I've been thinking a bit over the last day or so about what "adult" means, when it comes to entertainment. This is mainly down to watching something on television that was fairly heavily signposted as being "adult" by throwing a couple of rude words in early on, and some gratuitous sex.
The basic dilemma is this. Real life contains sex and swearing. Adults can deal with sex and swearing, so it's okay to have them in an adult drama.
But, of course, being an adult means having responsibility. Just because you can have sex and swearing, doesn't mean that you have to. There's a whole train of thought around "If you're being terribly imaginative and grown up then you don't need to resort to sex and swearing" which is tantamount to saying "censor yourself". Nothing wrong with that as long as you still have the choice, but it is getting close to the message purveyed by the Provisional Wing of the National Viewer and Listener's Association in the 1970s when they campaigned against that sort of thing. And ended up publicising it, but never mind.
However, there's a counter-argument. The programme contained adult themes, by which I mean serious moral ambiguities discussed and unresolved, conflict between the characters and characters who were heroic - but not role models. By using swearing so obviously, it clearly marked the programme as one that was targetted at adults rather than children. A few "rude words" act as a deterrent - highlighting that this is the sort of programme that parents may not want to expose children to.
Don't know, jury's still out.
Posted by Jean
October 24, 2006 10:17 AM
Didn't really notice the swearing - must be inured to it through living with myself through all these years. Thought there were a helluva (sic) overtly sexual images, not to mention themes though.
On the whole I enjoyed both episodes and will remain tuned in.
Is that you in the shower in your handcuffs?
Looking a bit chilly.
When I lived in Australia, the subcategories for program ratings went something like Sex, Coarse Language, Violence, and "Adult Themes". I always thought Adult Themes meant bill paying and the like.
My mum loved playing Ratings Bingo. At the start of the week she'd go through the TV guide and circle all the films with the good ratings. Then she'd tape them and fast forward through to the good bits.