2009


Ah, one of my favourite topics... and a Slap that was bound to occur at some point.

People who know me, and many who've seen me perform, know that I'm not a fan of censorship. If I may wrest the term "adult entertainment" from the sex flick industry for a second, my top three favourite TV shows of all time - The Sopranos, Deadwood and Dexter - are all clearly made for an adult audience, and would never have seen the light of day if some of the more delicate of media commentators had their way. So, it is with a certain degree of inevitability that I welcome today's Face to be Flattened...

Australian Family Association spokesman Joe Lopez.

Confession time - I have not seen an episode of "Underbelly: A Tale Of Two Cities" (it was the highest of times, it was the come-downest of times...). So, to give Joe the benefit of the doubt for a second, perhaps it is indeed "pornography". The M rating attached to the show would say otherwise, however, unless it is particularly tame porn, in the same way that the skateboard I owned at age ten was a particularly tame monster truck. So, once again, a show that contains sex and violence and is broadcast in the later stages of prime time induces the cry of "dear GOD will SOMEone THINK of the CHILDREN!!". At least, that's part of what was being said... can someone translate this for me?

"They are trying to put a dramatic representation of how crime was in relation to the illicit drug trade in that time by glamorising it with sex."

See, they are trying to put a dramatic representation of how crime was in relation to the illicit drug trade in that time by having actors read scripts in front of a camera. This goes by the common name of "making a TV show". And that may have included sex. Oddly enough, a lot of human interaction does. But semantics aside, I am a fully subscribing member of the "if you don't like it, don't watch" school. This edition of Underbelly has pulled off an unusual double - critical acclaim, and high ratings. So, a lot of people are willing to call it "good", many even throwing in the word "very". So, let these people have a quality adult drama, and still get to bed at a reasonable hour.

The decision about what should be shown on a household's TV should be made... ready?... within the household. By throwing words like "pornography" around to describe an apparently well-made TV series that happens to include sex scenes, all Joe and the Australian Family Association do is paint themselves as the chihuahua in the car that yaps at passers-by. Sure, the chihuahua may think it's acting as an effective watchdog, but it remains an irrelevant noise while life goes on around it.

I'd better get this one in quickly, as apparently the next episode of Underbelly features a graphic male shower scene, and Joe's head may explode. So, before it gets messier:

The following action is rated PG for low-level violence.


Link - Underbelly is just 'pornography', says the Australian Family Association

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