We watch a lot of TV, probably too much. Last night we were watching our usual Monday night comedies on CBS.
How I Met Your Mother
Rules of Engagement
Two and a Half Men
While I was chuckling over the jokes, I was also feeling very happy I didn’t have any small children watching with me. The shows were full of humor – very adult humor. And those were shows that aired at 8 o’clock eastern time. That’s 7 pm in central time. In either case, it was plenty early enough to expect droves of younger children to be watching.
I’m not a prude. I do remember when the network censors wouldn’t allow Lucy and Desi or Ozzie and Harriet to share the same bed. I remember thinking how weird that was. “Aren’t married people supposed to sleep in the same bed?” This wasn’t Ozzie and Harriet or My Three Sons by a long shot.
The main plot of How I Met Your Mother revolved around one of the main characters confessing to his friends that he and his girlfriend had not had sex yet, although they had been dating for five months.
Then it turned out that the girlfriend had not had sex in five years. The dialogue all revolved around the disbelief of the group of friends that anyone could go that long without sex. Not a very sophisticated plot, but it was cute — for adults. I can imagine a six year old asking “Mommy, what does it mean when somebody hasn’t had sex for five years?” (I won’t give the obvious bad punch line.)
Or to draw off of another line from the show, “Mommy, what is a filthy little whore?”
The second show is one of my favorites,“Rules of Engagement.
The main plot revolved around one of the key couples undergoing fertility testing. There were lots of jokes about guys’ “junk.” At one point, the husband of the fertility pair discovers he has “super sperm” and that becomes the focus of the last half of the show. It was a funny script and well carried by the cast. I laughed, but I’m looking at it with adult eyes, not those of a five, six or seven year old.
“Mommy, what’s super sperm?”
I would look to say that these shows were some kind of anomaly, but that isn’t the case. You see them all the time.
I won’t take any shots at Two and a Half Men. That would be too easy. the entire premise of the show is a running series of sex-related, sophomoric jokes and skits. (That may be why I enjoy it!) At least it airs at 9 pm on the net. However, in this market the Fox station has picked it up in syndication and airs it at 630 pm. So much for what used to be called “the family hour.”
I don’t suggest that we should revert back to the early ‘60’s. Nor am I advocating any kind of censorship. My concern is not with the shows’ content, but the early time slot they are aired. How about a little discretion in the early evening? It makes you wonder; would the CBS network execs like to sit and watch those shows with their young grandchildren? It might be interesting to ask.