Thursday, March 31, 2005

Scapegoat Television Style has been a while since I blogged. However, this is something I feel NEEDED to be said. This is about a show that was recently cancelled called "life as we know it". It aired this past fall on ABC network. The ratings were not good, however, this show was censored in many places thanks to an organization known as the PTC or Parents Television Council. I do not know these people nor have I ever met them. However, they saw only ONE episode of this show and filed a FCC complaint. Yet, there is so much on television that is equally as bad or even worse yet they do not censor these other things. Because of this censorship, life as we know it did not air in many cities. As a result, the Neilsens were not valid because the ratings WOULD have been higher if the censorship of this show did not occur. I am making a comparison on this blog to a popular show Everybody Loves Raymond and a couple of others. Now, I am a Raymond fan and watch it from time to time as well. However, the PTC gives Raymond a "green light rating" yet had some content aired back in November that was just as equal if not worse than the complaints the PTC gave with some equal content on life as we know it. I ask: WHERE is the consistency? Why complain about one show while the other, just as equal in content, gets a green light rating? It makes NO SENSE to me and here is what I am talking about. Plus, I mention some other things on television that are just as worse, yet I do not see them running to the FCC. So yeah, it looks like scapegoating in my eyes.

In the first episode, Dino caught his mother with the hockey coach and they pull off each others shirts, the FCC went ballistic. Well, the Thanksgiving eppy of Raymond, Debra's parents were there visiting and her dad was staying with Ray and Debra while her mom was staying across the street at Marie and Franks. WELL......during the middle of the night, Raymond (who is staying in Allys room with Debra so her dad can have their room)gets up for some reason. He goes into his room and catches Debs parents together having sex. Plus, he saw them without clothes on. No, WE did not see them but it was implied. The next day, we have the Barone's, Robert and Amy and waiting on Amy's parents to show for Thanksgiving dinner. Well, this time, we get to HEAR Debra's parents having sex and lets not forget that Debra and Ray have three children who are younger than Dino and these kids were on lawki. Anyway, we get to see Deb's mom come downstairs in nothing but a bedsheet and dad is wearing a bedspread. At this point, we learn that the parents (who are divorced)are not getting back together or want to be married. They just want the sex so they get together and have sex....that's it. When they mention this, Amy's sheltered parents walk in and I think her mother passes out from what I can remember but not too sure. Anyway, they are offended by this and turn right around and go back home.

So, both involved a situation where I would consider the content to be equal. In lawki, mom and coach pull off each others shirts and mom wears a bra. In Raymond, mom is wearing a bedsheet. In lawki, Dino is shocked and leaves. In Raymond, we get to hear the parents having sex and we
learned that to heck with their wedding vows and divorce, they just want to have sex. In lawki, we have a remorseful mother who breaks it off with the hockey coach because of her confused son. In Raymond, we have a 13 year old girl and 8 year old twins and divorced parents who could care less and lets everyone know about their sex lives like it is no big deal. In lawki, we have a group of 15 year old kids and one having a younger brother who looks to be about 10 or 11 yet he is not there when mom and coach are caught. The kids on Raymond were there from what I remember.

Now, the PTC has given Raymond a "green light" rating while they go to the FCC and get this show censored in many places. Sorry but the content is, in my opinion, equal. Same level, around the same age in the kids. Similar but not idenical circumstances. There is, in my opinion, no
consistency in this.

On DH, we have a married woman having an affair with a 17 year old kid. On lawki, we have a unmarried teacher having an affair with a student. Not much of a difference in the ages of the kids. However, America is beyond obsessed with DH and they are bringing in the money so.....uh no, they are not going to whine to the FCC and get the show censored because they know they can't get it censored or taken off as long as it brings in the almighty dollar. Sure, the commercial with Nicolette Sheridan and the football player in the locker room, they went to the FCC about. They have given DH a "red" light and can understand that also.

The DH rating I understand. No, it is not for kids. lawki was not for kids younger than high school. Raymond has viewers of all age and is considered a family show. Yet, there are references to sex and other things on there. Patricia Heaton even stated in an interview once that she does NOT let her own kids watch Raymond because she feels it is not designed for kids.

If the PTC had not been able to censor lawki in different places in the country, the ratings would have been a lot higher I think yet the Neilsens were counting, what I felt, were invalid results because of this. It would have remained on the air because people WERE watching it. It was not
advertised as much as DH. Parents were using this show as an educational tool to teach their kids. I know because they wrote me and told me so when I got involved in this Save lawki campaign. It was finding an audience and people liked it. It was not given the chance to grow in my opinion.

So, with all of this, I felt that the PTC was not only inconsistent but they had to find SOMEONE or SOME SHOW to pick on. Plus, there is so much WORSE on television now and yeah, they complain about it. However, they do not try to censor it like they did this one. Heck, I saw an episode of "The Surreal Life" where the guy who played "Mini Me" in the Austin Powers movies was peeing in a corner for the whole world to see. Yet it is not censored????

So, I ask, is this not scapegoating or what???